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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXIV
VESSELS
Chapter 328
VESSELS: TITLE CERTIFICATES; LIENS; REGISTRATION
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F.S. 328.72
328.72 Classification; registration; fees and charges; surcharge; disposition of fees; fines; marine turtle stickers.
(1) VESSEL REGISTRATION FEE.
(a) Vessels that are required to be registered shall be classified for registration purposes according to the following schedule and, except as provided in subsection (18), the registration certificate fee shall be in the following amounts:
1. Class A-1Less than 12 feet in length, and all canoes to which propulsion motors have been attached, regardless of length: $5.50 for each 12-month period registered.
2. Class A-212 feet or more and less than 16 feet in length: $16.25 for each 12-month period registered. To county: 2.85 for each 12-month period registered.
3. Class 116 feet or more and less than 26 feet in length: $28.75 for each 12-month period registered. To county: 8.85 for each 12-month period registered.
4. Class 226 feet or more and less than 40 feet in length: $78.25 for each 12-month period registered. To county: 32.85 for each 12-month period registered.
5. Class 340 feet or more and less than 65 feet in length: $127.75 for each 12-month period registered. To county: 56.85 for each 12-month period registered.
6. Class 465 feet or more and less than 110 feet in length: $152.75 for each 12-month period registered. To county: 68.85 for each 12-month period registered.
7. Class 5110 feet or more in length: $189.75 for each 12-month period registered. To county: 86.85 for each 12-month period registered.
8. Dealer registration certificate: $25.50 for each 12-month period registered.
(b) The county portion of the vessel registration fee is derived from recreational vessels only.
(2) ANTIQUE VESSEL REGISTRATION FEE.
(a) A vessel that is at least 30 years old, used only for recreational purposes, and powered by the vessel’s original-type power plant may be registered as an antique vessel. When applying for registration as an antique vessel, the owner of such a vessel shall submit certification, as prescribed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or from a marine surveyor that the vessel meets the requirements of this paragraph.
(b) The registration number for an antique vessel shall be permanently attached to each side of the forward half of the vessel as provided in ss. 328.48 and 328.54.
(c) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may issue a decal identifying the vessel as an antique vessel. The decal shall be displayed as provided in ss. 328.48 and 328.54.
(3) ALIEN OR NONRESIDENT LICENSE FEE.An additional license fee of $50 for each 12-month period registered shall be required of all aliens or nonresidents of the state on all vessels not subject to a specific reciprocal agreement with another state, which vessels are used for commercial purposes and owned in whole or in part by such aliens or nonresidents. Such fee shall be in addition to the vessel registration fee required by this section.
(4) TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP.
(a) When the ownership of a registered vessel changes, an application for transfer of registration shall be filed with the county tax collector by the new owner within 30 days with a fee of $3.25. The county tax collector shall retain $2.25 of the fee and shall remit $1 to the department. A refund may not be made for any unused portion of a registration period.
(b) If a vessel is an antique as defined in subsection (2), the application shall be accompanied by either a certificate of title, a bill of sale and a registration, or a bill of sale and an affidavit by the owner defending the title from all claims. The bill of sale must contain a complete vessel description to include the hull identification number and engine number, if appropriate; the year, make, and color of the vessel; the selling price; and the signatures of the seller and purchaser.
(5) REPLACEMENT DECAL.A decal issued to replace a lost or misplaced decal may be obtained by submitting $2.25 with a request for such replacement decal to the county tax collector. A replacement decal may not be issued except upon receipt of a written request by the registered owner or an appointed representative.
(6) CHANGE OF CLASSIFICATION.If the classification of a vessel changes from recreational to commercial, or from commercial to recreational and a current registration certificate has been issued to the owner, the owner shall within 30 days forward his or her certificate to the county tax collector with a fee of $2.25 and a new certificate shall be issued.
(7) SERVICE FEE.In addition to other registration fees, the vessel owner shall pay the tax collector a $2.25 service fee for each registration issued, replaced, or renewed. Except as provided in subsection (15), all fees, other than the service charge, collected by a tax collector must be remitted to the department not later than 7 working days following the last day of the week in which the money was remitted. Vessels may travel in salt water or fresh water.
(8) MAIL SERVICE CHARGE.A mail service charge shall be collected for each registration or reregistration mailed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or any tax collector. All registrations and reregistrations shall be mailed by first-class mail. The amount of the mail service charge shall be the actual postage required rounded to the nearest 5 cents, plus a 25-cent handling charge. The mail service charge shall be in addition to the service charge provided in subsection (7) and shall be used and accounted for in accordance with law.
(9) SURCHARGE.In addition, there is hereby levied and imposed on each vessel registration fee imposed under subsection (1) a surcharge in the amount of $1 for each 12-month period of registration, which shall be collected in the same manner as the fee and deposited into the State Agency Law Enforcement Radio System Trust Fund of the Department of Management Services.
