If you live in Florida and have just purchased or plan to buy an electric trolling motor for your boat, you’re in for a great experience on the vast Florida waterways. But one question that’s probably on your mind is, do you need to register an electric trolling motor in Florida?
You do not need to register an electric trolling machine in the state of Florida. However, you are required to register and title any motorized vessel operating on the state’s public waters. Therefore, adding an electric trolling motor to your boat means you’ll need to register that boat.
In this article, I’ll expound further on how to register and title your motorized boat. I’ll also address other issues, including vessels exempted from registration in Florida, how to renew your boat registration in Florida, and boat insurance in Florida. Read on for these and more.
In case you have just purchased your first motorized boat, you must register it within 30 days. According to the Florida statutes on boating regulations, if you fail to do so and operate it after 30 days post-acquisition, you will be culpable of a second-degree misdemeanor.
In Florida, you have an option of registering your boat for one year or two years. Regardless of the choice you settle for, the process of the registration application is still the same. You will need to present your application to the license plate agent or county tax collector’s office.
When applying for your boat registration, you will be required to provide proof of ownership by submitting the following:
- Federal marine document
- Statement of origin from the manufacturer
- Contract from the builder
- Executed bill of sale
- Other registration documents acceptable to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
If your boat is not yet titled and you would like it registered in Florida, you will have to get it titled before you proceed with registration.
While it is essential to have your vessel registered and titled in Florida, some are exempted from registration. They include the following:
- All racing shells, rowing sculls, canoes, and kayaks that are not motor-powered
- A vessel not powered by a motor that is less than 16 feet (5 meters) long
- A vessel operated and stored exclusively on private lakes and ponds
- A vessel belonging to the State of Florida, its political subdivisions, or the United States government
- A vessel used as a lifeboat for a ship
Just as with registration, you need to title your boat within 30 days after purchasing it. During the 30 days, you will need to provide proof of the purchase date aboard the vessel.
However, some vessels have an exemption from titling. The following are vessels with an exemption from titling:
- A vessel operated only for sales promotional, testing, or demonstration purposes by a dealer or manufacturer
- A vessel from another country stored, operated, or used temporarily in Florida for a period not exceeding 90 days
- A vessel registered and titled in other states, as long as they are not stored/operated in Florida waters for a period exceeding 90 days
- A vessel that the United States Coast Guard registers for a state that lacks an approved numbering system
The cost of getting your boat registered in Florida depends on several factors like whether the owner has a Personal Locator Beacon, the boat has an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, and the boat’s length.
The table below indicates the current rates and the reduced rates determined by the classification and vessel size(check with Flordia HSMV for current pricing).
|VESSEL CLASS||VESSEL SIZE (Length in feet/meter)||REGISTRATION FEE (in $)||REDUCED FEE|
|Optional county fee (in $)|
|Class A- 1||Less than 12/Less than 4||5.50||2.95||4.13|
|Class A-2||12 to less than 16/4 to less than 5||16.25||11.00||7.63|
|Class 1||16 to less than 26/5 to less than 8||28.75||20.40||11.63|
|Class 2||26 to less than 40/8 to less than 12||78.25||57.50||27.63|
|Class 3||40 to less than 65/12 to less than 20||127.75||94.95||43.63|
|Class 4||65 to less than 110/20 to less than 34||152.75||113.40||51.63|
|Class 5||110 or more/34 or more||189.75||141.15||63.63|
As displayed in the table above, the vessel registration fees can be revised downwards for certain vessels in specific circumstances. For instance, lower fees are applicable for recreational vessels with Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and those with Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs).
On top of the registration fee, you will be required to pay an additional $0.50 FRVIS fee and a $2.25 service fee.
All aliens or non-residents are charged a commercial vessel license fee of $50. If you intend to use specific gear and/or sell saltwater products in Florida, you will have to get a Saltwater Products License.
The minimum cost of Saltwater Products License is captured in the table below:
On top of the registration fee and any accompanying sales tax, you will be required to pay the Florida Certificate of Title.
Here is a pointer on how much you should expect to pay in titling fee:
- A titling fee of $ 5.25 for an electronic title, $ 7.75 for a paper title, or $ 11 for an expedited title
- A $ 1 additional fee for recording each existing lien
- A $ 4 additional titling fee for a vessel initially registered outside of the state of Florida
You can renew your boat registration in Florida through any of the following channels:
- In-person or by mail at a local county tax collector’s office
- Over the internet through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) website
You can request a one-year or a two-year registration document. Moreover, the registration renewal is available for three months in advance before the registration document expires.
You will be required to complete your boat registration renewal on your birth month every one or two years, based on the length of the validity of the registration document. If you co-own the boat with someone else, the birth month of the first-named owner will determine when renewal will be done.
For any reason, you may lose or damage your boat registration documents. In such a case, how do you go about replacing your boat registration document?
Well, to replace your registration documents and decals, you will be required to fill out Form HSMV 87015 and submit it to the county tax collector or local license plate office. To replace a destroyed or lost title, you will be required to fill out Form HSMV 82101 and submit it to a county tax collector or local license plate office, with a $6 fee.
Boat insurance is fortunately not among the numerous requirements that you will have to meet before you get your boat registered in Florida, as vital as it is.
However, when registering a boat in Florida, take advantage of a comprehensive boating insurance policy. As soon as you register your boat, you can protect it with a policy covering personal injury, property damage, and many more.
By and large, after titling and registering your boat, you do not need to register an electric trolling motor when you decide to add one to your boat.