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Old 06-06-2019, 05:39   #1
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Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

This is a heads up to those transiting FL on the way to or from the Bahamas, or wintering in the Keys, or any other extensive presence in the state.

If it's inappropriate, feel free to delete it.

This MAY be a Vero Beach issue, or maybe the start of a state-wide initiative. However, one of my correspondents dropped me a line to the effect that the marine something-or-other minutes available on line mentioned the new dockmaster here, and the phrase "a new broom sweeps clean" - which based on my current exposure and scuttlebutt from other cruisers' harsh experiences with said new dockmaster, suggests that Vero is not going to be velcro beach for long, as, unless this becomes the state norm, cruisers will avoid it like the plague.

Either way, heads up!!

MAYBE we'll break free of Vero, AKA Velcro, Beach, the better to escape (too late now, but a heads up to anyone in, or considering transiting or visiting FL) so as to not have a 90-day presence in FL which will require (along with a $77 fine I got last night as we returned to the boat) that the boat be registered in the state of FL. This is despite being USCG home-ported in St. Thomas, AND having long ago left FL, but not long enough, as we'd been back more than 90 days (well, the fact that WE had not been back for more than a week from a land trip, aside, they wanted to know about the BOAT's time in FL) at the time of boarding.

Any boat found on FL waters with an admission or proof of being in FL for more than 90 days, and without a current FL registration (USCG documentation being irrelevant to them) sticker on its bow can be fined (and one assumes - I've not yet gone, having just arisen from a fitful sleep - that they expect you to immediately trot on down to the nearest tax collector's office and obtain one, documentation certificate or other proof of ownership in hand). As I didn't want to get into any more discussion than necessary with the (admittedly very nice pair of DNR folks) authorities, I didn't ask, but the inference was that it didn't matter where you were from, where the boat was registered, if you were in FL for more than 90 consecutive days (that fact did come up; if we could have proven to have left and come back, with less than 90 days in FL on THIS trip, we'd have escaped), you had to have the registration. However, this, from a search, suggests that ANY boat in FL for more than 90 days must be registered:



Can a non resident register a boat in Florida?

A non-resident boater with a valid out-of-state registration certificate may use his/her vessel in Florida waters for 90 days without applying for a Florida registration.

That doesn't say anything to suggest that having a current and valid out of state registration means anything to FL. Ergo, it doesn't matter where you're from, whether you're documented or state registered, if you're on FL waters for 90 days, you're expected to buy a registration for FL.

So, assuming we don't run afoul of any of the medical and dental followups we've been doing since our return, we'll head to Grand Cay, the northernmost active Cay in the Bahamas, on the first weather window after the 18th, our current last appointment.

But first we'll pay the fine and get the <expletive deleted> sticker.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:59   #2
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

it's been that way a long time, if you BOAT is in Florida for more than 90 days in a round it needs to be registered in Florida

as long as you have had the boat more than 6 months and/or paid sales tax on it somewhere else and can show it, the registration is cheap in the big picture
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:29   #3
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

Yes my understanding too, been this way for years.

Just a tax / fee collection thing, and not costing much.

Or did I miss something?

The sales tax / use tax issue is the bigger one, but again, pretty cut and dry.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:50   #4
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AA3JY View Post
... one of my correspondents dropped me a line to the effect that the marine something-or-other minutes available on line mentioned the new dockmaster here, and the phrase "a new broom sweeps clean"

Without commenting on the rest of your post, the phrase "a new broom sweeps clean" is a common phrase that means that a new person comes in with fresh energy and is not burdened by the mistakes or attitudes of the previous person, so is most likely to start fresh.


Now, perhaps that new dockmaster will in fact step up enforcement.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:22   #5
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

Think of the registration requirement after 90 days as more like a cruising permit; that is the way I have seen it described. My understanding is that if your boat is on the hard you don't need current registration. Seems like there is also some provision if you put it on the hard for repairs (which you need to prove with bills) you can get an extension to 180 days.

Just as an aside in CA there are tax officials who walk the docks and fine boats.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:30   #6
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

Standard procedure. It’s called the sojourners permit. You can register your out-of-state boat in Florida no problem. What happens is you end up with two registrations if you are staying in Florida a long time. One from your home state, and one from Florida. They can happen concurrently. I have both stickers on the bow of my boat because I did not want to run into any tax problems.

Pretty clear cut.


https://www.sarasotataxcollector.com...y-registration
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:34   #7
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

I don't understand the beef. If you stay in a State's waters for a specific period of time one typically needs to register in that State.

All very standard and easy.

You need to know the local rules where ever you go.

Documentation [ e.g., USCG] is not the same as registration.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:58   #8
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

So what does the new Dockmaster have to do with you being cited? Did he turn you in? Who issued the citation?
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:05   #9
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

Can a non resident register a boat in Florida?

Yep, that is exactly what they want you to do. I'm a Texas resident, but bought a small trailer boat I keep in Florida for the summer. They insisted I register it in Florida, the fact that it's already registered in Texas was irrelevant.

When a State is short on money, they scrape where they can, and out of State boaters are an obvious deep pocket.

$78.25 a year is small change in the grand scheme of things.

"It's not a fee, its a contribution", quote from Florida registration wegpage.
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:19   #10
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

All motorized vessels operating on Florida’s public waterways must be titled and registered. Chapter 328, Florida Statutes, designates that FLHSMV is responsible for issuing vessel registrations and titles. Applications for titles and registrations must be filed at a county tax collector or license plate agent office. Owners have the option of registering their vessel for either one year or two years.