(10) DUPLICATE REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE.A duplicate registration certificate to replace a lost or misplaced certificate may be obtained from a tax collector for $2.25. A duplicate certificate will not be issued except by written request of the registered owner or a person authorized by the owner to make such a request.
(11) VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS.The application form for boat registration shall include a provision to allow each applicant to indicate a desire to pay an additional voluntary contribution to the Save the Manatee Trust Fund to be used for the purposes specified in s. 379.2431(4). This contribution shall be in addition to all other fees and charges. The amount of the request for a voluntary contribution solicited shall be $2 or $5 per registrant. A registrant who provides a voluntary contribution of $5 or more shall be given a sticker or emblem by the tax collector to display, which signifies support for the Save the Manatee Trust Fund. All voluntary contributions shall be deposited in the Save the Manatee Trust Fund and shall be used for the purposes specified in s. 379.2431(4). The form shall also include language permitting a voluntary contribution of $5 per applicant, which contribution shall be transferred into the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund. A statement providing an explanation of the purpose of the trust fund shall also be included.
(12) REGISTRATION.
(a) “Registration period” is a period of 12 months during which a vessel registration is valid.
(b) Any vessel owner who is subject to registration under subparagraph (c)1. is eligible for an extended registration period that begins the first day of the birth month of the owner and ends the last day of the month immediately preceding the owner’s birth month 24 months after the beginning of the registration period. If the vessel is registered in the name of more than one person, the birth month of the person whose name first appears on the registration shall be used to determine the extended registration period. For a vessel subject to this extended registration period, the renewal period is the 30-day period ending at midnight on the vessel owner’s date of birth.
(c) The following registration periods and renewal periods are established:
1. For vessels owned by individuals, the registration period begins the first day of the birth month of the owner and ends the last day of the month immediately preceding the owner’s birth month in the succeeding year. If the vessel is registered in the name of more than one person, the birth month of the person whose name first appears on the registration shall be used to determine the registration period. For a vessel subject to this registration period, the renewal period is the 30-day period ending at midnight on the vessel owner’s date of birth.
2. For vessels owned by companies, corporations, governmental entities, and registrations issued to dealers and manufacturers, the registration period begins July 1 and ends June 30. The renewal period is the 30-day period beginning June 1.
(13) EXPIRED REGISTRATION.The operation, use, or storage on the waters of this state of a previously registered vessel is subject to the following penalties:
(a) The owner or operator of a vessel with an expired registration of 6 months or less commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73(1)(g)1.
(b) The owner or operator of a vessel with an expired registration of more than 6 months commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73(1)(g)2. or 3.

This subsection does not apply to vessels lawfully stored at a dock or in a marina.

(14) EXEMPTIONS.The following vessels are exempt from provisions of subsection (1):
(a) A vessel that is owned and operated by Sea Explorer or Sea Scout units of the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America, the Florida Association of Christian Child Caring Agencies, Inc., Safe Harbor Haven, Inc., or the Associated Marine Institutes, Inc., and its affiliates.
(b) An antique vessel as defined in paragraph (2)(a).
(c) A non-motor-powered sailing vessel that is owned by a nonprofit entity and used exclusively for teaching boating safety, boat handling, or seamanship skills, including the racing of such sailing vessels.

Such vessels shall be issued certificates of registration and numbers upon application and payment of the service fee provided in subsection (7).

(15) DISTRIBUTION OF FEES.Except for the first $2, $1 of which shall be remitted to the state for deposit into the Save the Manatee Trust Fund created within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and $1 of which shall be remitted to the state for deposit into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to fund a grant program for public launching facilities pursuant to s. 206.606, giving priority consideration to counties with more than 35,000 registered vessels, moneys designated for the use of the counties, as specified in subsection (1), shall be distributed by the tax collector to the board of county commissioners for use only as provided in this section. Such moneys to be returned to the counties are for the sole purposes of providing, maintaining, or operating recreational channel marking and other uniform waterway markers, public boat ramps, lifts, and hoists, marine railways, boat piers, docks, mooring buoys, and other public launching facilities; and removing derelict vessels, debris that specifically impede boat access, not including the dredging of channels, and vessels and floating structures deemed a hazard to public safety and health for failure to comply with s. 327.53. Counties shall demonstrate through an annual detailed accounting report of vessel registration revenues that the registration fees were spent as provided in this subsection. This report shall be provided to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission no later than November 1 of each year. If, before January 1 of each calendar year, the accounting report meeting the prescribed criteria has still not been provided to the commission, the tax collector of that county may not distribute the moneys designated for the use of counties, as specified in subsection (1), to the board of county commissioners but shall, for the next calendar year, remit such moneys to the state for deposit into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund. The commission shall return those moneys to the county if the county fully complies with this section within that calendar year. If the county does not fully comply with this section within that calendar year, the moneys shall remain within the Marine Resources Trust Fund and may be appropriated for the purposes specified in this subsection.
