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Old 10-17-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Moving back aboard - Florida

We're very near retirement and are considering moving back aboard (lived aboard in Annapolis for several years in the '80s). Does anyone know if a slip rental agreement is considered legal residence in Florida?

Thanks
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #2
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We're very near retirement and are considering moving back aboard (lived aboard in Annapolis for several years in the '80s). Does anyone know if a slip rental agreement is considered legal residence in Florida?

Thanks

A rental contract, for an apartment, house, or marina slip would be proof that you have a domicile in that state. Proof that it's your "residence", and primary residence for tax or legal purposes is another issue. You may have hoops to jump through to prove that it's not a "temporary" or vacation home.

Proof of tax residence is dependent on several factors. In general all of those factors should point to "it looks like you live there". Where are you registered to vote? Where do you bank? Where are your vehicles (cars, boats) registered. What address is used on legal and medical documents? Where are the kids (if any) schooled? Where do you attend church, what civic groups are you affiliated with? Where do you receive most of your mail? There are probably other factors they look at that may or may not apply here.

People who move generally move their whole life to that spot, and it'll look like it.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response and your clarifying points. It would, indeed, be the principle (only) residence for the foreseeable future.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response and your clarifying points. It would, indeed, be the principle (only) residence for the foreseeable future.
You may still have difficulty since most land/dirt entities/people do not recognize dock and slip numbers. Simple things like library card, driver license, state voting registration require dirt/land address. We only have a Post Office box and if they ask for and address we use the marina address with the dock/slip as an apt #, which seem to satisfy them. We have moved/moored several time, so the PO box is the lone thing consistent. However, one marina had mails boxes which was nice. but after 15 years is hard to remember what address we used. How about? Well try? Maybe? How about?

Important to smile and be very polite as most will help you, and if you tell them you live on a boat, they will think you are crazy and really need help.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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Or a place like Mail Boxes Etc. You get a street address for package deliveries, and they can forward the mail to one of their local affiliates (fees apply I'm quite sure) if you're away to other ports of call on an extended basis.

If not, the street address still comes in handy.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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It's been awhile but I recall when we moved to Annapolis the local post office, Eastport, wouldn't accept the boat slip (with lease contract) as a land address and they refused to give us a USPS box.

Used the marina address until we moved out of the high rent district. After moving, the local post office let us have a USPS box with no problem(consistency?).

Working on a list and your comments are helpful.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
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We are live aboards in Florida. We have to use the marina address for drivers license and voters registration (by the way we just renewed our drivers license and they could care less that we lived in a marina.). Our marina doesn't want us to use the marina for mail so we have a mailbox at the nearby UPS store for mail and packages. We haven't had any problems with the marina as our physical address and a P.o. Box for mail. Also we recently renewed our passports, again no problem.

When we start cruising full time (next year) we will probably use a service like St Brendan's Isle the next time we have to renew licenses, etc.

As for residency in Florida, in addition to getting a driver license and registering to vote, you can also file a Notice of Domicile in the county courthouse (used to be $10 or $15).

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Old 10-18-2012, 06:35 AM   #8
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Move your car and car insurance , your drivers license and register to vote.

Most marinas have a physical address so your name , 1234 Warerside Street Cape Coral, will still get your mail to you at the marina.

We use a Verizon phone $19,95 a month that is a home base station , so with any phone handset and 120V , you will have a "local " Fl number.Even when cruising to Maine.

If you plan on FL living aboard during the summer the quantity of electric dock side for the air cond , and a sun cover will be a concern.Also your hurricane plans are a concern.

Welcome to a State where your vote counts!
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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If you have owned your boat for less than six months Florida wants to collect a 6% use tax when importing a boat here. If you have owned it longer, no problem, but you will have to register the boat here, but there are no personal property taxes on boats in Florida.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #10
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We got a private mail box at Post Net so we have a physical address that doesn't change when we change marinas or states for that matter. We changed our drivers licesne and voting to this address. We will keep it as long as we are cruising. License branch will not accept a PO Box, but will and did accept the Post Net box. Maybe because they didn't know what it was. But none the less it works. They forward our mail whenever we tell them to.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:17 PM   #11
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Allow me to sort out a few things for you:

1. If you paid sales tax on your boat in another state when you bought it, FL will look at the amount. If the sales tax paid is less than FL's...they may then want to collect the difference. If the sales tax you paid was more than FL's...they cannot collect higher.

