VESSEL TITLES AND REGISTRATIONS

 

Any time the ownership of a vessel (including mobile home and vehicles) changes, you must apply for a title and registration in your name. Please read through the options below and select the one, or ones, that best fit your needs.  

If you have a vessel that you purchased from a Florida vessel dealer, the dealer usually processes the certificate of title. 

If you have a new vessel purchased from an out-of-state vessel dealer you can have it titled at one of our service centers, or our partner tag agency

The following items are needed in addition to a completed Application for Certificate of Title

  • A Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) 
  • Each applicant must sign the application for the title (this is done at the office if application is in person) 
  • A bill of sale or invoice listing the purchase price, sales tax paid, and any trade-in allowance (please note, additional sales tax may be due) 
  • Any applicable lien holder information 

Applicable sales tax will be collected at the time of titling. Individuals or business entities entitled to any sales tax exemptions must provide applicable supporting documents.

Find the estimated fees associated with this type of service. 

When registering a vessel that was previously titled out-of-state, a Certificate of Title Application may be completed and submitted at one of the Tax Collector’s Service Centers or our partner Tag Agency.

The following items are also required:

  • The out-of-state registration certificate in your name or assigned to you 
  • Each applicant must sign the application at the time of transfer 
  • Florida Sales Tax may be due if the vessel was purchased less than 6 months prior to bringing the vessel to Florida (proof of any sales tax paid to another state will be required, also the full 6% Florida Sales Tax and any applicable local option tax is due on all vessels imported from foreign countries) 
  • Any applicable lienholder information 

NOTE: Antique vessels (30 years or older) coming from another state or country which do not have a current certificate of title or USCG documentation to provide as proof of ownership must have a HIN inspection conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) prior to applying for Florida title/registration.

When transferring ownership of a vessel already titled in Florida, the title must be completed before visiting a Tax Collector’s Service Center or our partner Tag Agency, including: 

  • The Florida title properly completed by the seller, including the name of the purchaser and selling price.  
  • The Florida title properly completed by each purchaser including signature and printed name.
  • Each applicant must sign the application for title. This can be done at time of transfer. A power of attorney is required for any applicant not present.
You must also bring one of the following original documents as proof of identity (for mailed transactions, submit a legible photocopy):

  • Valid driver license or ID card issued by Florida or another state (this includes any U.S. territory)
  • Valid passport or passport card from any country.
  • Valid Canadian driver license or ID card.
For additional information, please review our flyer, Completing Your Title for Transfer (tambien disponible en espanol).

When registering a vessel that is currently documented through the United States Coast Guard, an Application to Register Non-Titled Vessels (HSMV 87244) will need to be completed and submitted at one of the Tax Collector’s Service Centers or our partner Tag Agency.

The following items are also required:

  • Certificate of Documentation from the United States Coast Guard (or proof of application, if still pending)
  • Each applicant must sign HSMV 87244
  • Bill of sale [if current owner name(s) are NOT listed on Certificate of Documentation]
  • Applicable Florida sales/use tax will be collected at the time of registration unless previously paid or exempt. To ensure correct taxes are collected, please bring proof of any sales tax already paid to Florida or another state. Use taxes will be due if the vessel was purchased less than 6 months prior to bringing the vessel to Florida. Also, the full 6% Florida sales tax and any applicable local option tax is due on all vessels imported from foreign countries.

NOTE: If you are having your vessel removed from documentation, you will need to provide the “Evidence of Deletion from United States Documentation” letter from the US Coast Guard (and bill of sale, if ownership is changing) to apply for a Florida title/registration.

Registration fees are based on the length or use of the vessel.

Vessel registrations may be obtained at one of the Lee County Tax Collector Service Centers or at our partner Tag Agency.

Florida law requires vessel registrations to be current if operated, used or stored in the water.

Florida vessel registrations expire as follows: 

  • For vessels owned by individuals, the expiration date is the birthday of the first owner listed on the registration.
  • For company-owned vessels, the expiration date is June 30.

As a courtesy, the Lee County Tax Collector’s Office mails renewal notices to Florida vessel owners approximately three weeks prior to the owner’s birth month (or month in which the renewal is due). Be on the lookout for the notice which has information to help you renew your registration quickly and easily. Registration notices can be returned for renewal by mail in the envelope provided.

If you choose to come into one of our service centers rather than mailing your renewal, you will need valid proof of identification. We also recommend brining the renewal notice if you have it.

If you are not the registered owner, you will need to bring the renewal notice, a signed statement from the registered owner authorizing the renewal along with a copy of the registered owner’s ID, or a completed power of attorney.

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