(16) MARINE TURTLE STICKER.The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall offer for sale with vessel registrations a waterproof sticker in the shape of a marine turtle at an additional cost of $5, the proceeds of which shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to be used for marine turtle protection, research, and recovery efforts pursuant to the provisions of s. 379.2431(1).
(17) FORMS AND NOTICES.The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall prescribe and provide suitable forms for applications and other notices and forms necessary to administer the provisions of this chapter.
(18) REDUCED VESSEL REGISTRATION FEE.
(a) As used in this subsection, the term:
1. “Emergency position-indicating radio beacon” means a device installed on the vessel being registered that:
a. Transmits distress signals at a frequency between 406.0 and 406.1 MHz;
b. Is manufactured by a company approved to manufacture beacons by the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme; and
c. Is registered with the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
2. “Full registration fee amount” means the registration fee as provided in subsection (1) and not the reduced vessel registration fee specified in this subsection.
3. “Personal locator beacon” means a device designed to be carried by an individual that:
a. Transmits distress signals at a frequency between 406.0 and 406.1 MHz;
b. Is manufactured by a company approved to manufacture beacons by the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme; and
c. Is registered with the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
(b) The registration certificate fee imposed under subsection (1) for a recreational vessel equipped with an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, or for a recreational vessel the owner of which owns a personal locator beacon, shall be reduced to the following amounts for each 12-month period registered:
1. Class A-1$2.95.
2. Class A-2$11.00.
3. Class 1$20.40.
4. Class 2$57.50.
5. Class 3$94.95.
6. Class 4$113.40.
7. Class 5$141.15.
(c) A person who owns a personal locator beacon and who owns more than one recreational vessel qualifies to pay the reduced fee under paragraph (b) for only one such vessel.
(d) In order to qualify for reduced registration fees under this subsection, a vessel owner must, at the time of registration, demonstrate that the vessel is equipped with an emergency position-indicating radio beacon or that the vessel owner owns a personal locator beacon. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may adopt rules specifying what constitutes sufficient proof to qualify for reduced registration fees under this subsection, but such proof must contain, at a minimum, the following:
1. The name of the beacon owner.
2. The expiration date of the beacon’s registration.
3. The unique identification number of the beacon.
4. For vessels equipped with an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, identification of the vessel equipped with the beacon.
(e) For each vessel registration qualifying for reduced registration fees under this subsection, an amount equal to the difference between the full registration fee amount and the actual amount of registration fee paid for such vessel registration shall be transferred from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and shall be distributed pursuant to s. 328.76.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-361; s. 2, ch. 67-586; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 4, ch. 70-336; s. 1, ch. 73-146; ss. 9, 15, ch. 74-327; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 81, ch. 79-164; s. 1, ch. 79-307; ss. 26, 30, ch. 79-334; s. 1, ch. 79-364; s. 2, ch. 80-266; s. 51, ch. 80-274; s. 9, ch. 81-100; s. 2, ch. 82-97; s. 2, ch. 82-181; s. 78, ch. 82-226; s. 9, ch. 84-184; s. 66, ch. 84-338; s. 6, ch. 85-324; s. 2, ch. 87-392; s. 3, ch. 88-144; s. 3, ch. 88-336; s. 5, ch. 89-168; s. 2, ch. 90-219; s. 29, ch. 91-107; s. 1, ch. 91-199; s. 1, ch. 91-215; s. 83, ch. 91-221; s. 4, ch. 92-72; s. 279, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 3, ch. 94-241; s. 952, ch. 95-148; s. 54, ch. 95-333; s. 16, ch. 96-321; s. 1, ch. 97-16; s. 40, ch. 97-96; s. 41, ch. 97-300; s. 15, ch. 99-4; s. 18, ch. 99-5; s. 113, ch. 99-13; s. 19, ch. 99-245; s. 55, ch. 99-248; s. 25, ch. 99-289; s. 39, ch. 99-399; s. 50, ch. 2000-152; s. 42, ch. 2000-313; ss. 30, 31, ch. 2000-362; s. 1, ch. 2001-369; s. 1, ch. 2004-75; s. 12, ch. 2005-157; s. 5, ch. 2006-309; s. 7, ch. 2007-242; s. 4, ch. 2008-106; s. 198, ch. 2008-247; s. 29, ch. 2009-86; s. 1, ch. 2013-56; s. 2, ch. 2013-194; s. 4, ch. 2014-136; s. 1, ch. 2016-126; s. 1, ch. 2017-28; s. 14, ch. 2017-163.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
Note.Former s. 371.65; s. 327.25.