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The Florida Statutes

The 1998 Florida Statutes

Title XXIV
Chapter 327
Vessels: Registration And Safety
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327.25  Classification; registration; fees and charges; surcharge; disposition of fees; fines; marine turtle stickers.--

(1)  VESSEL REGISTRATION FEE.--Vessels that are required to be registered shall be classified for registration purposes according to the following schedule, and the registration certificate fee shall be in the following amounts:

Class A-1--Less than 12 feet in length, and all canoes to which propulsion motors have been attached, regardless of length ....... $3.50

Class A-2--12 feet or more and less than 16 feet in length ....... 10.50
(To county) ....... 2.85

Class 1--16 feet or more and less than 26 feet in length ....... 18.50
(To county) ....... 8.85

Class 2--26 feet or more and less than 40 feet in length ....... 50.50
(To county) ....... 32.85

Class 3--40 feet or more and less than 65 feet in length ....... 82.50
(To county) ....... 56.85

Class 4--65 feet or more and less than 110 feet in length ....... 98.50
(To county) ....... 68.85

Class 5--110 feet or more in length ....... 122.50
(To county) ....... 86.85

Dealer registration certificate  ....... 16.50


(a)  A vessel that is at least 30 years old, used only for noncommercial 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 affixed on the forward half of the hull or on the port side of the windshield according to ss. 327.11 and 327.14.

(c)  The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may issue a decal identifying the vessel as an antique vessel. The decal shall be placed within 3 inches of the registration number.

(3)  ALIEN OR NONRESIDENT LICENSE FEE.--An additional license fee of $50 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.


(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 notarized bill of sale and a registration, or a notarized 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 noncommercial to commercial, or from commercial to noncommercial, and a current registration certificate has been issued to the owner, the owner shall 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. 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, during the period January 1, 1989, through December 31, 2003, there is hereby levied and imposed on each vessel registration fee imposed under subsection (1) a surcharge in the amount of $1, 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. However, the surcharge shall be terminated on midnight December 31, 1994, unless the pilot project established in s. 282.1095 is deemed successful by the joint task force with the concurrence of the Governor and Cabinet as the head 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 for manatee and marine mammal research, protection, recovery, rescue, rehabilitation, and release. This contribution shall be in addition to all other fees and charges. The amount of the request for a voluntary contribution solicited shall be $1 per registrant. Beginning with boat registration in fiscal year 1992-1993, 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 for use according to this subsection. The first $2 of voluntary contribution by a vessel registrant shall be available for the manatee protection and recovery effort pursuant to s. 370.12(5)(a). Any additional amount of voluntary contribution by a vessel registrant shall also be for the purpose of the manatee protection and recovery effort, except that any voluntary contribution in excess of the first $2 voluntary contribution by a vessel registrant but not exceeding $2 shall be available for manatee rehabilitation by those facilities approved to rescue, rehabilitate, and release manatees pursuant to s. 370.12(5)(b). The form shall also include language permitting a voluntary contribution of $5 per applicant, which contribution shall be transferred into the Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund. A statement providing an explanation of the purpose of the trust fund shall also be included.


(a)  "Registration period" is a period of 12 months during which a vessel registration is valid.

(b)  "Renewal period" is a period of 30 days during which renewal of a vessel registration is required, except as otherwise provided by law.

(c)  Effective July 1, 1996, 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, those entities listed under 1subsection (11), 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.

(d)  Beginning June 1, 1997, through May 31, 1998, for purposes of implementing the birth month schedule of registrations, those persons whose birth months are June, July, August, and September shall register for periods from 12 to 15 months, and those persons whose birth months are from October through May shall register for periods of 4 to 11 months.

(13)  FRACTIONAL REGISTRATION FEE.--For the purpose of implementing the birth month schedule of registration and for the period of June 1, 1997, through May 31, 1998, registration fees shall be prorated on a monthly basis when the registration period is other than 12 months. However, the minimum fee for any registration is $3.50. This subsection expires June 1, 1998.

(14)  EXPIRED REGISTRATION.--The operation of a previously registered vessel after the expiration of the registration period is a noncriminal violation, as defined in s. 327.73.

(15)  EXEMPTIONS.--Vessels owned and operated by Sea Explorer or Sea Scout units of the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America, the Safe Harbor Haven, Inc., or the Associated Marine Institutes, Inc., and its affiliates, or which are antique vessels as defined in paragraph (2)(a) are exempt from the provisions of subsection (1). Such vessels shall be issued certificates of registration and numbers upon application and payment of the service fee provided in subsection (7).

(16)  DISTRIBUTION OF FEES.--Moneys deposited pursuant to s. 327.28 to be returned to the counties are for the sole purposes of providing recreational channel marking and public launching facilities and other boating-related activities, for removal of vessels and floating structures deemed a hazard to public safety and health for failure to comply with s. 327.53, and for manatee and marine mammal protection and recovery. The department shall ascertain, as a guideline in determining the amounts of distributions each county may receive, the number of noncommercial vessels registered in the county during the preceding fiscal year according to the fee schedule provided in subsection (1) and shall promulgate rules to effectuate this. Each fiscal year, prior to determination of distributions to the counties under this section, an amount equal to $1 for each vessel registered in this state shall be transferred to the Save the Manatee Trust Fund for manatee and marine mammal research, protection, and recovery.

(17)  MARINE TURTLE STICKER.--The Department of Environmental Protection 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. 370.12(1).

(18)  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.

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.

1Note.--The reference is apparently erroneous. Subsection (11) concerns voluntary contributions to specified trust funds; subsection (15), redesignated from subsection (11) by s. 54, ch. 95-333, lists entities exempt from payment of vessel registration fees.

Note.--Former s. 371.65.