Beginning July 1, 2016, boats that are boarded by Florida state and local marine
law enforcement and successfully complete a safety inspection will be issued an inspection decal. Once the new decal is properly displayed, state and local officers may not stop that watercraft again solely for the purpose of a vessel safety inspection. Vessels with the decal may, however, be stopped by marine
law enforcement officers for any other lawful reason. Additionally, having the decal does not change the authority for the U.S. Coast Guard to board a vessel ...
FL Statute 327.70(2)(a): “Upon demonstrated compliance with the safety equipment carriage and use requirements of this chapter during a safety inspection initiated by a law enforcement officer, the operator of a vessel shall be issued a safety inspection decal signifying that the vessel is deemed to have met the safety equipment carriage and use requirements of this chapter at the time and location of such inspection.
The “Courtesy Marine Examination” stickers issued by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons do not exempt boats from any safety boarding
Florida House Bill CS 703 was approved by the Governor March 25, 2016, and will go into effect starting July 1, 2016. The legislation requires law enforcement to need "probable cause" before stopping or inspecting a vessel if it displays a recent safety inspection decal
issued by law enforcement on a previous stop. The law applies only to local and state law enforcement and not to Coast Guard officials.