All motorized vessels must be registered in the Sunshine State, and a Florida boat bill of sale is a necessary document that proves ownership transfers. The document includes vital information about the buyer, seller, and transaction details.
A bill of sale for a boat in Florida also provides details about the vessel that helps the buyer to register it.
Florida Boat Bill of Sale Requirements
Beyond the registration requirements and proof of ownership, a formal template helps private parties avoid unnecessary errors and omissions. These oversights could lead the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to reject the initial registration. The parties are then tasked with redoing the paperwork to complete the process.
These are the essential items outlined on a boat bill of sale in Florida by watercraft dealers and private sellers.
- Parties Involved: The full names and addresses of the buyer and seller are required.
- Boat Description: The boat is described in terms of make, model, year built, color, and registration number.
- Specifications: The vessel type, hull ID number, and hull material are listed on the boat bill of sale Florida residents use.
- Condition: If applicable, a rating from fair to new is recorded with any important notes.
- Motor: Vessels using gas-powered motors indicate whether they are onboard or outboard types.
- Purchase Price: The total purchase price is listed with a note of whether tax is included in the sale of a new vessel.
- Payment Method: Sellers can list the payment method to provide further transfer details.
- Warranty: A box can be checked regarding warranties, if any.
- Date of Sale: The date the transaction is completed is listed on the document.
- The document can also note if the transfer is a gift. In these cases, taxation (if any) and registration fees are typically based on fair market value.
Registering a Boat
Sailboats over eight feet and all motorized boats must be registered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Where to Register
Register your boat at the nearest Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles location.
Documents Needed to Obtain Title and Registration
Using a Florida boat bill of sale ensures accuracy and thoroughness. These documents may be needed to register a boat in Florida.
- Certificate of Title
- Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin
- Federal Marine Document or acceptable alternative
The local county tax collector or license plate agent office typically collects applications for titles, registration fees, and renewals.
The following boats are exempt from the titling requirement:
- Those only on private lakes and ponds
- Owned by an entity of the U.S. government.
- Not powered by a motor AND less than 16 feet in length
- With federal documentation
- Not used on Florida waters for more than 90 consecutive days
- Amphibious vessels and lifeboats
Boats exempt from registration include vessels less than 16 feet, vessels used only on private waters, and canoes, kayaks, racing shells, and skulls.
Does a Boat Bill of Sale Have to be Notarized in Florida?
A boat bill of sale must be notarized in Florida to register a vessel.
Florida Boat Bill of Sale Sample
Below, you can download our free Florida boat bill of sale template in PDF or Word format: