Vessels

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is a non-powered vessel required to be registered and titled?

    If the non-motor powered vessel is less than 16 feet in length, it is not required to be registered or titled. Non-motor-powered canoes, kayaks, racing shells or rowing sculls over 16 feet in length are required to be titled, but not registered.

  • Is a boat license required to operate a vessel in Florida?

    Florida does not have a boating license. In order to operate a motorized vessel of 10 horsepower or greater, Florida law requires anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1988 to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the FWC. The Boating Safety Education Identification Card is proof of successful completion of the educational requirements and is valid for life.

  • How old does a person have to be to operate a motorized vessel in Florida?

    A person must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft (PWC) in Florida and at least 18 years of age to rent a PWC. Persons born on or after January 1, 1988 must complete an approved boating safety course to operate a vessel of ten horsepower or more on Florida waterways.

  • Are military personnel exempt from registering their vessels in Florida?

    Out-of-state registration certificates and numbers for vessels owned by military personnel on active duty in Florida are valid in Florida until their expiration date. Then they must be registered and titled in Florida in order to be operated on state waters.

  • I will be vacationing in Florida this summer. Do I need to register my vessel there?

    Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use their vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector or license plate agent. However, the owner may retain the out-of-state registration number if they plan to return to their home state within a reasonable period of time.

  • How do I obtain an expedited duplicate vessel title?

    The owner of the vessel must properly complete and submit an application for duplicate title as well as a fee of $11 to their local tax collector or license plate agent office. The application will be processed and the duplicate title mailed within five working days from receipt of the application.

  • Is a nonprofit organization, owning a marine boat trailer, eligible for a registration fee exemption?

    If the nonprofit organization is exempt from federal income tax under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and the marine boat trailer is used exclusively for nonprofit activities, the organization is exempt from paying registration fees.   The nonprofit organization must visit a local motor vehicle service center with their IRS Determination Letter to receive the exemption.