A purchaser of a new or used vessel has 30 days to title and register that vessel. During this 30 day period, the owner must have proof of the date of purchase aboard the vessel. Operating an unregistered vessel after 30 days is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Exemptions from Titling:
Non-motor powered vessels less than 16 feet in length.
Vessels owned by the U.S. Government, the State of Florida or its political subdivisions.
Federally documented vessels.
Vessels used exclusively on private lakes and ponds.
Amphibious vessels which have been issued a vehicle title by FLHSMV.
Vessels used only for demonstration, testing or sales promotional purposes by a dealer or manufacturer.
Vessels issued valid registration certificates and numbers by other states or countries, provided the vessel is not stored or operated in state waters more than 90 days.

Applying for Vessel Title for In-State and Out-of-State Vessels

A vessel not exempt from titling must be titled at the same time it is registered. To issue a Florida Certificate of Title for a new or used vessel purchased in or outside of Florida, the owner of the vessel must bring the appropriate titling fee and the following documents into a tax collector or license plate agent office:

New vessel – Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) or its equivalent statement of builder, or if the vessel is purchased in a state that does not require an MCO, the proof of ownership is an executed dealer’s bill of sale. The proof of ownership must include a complete description of the vessel, including manufacturer’s name, year, type, hull material, propulsion, fuel, use of vessel, hull identification number and length.

Used vessel currently titled in FL – Florida title accurately completed for transfer to purchaser.

Used vessel currently titled out of state – Out-of-state title accurately completed for transfer to purchaser.

Used vessel from a state that does not require title – Current registration from that state and a bill of sale from the current registrant. Bill of sale must include complete description of the vessel including manufacturer’s name, year, type, hull material, propulsion, fuel, use of vessel, hull identification number and length.

Vessel Titling Fees

The following fees are assessed when applying for a Florida Certificate of Title in addition to registration fees and any applicable sales tax:

$5.25 titling fee (for electronic title) or $7.75 (for paper title) or $11 (expedited (fast) title).
Additional fee of $1 to record each existing lien.
Additional titling fee of $4 is required for vessels previously registered outside of the state of Florida.

Applying for Vessel Registration

Applications for vessel registration are to be filed with the county tax collector or license plate agent. When applying for registration, the owner must establish proof of ownership by submitting an executed bill of sale, a builder’s contract, a manufacturer’s statement of origin, a federal marine document or another document acceptable to the FLHSMV. If the vessel is required to be titled, the title must be issued prior to the issuance of the registration.

Exemptions from Registration:

Non-motor powered vessels less than 16 feet in length. [COLOR="Red"]Note, motorized dinghy tenders also need to be registered separately, in addition to registration of the main boat to which the dinghy is associated with [/COLOR]
Non-motor-powered canoe, kayak, racing shell or rowing scull regardless of length.
Vessels used exclusively on private lakes and ponds.
Vessels owned by the U.S. Government.
Vessels used exclusively as a ship’s lifeboat.
Vessels issued valid registration certificates and numbers by other states, provided the vessel is not stored or operated in state waters more than 90 days.

Vessel Registration Fees
Section 328.72(18), Florida Statutes, provides reduced vessel registration fees for a recreational vessel equipped with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or for a recreational vessel when the owner possesses a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:20   #11
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

None of this is news........

If your boat stays in Florida, you are using Florida resources. The state would like you to pay like the rest of it's residents.

Quote:
Now, perhaps that new dockmaster will in fact step up enforcement.
The "title" of dockmaster in Florida really means nothing, other than being the manager of a particular marina. About the only thing a dockmaster can do is call the county to alert them.........
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:24   #12
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

This is standard for most states, but keep in mind, a short trip out to international waters resets the 90 day clock to zero. Probably would be good to document this.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:12   #13
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

I tried to register my boat in FL and have been told I can’t do it.

I need a Bill of Sale and I don’t have one.

I offered to pay the state a sales tax based on the value of the boat but they refused. I need a Bill of Sale and the boat was purchased over 7 years ago and the seller is unavailable.

The only thing I have for a Bill of Sale is the back of the USCG documentation where the boat was sold to me, with no price mentioned.

I have since documented the boat and registered in RI where sales tax is not collected.

I went to the authorities in CT and they sorta’ said, off the record, “Find a Bill of Sale.”

I spoke with MA, (face to face, state tax collector,) he laughed that the other states wouldn’t take my money.

He said he would accept a Bill of Sale and take my money.

(For now I am a MA resident.)

The easiest thing for us is to get out of FL at 90 days or less.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:16   #14
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

South Carolina tried to bill me for property tax on my boat even though the boat had never been south of the Mason-Dixon line. When I got the bill the boat was in The Netherlands and remains there. No property or any other annual tax.

The boat is USCG documented and my mailing address was Beaufort, SC, but that didn't give SC the right to charge me property tax on property that has never been in the state.

I am curious to see when I return to the US with NO state registration. I am sure not to stay in one state more than 90 days.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:26   #15
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Re: Vero Beach new ‘Clean Sweep’ policy?

For documentation of a trip to international waters (12 miles offshore), hopefully your chartplotter or other nav app retains your tracks and the date. My iPad & Samsung cellphone Navionics apps do keep history of my tracks with that info.
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