How To Get A Title For A Boat In Florida

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How to Get a Title for a Boat in Florida

Have you recently purchased a beautiful boat in Florida and are eager to set sail, but are unsure of how to obtain a title? Getting a boat title in Florida is a crucial step to ensure legal ownership and safe operation of your vessel. This article provides a comprehensive guide to assist you in efficiently obtaining a Florida boat title.

Boat ownership brings countless opportunities for exploration, adventure, and relaxation. Ensuring you have all the necessary documentation, including a valid title, is essential for a smooth and hassle-free boating experience. Let’s dive into the process of obtaining a boat title in the Sunshine State.

Understanding Boat Titles

A boat title serves as proof of ownership and is required by law for any boat with a motor of 10 horsepower or more. It establishes a legal record of who owns the vessel and provides important details such as the boat’s make, model, hull identification number (HIN), and any liens or encumbrances.

In Florida, boat titles are issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Before applying for a title, you must first register your boat with the FLHSMV. This process involves completing a registration application, providing proof of ownership, and paying the applicable fees.

Documents Required for a Boat Title

To obtain a boat title in Florida, you will need to gather the following documents:

  • Completed boat registration application
  • Proof of ownership (e.g., bill of sale, manufacturer’s certificate of origin)
  • Sales tax receipt or proof of exemption
  • Payment for title and registration fees

If you are the original owner of the boat, you will also need to provide a manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO). The MCO is a document issued by the boat manufacturer that certifies that the boat is new and has never been titled.

How to Apply for a Boat Title

Once you have gathered the necessary documents, you can apply for a boat title by mail, online, or in person at a local FLHSMV office. The FLHSMV recommends applying for a title by mail to avoid long wait times.

To apply by mail, complete the boat registration application and include all required documents. Mail the application to the following address:

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Bureau of Motorist Services
2900 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 32399

If you prefer to apply online, you can visit the FLHSMV website. You will need to create an account and provide the same information as required for a mail-in application.

To apply in person, visit your local FLHSMV office. Bring all required documents with you and be prepared to pay the applicable fees.

Processing Time

The processing time for a boat title varies depending on the method of application. Mail-in applications typically take 4-6 weeks to process. Online applications are generally processed within 2-3 weeks. In-person applications can be processed immediately if all required documents are present.


Obtaining a boat title in Florida is an essential step to ensure legal ownership and safe operation of your vessel. By understanding the process and gathering the necessary documents, you can efficiently complete the application and receive your title within a few weeks. Remember to always keep your boat title up to date and readily available when operating your boat.

Are you excited to get out on the water and enjoy your boat? If so, make sure you have the proper documentation in place, including a valid title. Follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll be ready to set sail in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to title a boat that is less than 10 horsepower?

A: No, boats with motors less than 10 horsepower do not require a title in Florida.

Q: How long is a boat title valid for?

A: Boat titles in Florida are valid for three years.

Q: What happens if I lose my boat title?

A: If you lose your boat title, you can apply for a duplicate title at your local FLHSMV office.

Q: Can I transfer a boat title to another person?

A: Yes, you can transfer a boat title to another person by completing a boat title transfer form and submitting it to the FLHSMV.

Free Florida Boat Bill of Sale Form | PDF

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