Originally Posted by GreenSailor
Thanks for the information on documentation. I hadn't planed on registering the boat in Florida, only paying the sales tax. I would prefer to pay the sales tax when the boat arrives in Florida which may take 6 months. What do I carry on the boat in the mean time? A copy of my documentation application and a bill of sale. One other question, if I were to purchase a dingy along the way does it have to be registered in Florida?
Any motorized vessel has to be registered in Florida. Here is a pamphlet on Florida registration.
On the way to Florida carry the application and bill of sale but also a log of where you've been and where you're headed. You may need to explain why you're not registered in some states along the way. Familiarize yourself with the laws of each state so you don't exceed the time for not registering. Every state is different, but I'm not aware of any with shorter times than 60 days. However, read the caveat below.
The reason we registered in Florida prior to getting the boat there was a technicality in one of the states we were passing through. But for sales tax purposes waiting until you're there is to your benefit. I believe technically Georgia has the same technicality we faced but have never known anyone to get caught up in it. Here's the rule in question:
"Boats bearing valid registration from another state need not be registered in Georgia unless they are used in Georgia for more than 60 consecutive days." Note the technicality. You're not given the 60 days unless you're registered in another state. Technically you use it in the state and it's not registered elsewhere, you're suppose to register it. What technically accompanies is you're also suppose to pay use tax. Again, I've never known someone to run up against this rule, but this is what it is. Technically the 60 day exemptions are only given to boats registered in other states.
In our case we didn't want to fall victim to having to register in California and there's is worded the same as GA.
The following vessels do not have to be registered in California:
Vessels currently and lawfully numbered (registered) by another state that are principally used outside California.
And we were checked for registration in California more than once. First while docked in Marina Del Rey and then in San Diego.