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Old 08-07-2019, 07:48 AM   #1
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Maintain FL registration while out of the US?

Our boat is registered in FL, and we are legal FL residents. 17 months ago, we left FL for the Bahamas, and the boat has not been back to the US since then. (Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, Virgins, now St. Martin / Sint Maarten.) We don't exepct the boat to return to FL for a number of years, while we complete our tour of the Eastern, then Western, Caribbean.

We fly back to the US a couple times a year to visit.

Is there any reason for us to maintain our FL registration while we're gone?
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:52 AM   #2
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Are you documented?


If not, I would think your registration would be the only way to prove your boat is not "stateless".
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:10 AM   #3
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Are you still Florida residents?
I would imagine you could not renew your state registration if it were sitting in a boatyard or on your property and you weren't using it, probably same for a car. But it might be a better idea to email the state and ask these questions.

Ted
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:31 AM   #4
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Ted - I don't think the sate has any authority or care when not in it's jurisdiction...
It would be the country you are in that would care whether or not you are declaring and current someplace other than where the boat is....that is if THEY care.


The boat could be in Georgia and Fl wouldn't care or have any jurisdiction.... but after 60 days or if the FL registration expires...then Georgia cares.


I believe a non registered or documented vessel would essentially be "stateless".
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:49 AM   #5
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What psneeld said. It doesn't have to be registered in Florida, but you have to have some sort of valid, current documentation of the boat's status when you clear in and out of various countries. A registration document that is two years expired is not going to get you very far trying to check into Martinique, for example.


So either you need to continue mailing your fees to Florida, to keep the registration current, or you need to document your boat with the USCG, and keep that current. One or the other.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:57 AM   #6
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My interest was more a matter of what happens when you decide to reactivate the registration. Do you owe for previous years plus interest and penalties.

Ted
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:04 AM   #7
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No ...out of state...FL or any other state has no jurisdiction over your vessel.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:11 AM   #8
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The other important question:
If you are maintaining insurance on the vessel, is current state registration or federal documentation required by the insurance company?

Ted
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
The other important question:
If you are maintaining insurance on the vessel, is current state registration or federal documentation required by the insurance company?

Ted
I left out a very important fact - the boat is USCG Documented. Whenever we check into a new country, that's all they seem to care about - so far, at least. (Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, St. Martin and Sint Maarten.)

I hadn't thought about insurance. I will contact my broker.

Thanks for the input, everyone.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:23 AM   #10
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No ...out of state...FL or any other state has no jurisdiction over your vessel.

Depends--California has been known to try to claim taxes on out-of-country-never-to-return boats. A dear friend had to ride up bus 24 hours each way (have done that that & it is no picnic in a converted school bus with no A/C 25 years ago) from Baja to Orange County so she could argue her case to the local tax authorities. She is a lovely English lady everyone loves on sight, so she was successful, but having lived there most of my life, I'm not sure everyone would prevail under similar circumstances. The authorities didn't want anything but $$$. I bought a dinghy out of state & they still nailed me for sales tax back then.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:50 AM   #11
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I would say that is more jurisdiction over a person than the boat.


Without more info it's hard to comment on your examples.
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