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Old 25-02-2020, 08:50   #91
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Originally Posted by Crazcarl View Post
Thank you to everyone for their thoughts and opinions. The boat is currently state registered in DE and will continue to be registered in DE. The current owner has the registration sticker, but it is not posted on the boat. I am assuming this is correct, as a few states do not allow state registrations if USCG documented. Unfortunately, I have not called the office yet, but am currently thinking that if they did send me a notice somehow, that I can point out that the boat is not registered, nor am I registering it in FL and I can show them receipts from when I have moved the boat out of Florida.
Carzcarl, hope you will enjoy many fine days of sailing. For Delaware registered vessels you must carry aboard the Certificate of Number [registration card] and display on both sides in the forward half of the boat the Validation Decals; as a USCG documented vessel you do NOT need to display the numbers on the bow. The Delaware vessel registration remains a valid registration so long as the State of Delaware remains the vessels Principal Place of Use.

When a vessel is in use, the vessel’s registration card must be on board. Boaters stopped by Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police who do not have a valid registration card on board may be issued a ticket. It is the responsibility of the vessel’s operator (not the owner) to be sure the vessel is registered, has all required safety equipment, and that it is being operated in a safe manner.

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A vessel must be registered in its “State of Principal Use.” That is the state on whose waters the vessel is used or to be used most during a calendar year [a defined term, in the Code of Federal Regulations 33 CFR Section 173.3]. Delaware regulations state that if the vessel is to be used, docked, or stowed on the waters of this State for over 60 consecutive days, Delaware is its “State of Principal Use.” If you use your boat for a period of consecutive days in another State then that other State will require that your vessel be registered in that State, that is to say the State of Principal Use can change during the calendar year by relocating the boat. The typical statutory time period for establishing a State as a State of Principal Use is either 60 or 90 consecutive days, at which time the original State of Principal Use can become invalid by the new actual usage in the other State.

If the boat is titled in another state [i.e., not documented by the USCG] the original title must be submitted and will be kept. If the boat comes from a registering state then the registration is required with a notarized bill of sale. If the boat is new, the manufacturer’s original certificate of origin (MCO) must be submitted. All paperwork must include the vessel hull identification number. If the boat is currently registered in Delaware, the old registration card is required with a notarized Bill of Sale including a description of the boat. A notarized bill of sale is not needed if both buyer and seller appear in person with picture IDs.

Homemade boats must be registered at the Dover Office (initial registration only). Copies of invoices for materials, builder’s notarized statement with description and a picture of the vessel, and witness notarized statement regarding builder and description of vessel must be provided.

In cases involving a deceased owner, registrants will need a copy of the Death Certificate, short form of the will stating the administrator, and if sold, a notarized bill of sale from the estate.
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Old 25-02-2020, 11:28   #92
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Originally Posted by BBill View Post
Maybe you need to reread and comprehend the op is buying a boat in florida and concerned about tax before he moves the boat. It had nothing to do with boat purchases outside of florida. Regardless, the chance of an out of state boat passing though for a couple of weeks and getting a letter is remote at best. Why don't you contact the state and verify how they received your info? Ask bridge tenders when you go through, ask the tax office, ask marine patrols, ask the uscg, customs, marinas etc. It isn't normal in any way for boats passing through to get a letter. Period.
So first off, it's either not unusual for Coast Guard documented vessels passing through to get the letter or you're accusing those of us in this post and numerous others in other posts who claimed to have received the letter of lying for some unfathomable reason. It has to be one or the other, are you really saying that we're lying about it?

Second, it is the presence of a CG documented vessel in FL without FL registration that clearly triggers the letter, again from the experience of all of us who you believe to be lying about this. The OP clearly stated that they would not be registering the boat in FL and that they would be CG documented and finally that they would be transiting through parts of Florida on their way out. This means that once they complete the purchase, they are in an absolutely identical situation to all of us who transited through. Plus they have the transaction which is just another potential point for reporting to the tax authorities, so they're in at best an identical situation and at worst a more precarious situation.

It doesn't really matter how they figure it out, my supposition is that it's one or more of the marinas, fuel stations, and bridge keepers since those are the only folks I interacted with in my travels, but who knows, it could be tiny boat drones or satellites. I certainly don't care enough to try to figure it out, never claimed to. At the end of the day, all that matters is that there is a non-zero chance that someone in the OPs position will be asked to either pay the tax if it is due or demonstrate that it isn't due, and that's very valuable, to the tune of thousands of dollars valuable, information to them. Telling them not to worry about it is distinctly bad advice, again to the tune of potentially exposing them to thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs. It's unclear to me why you've decided to draw a line in the sand claiming that those of us who actually experienced this are somehow fabricating it. The civil response would be along the lines of "Thanks, I learned something I didn't know before today."
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