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Old 10 November 2019, 15:46   #1
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Help needed with Florida boat registration

Sooo, in the market for a small boat to keep in Florida for holidays. Looked into this on a number of occasions over the last few years but always been put off by the seemingly complicated process (complicated at least compared to in the UK where there is no registration).

Most of the process seems straight forward enough now with some further research, apart from the following bit regarding titling the boat:

"New vessel – Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) or its equivalent statement of builder, or if the vessel is purchased in a state that does not require an MCO, the proof of ownership is an executed dealer’s bill of sale." or "executed dealer’s bill of sale"

Slightly confused by this bit as Google doesn't offer anything particularly clear
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Old 10 November 2019, 17:48   #2
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Old 10 November 2019, 22:51   #3
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I'm not in Florida....but try thefulltruth.com. Can probably just search there and don't even need to register & ask.
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Old 10 November 2019, 23:30   #4
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I'll try to help here but I'm confused. You live in the UK but are going to buy a boat in FL to use a few times per year? The boat will be kept in FL at a storage facility or something?

An MCO or MSO is what is given to the buyer of a new boat from the boat builder as proof of ownership of the boat. That is taken to the DMV, MVC,etc (motor vehicle department) to be titled in the new owners name. This title is now proof of ownership. The boat can then be registered in the state where the owner is a resident of. Once registered, it can be operated.

Something you might want to think about is that the boat just has to be registered in any state, not necessarily in FL. It can be operated half the year there without needing to be registered there. Also, if it is over 5 gross tons it can just be federally documented by the uscg and doesnt need to be registered in a state. It is a "federal registration" of sorts. Another option, if it is a small boat(maybe 7m or less), look into using it as a tender for your larger boat. Labeled T/T (tender to) usually doesn't need to be registered.
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Old 11 November 2019, 13:25   #5
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I'll try to help here but I'm confused. You live in the UK but are going to buy a boat in FL to use a few times per year? The boat will be kept in FL at a storage facility or something?

An MCO or MSO is what is given to the buyer of a new boat from the boat builder as proof of ownership of the boat. That is taken to the DMV, MVC,etc (motor vehicle department) to be titled in the new owners name. This title is now proof of ownership. The boat can then be registered in the state where the owner is a resident of. Once registered, it can be operated.

Something you might want to think about is that the boat just has to be registered in any state, not necessarily in FL. It can be operated half the year there without needing to be registered there. Also, if it is over 5 gross tons it can just be federally documented by the uscg and doesnt need to be registered in a state. It is a "federal registration" of sorts. Another option, if it is a small boat(maybe 7m or less), look into using it as a tender for your larger boat. Labeled T/T (tender to) usually doesn't need to be registered.
Thanks for this. Family have a holiday home there so storage not a problem (likewise have a local address to registered it to). Girlfriend has an American drivers licence so we have local ID if that's a consideration.

Work & family takes us there regularly so all makes more sense than perhaps initially would seem (for the last six years have spent more time out of the UK than in it).

Only looking at a small RIB.

Possibly a stupid question but will the new boat automatically come with an MCO (even if purchased out of state and then delivered to FL?). If yes then that answers my question and makes life easy enough.

Re registered out of state; can you recommend an easier (no title?) state? And yes, did consider simply putting T/T xxx on it and hoping no-one checks. Or even registering it on the UK Small ships register as some form of registration.
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Old 11 November 2019, 13:32   #6
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Possibly a stupid question but will the new boat automatically come with an MCO (even if purchased out of state and then delivered to FL?). If yes then that answers my question and makes life easy enough.
If it comes from another state, unless it's new, it has most likely been registered and has title to go with it.

That should suffice!

The whole registering it out of state and then only using it for <6 months probably won't work. You'd supposedly have to take it out of state for that time period (but I don't know how they would check) and you need an address somewhere else.
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Old 11 November 2019, 13:33   #7
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If it comes from another state, unless it's new, it has most likely been registered and has title to go with it.

That should suffice!

The whole registering it out of state and then only using it for <6 months probably won't work. You'd supposedly have to take it out of state for that time period (but I don't know how they would check) and you need an address somewhere else.
Thanks. Just to clarify, looking at a brand new boat.
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Old 11 November 2019, 13:36   #8
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Thanks. Just to clarify, looking at a brand new boat.
Again, the dealer or manufacturer (if you buy factory direct) will handle most of this paperwork.

Or, are you thinking of importing?
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Old 12 November 2019, 08:56   #9
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Boat Reg

Florida - Registration
1. All new boats will come with a MSO
2. Buying out of state, the dealer will provide you with a completed MSO and paid invoice.
3. Buying out of state, you won't pay tax.
4. Take the MSO, and Paid invoice to a Tag and Title shop, They will collect tax based on the invoice amount, charge you for the title and reg. They will call you in two days to collect the boat reg and sticker. The title will be sent via mail to the address on the application.
5.You do not have to be a resident of the US to have a boat in your name.
6. You pay a slight premium to use a Tag and Title shop, but it saves hours of waiting at the DMV.
7. FL is not a notary state, (not required to fill this out on the MSO)
8. Out of state dealers won't register a boat in FL for you.
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Old 12 November 2019, 10:05   #10
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Can purchase Mercury Marine Open Ribs in USA whether PVC or Hypalon at :

https://www.mercurymarine.com/en/lam/inflatables/all/

Check Rigid Hull Ocean Runner models 350 and 430

Inquire about documentation, warranty, etc.

Happy Boating
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Old 13 November 2019, 08:40   #11
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Florida - Registration

1. All new boats will come with a MSO

2. Buying out of state, the dealer will provide you with a completed MSO and paid invoice.

3. Buying out of state, you won't pay tax.

4. Take the MSO, and Paid invoice to a Tag and Title shop, They will collect tax based on the invoice amount, charge you for the title and reg. They will call you in two days to collect the boat reg and sticker. The title will be sent via mail to the address on the application.

5.You do not have to be a resident of the US to have a boat in your name.

6. You pay a slight premium to use a Tag and Title shop, but it saves hours of waiting at the DMV.

7. FL is not a notary state, (not required to fill this out on the MSO)

8. Out of state dealers won't register a boat in FL for you.

Thank you very much for this - very helpful. I got a reply from the dealer yesterday also confirming about the MSO.

I see you’re in Fort Lauderdale. We’re just up the Intercoastal at Deerfield beach.
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Old 13 November 2019, 13:45   #12
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Quote:
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Thank you very much for this - very helpful. I got a reply from the dealer yesterday also confirming about the MSO.

I see you’re in Fort Lauderdale. We’re just up the Intercoastal at Deerfield beach.
Welcome to sunny Florida. Swing by our shop, we have a 72,000 sq ft facility with 100-200 RIBS in stock
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Old 14 November 2019, 06:09   #13
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Welcome to sunny Florida. Swing by our shop, we have a 72,000 sq ft facility with 100-200 RIBS in stock


If you put it on the SSR, would that save you the hassle of complying with some of the onerous USCG rules & regs?
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Old 14 November 2019, 08:14   #14
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If you put it on the SSR, would that save you the hassle of complying with some of the onerous USCG rules & regs?


Safety equipment, training etc is all governed by the flagstate. So yes in theory you’d get away with that. You’d have to comply with any coastal state regulations which might make the above tricky because the US is funny about foreign flagged vessels sticking around for a while - would probably require a cruising permit to be totally legit. However could “probably” get away with having it down as a tender. I suspect the grief associated with getting pulled over all the time and having to explain yourself probably wouldn’t make it worth while!
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