2. You CAN use a PO Box on a drivers license. I have done so for years. You must do two things: a. Find a STATE HSMV office (not all drivers license offices in FL are run by state. Look like it, but are actually contracted offices run by county employees who are not always up to snuff on the laws) For instance, the license office in Port Charlotte (Charlotte County) does not do Hazmat testing etc, therefore they are a county office....only the state operated offices do Hazmat. Here is a list of drivers license offices statewide by county Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Just make sure its a state office and you will have no problems with a PO Box.... But you will have to provide proof of a "physical address" where you can be found. Here are the fees.... DHSMV: Motorist Services Fees Here is a link to the basic info you will have to have:
Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

When you do go for a license in FL....make sure you have all of the forms, to include your slip lease, and all the rest of the documents required...or it will be a no go. Do make an appointment...saves time. If the clerk disputes the slip as an address...ask for a supervisor. Not all of the clerks are up on every aspect of the laws.

Additionally, if you own a boat in the state of FL....and it is over 30 years old, and it has its original powerplant....you can register it as an "antique",
http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BTR/87243.pdf The difference is large between regular and antique registrations. And "yes" even if the boat is USCG documented....you still have to register it if it will remain in FL for more than 90 days.

We are full time liveaboards....in FL, I am a lifelong resident of FL...
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:56 PM   #12
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Hi Jat,

Since you live aboard in Florida any suggestions for live aboard Marinas. I'm having a hard time finding marina on the west coast of Florida north of Tampa.
Thanks Mike
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #13
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Hi Jat,

Since you live aboard in Florida any suggestions for live aboard Marinas. I'm having a hard time finding marina on the west coast of Florida north of Tampa.
Thanks Mike
Did you try Pete's Pier in Crystal River or River Haven Marina in Steinhatchee?
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:22 PM   #14
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Did you try Pete's Pier in Crystal River or River Haven Marina in Steinhatchee?
On the list at Pete's and will check out River Haven, thanks. Mike
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:08 PM   #15
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Cedar Key
Tarpon Springs
Steinhatchee
Yankeetown

The Above are all ones I have stayed at over the years. But I have to clarify my stays have either been in my 64 sport fishing or my Irwin sailboat not in a trawler ( I am a newbie here and still searching for my Trawler (with lots of help from this forum

One thing about Tarpon Springs was plenty of places to walk to
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:52 AM   #16
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Lood at the municipal marina in Duneden. Nice people, beautiful place, and a walking/bike path that runs for 20 miles. It was our favorite stop on the west coast.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:12 AM   #17
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Ready2Go

Yes that is a great place it also has a hotel within walking distance and very close to the island state park Caladessi

Ballyhoo

Growing up in the Tampa Bay area I did not in include Dunedin earlier because I was thinking of the "Tampa Bay Area" and not Tampa and I have to agree with Ready2go it is a great location
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:50 PM   #18
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Dunedin sounds great will check it out, thanks Mike
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:53 PM   #19
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Hi, Jat,

After cruising for most of a year, we are now looking for a marina in the Light House Point area. My wife plans to work in Light House Point and we will have a car. Apparently, few, if any, marinas will allow us to live aboard until we head out again in May. Do you have any suggestions? Gypsea is a Halvorsen 51, (57' LOA).
Dan
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Old 11-19-2015, 04:17 PM   #20
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Each marina has its policies, but most down there will allow you to liveaboard as long as the marina is not your legal address. We got around that by having our legal address being a mail forwarding company. St. Brendan's Isle in Greensprings Cove, would be ideal if you are Floridians. As we were Texas citizens beforehand, we used Escapees in Livingston TX... voted absentee, kept the cars registered there, etc etc.
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