Federally Documented Vessels

Vessels are documented by the Federal Government (United States Coast Guard) and not by individual states. All vessels, five net tons or more, meeting the criteria of a commercial vessel as defined by the United States Coast Guard must be federally documented. See below for address and telephone number of the United States Coast Guard.

United States Coast Guard
National Vessel Documentation Center
792 T J Jackson Drive
Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419
Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: (800)-799-8362

The information in the following section applies to vessels that have not been titled.

The following documentation must be provided:

  1. A completed Application to Register a Non-Titled Vessel HSMV 87244. Please note that many times, the following sections of this form are left blank, resulting in an application that can not be processed. Please make sure you have the following complete: 
  2. Copy of the Current Certificate of Documentation issued by the US Coast Guard. If there is a discrepancy with the hull identification number (HIN), a certified pencil tracing will be required. 
  3. Copy of executed bill of sale. Bill of Sale Form 
  4. Proof of sales tax paid or proof of sales tax exemption.
  5. A copy of one of the following proof of identification: 
  • A Florida driver license or identification card w/ photo 
  • An out-of-state driver license or identification card w/ photo. 
  • A US passport. 
  • A Canadian driver license, identification card or passport. 
  • A driver license of identification card from any U.S. Territory. 
  • An out-of-country passport. 

Please note that while a copy of a Florida driver license or identification card IS NOT required to be submitted, it makes the process simpler. Find out more information about obtaining a Florida driver license.

Sales Tax - Evidence that the sales tax on the vehicle/vessel has been paid is necessary. 

  • As required by Chapter 212 of the Florida Statutes, sales tax in Walton County is 7% on the first $5000; then 6% on the balance of the purchase price, less trade in, if any. 
  • Some transactions such as gifts, trade down or even trade, order of court in divorce proceedings, inheritance, transfer to/from spouse, change of name only, etc., may be exempt from sales tax. 
  • If the motor vehicle, vessel or mobile home was purchased and used less than 6 months in another state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia, the full amount of the 6% sales or use tax, plus any local discretionary sales surtax is required to be paid before title and number can be issued by the department. However, a credit may be allowed for a like tax paid in another state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia, against the amount of Florida sales or use tax and local discretionary sales surtax. 
  • The registrant's County of residence determines whether an additional local discretionary sales surtax is collected. For additional information view the Department of Revenue's Discretionary Sales Surtax Information.

If you bought the vessel in the last six months, any tax paid to another jurisdiction may be credited toward the sale tax due in Florida. Please provide a bill of sale showing sales tax paid.

Registration Fees - Recreational or Commercial
Registration fees are determined by several factors (hull length, length of registration period, etc.).

Vessel LengthAnnual Fee
1'-11" $10.75
12'-15' $21.50
16'-25' $34.00
26'-40' $83.50
41'-64' $133.00
65'-109' $158.00
110' and above $195.00
Dealer Classification $32.75


Note: Branch fees may apply. 

Commercial Fees:
An additional $50 commercial vessel license fee is required for all non-residents or aliens unless specifically exempted by statute.

You may complete your title transaction at any Tax Collector's office. The new Certificate of Title will be created in Tallahassee and returned to you in 2 to 6 weeks.

If you have not received your new Certificate of Title in 6 weeks, please visit one of our offices or download the Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment Title HSMV 82101 form.