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Old 06-05-2019, 09:31 PM   #1
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New Trawler Purchase Question....

Hello,

We are in the process of buying a Trawler in Florida, we live in Georgia. We are buying from a private individual, paying cash..the vessel is documented..when I purchase this vessel, move it to Georgia, will I have to pay a sales tax on the amount I paid to the registration office in the county I reside in?..

I read that if the vessel is documented, i do not have to do any kind of sales tax or DNR registration, just pay a personal property tax......very confusing info online...

Thanks in advance..
Jeff
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:34 PM   #2
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Most states do collect sales tax on documented boats now. I am not familiar with Georgia laws but Michigan does collect sales tax and register documneted boats but you only display the registration sticker and not the MC numbers. Most states want the tax money. Years ago a lot of states did not collect the sales tax or register documented boats.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:39 AM   #3
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I believe you will have to register your boat with the GA DNR. There will be a fee that’s is dependent on the length of the boat as well as possible permits for any marine toilets on board.

What is unclear to me is sales tax. Georgia has a Title Ad Valorum Tax required to title a boat in Georgia. However, with a documented boat, there is no state title. I suggest give a call to the GA Dept of Revenue and ask them.

You will also need to contact your county in GA so they can put your boat on the property tax rolls.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:32 PM   #4
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I agree it is very confusing! In May of 2018 we bought a documented vessel in Wisconsin; the owner was out of Texas. The Wisconsin dealer handled all the paperwork for us. Being newbies we really didn’t know what we needed. It took months to get the paperwork for the documentation, which finally arrived at our home in January or February. Yesterday we failed the free complimentary Power Squadron inspection, even though I had called the local Coast Guard station prior to the inspection and specially asked if documented boats needed any additional paperwork or registration in Wisconsin and was reassured that we didn’t! Today we stopped by the dealer to see what we needed to do. Apparently we had already paid for the DNR registration but we didn’t realize the dealer needed a copy of the final documentation to complete the next step in the process which is registering the boat with the DNR. The web has much confusing information probably because each state has their own rules. It is frustrating though when we get conflicting information from our local Coast Guard! In our case we are such newbies that we are probably not wording the questions precisely enough to get the answers we need.

As for state tax, the dealer collected both state and local taxes for us at the time of the sale.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jefndeb View Post
Hello,

We are in the process of buying a Trawler in Florida, we live in Georgia. We are buying from a private individual, paying cash..the vessel is documented..when I purchase this vessel, move it to Georgia, will I have to pay a sales tax on the amount I paid to the registration office in the county I reside in?..

I read that if the vessel is documented, i do not have to do any kind of sales tax or DNR registration, just pay a personal property tax......very confusing info online...

Thanks in advance..
Jeff
Jeff
What anyone else's experience is in another state has no bearing on your situation. Contact some knowledgable resources in GA. I'd suggest a dealer and/or broker in addition to your DMV or DNR that handles boat registrations / taxes.
If a boat is documented that is your title. Many states require you to "register" a documented boat and they may issue a registration sticker /decal to display. Most make it a reqmt as a way to collect taxes. States will not issue a title or registration numbers as your doc # is your official number. Doc # are not displayed but need to be permanently affixed to the inside of the hull / structure. If the boat has been documented that should already be taken care of.
If you apply for a change in documentation owner, address or boat name keep a copy of the application to provide to the GA authorities as proof of Doc. A change will likely take months.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:20 PM   #6
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I agree it is very confusing! In May of 2018 we bought a documented vessel in Wisconsin; the owner was out of Texas. The Wisconsin dealer handled all the paperwork for us. Being newbies we really didn’t know what we needed. It took months to get the paperwork for the documentation, which finally arrived at our home in January or February. Yesterday we failed the free complimentary Power Squadron inspection, even though I had called the local Coast Guard station prior to the inspection and specially asked if documented boats needed any additional paperwork or registration in Wisconsin and was reassured that we didn’t! Today we stopped by the dealer to see what we needed to do. Apparently we had already paid for the DNR registration but we didn’t realize the dealer needed a copy of the final documentation to complete the next step in the process which is registering the boat with the DNR. The web has much confusing information probably because each state has their own rules. It is frustrating though when we get conflicting information from our local Coast Guard! In our case we are such newbies that we are probably not wording the questions precisely enough to get the answers we need.

As for state tax, the dealer collected both state and local taxes for us at the time of the sale.

Sorry about the hassle. The USCG isn't responsible for the state registration, and given that each state has its own rules, it would be hard for them to keep track.



I can easily see a situation where the USCG understood the question to be "is there anything else I need for my documentation for a boat in WI?" The answer to that is clearly "no". They only deal with USCG Documentation so consider any questions are related to that. Of course, what you were really wanting to know if WI had any requirements. They don't know that information.


The way my simple brain thinks about it, is that USCG documentation simply acts as your title. Along with that comes the requirement for how your name and homeport are displayed as well as prohibiting you from displaying state registration numbers.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:28 PM   #7
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Some states, Michigan does, will issue registration numbers for documented boats. You just don’t, cannot, put them on the boat. You just put the registration sticker on the boat to show that you are current with the registration. They say they cannot register a boat without generating numbers. My registration shows the numbers but since it is documented you cannot also show state numbers.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:30 PM   #8
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No hassle at all - just pure ignorance on our part! It is a great learning curve which includes all new nomenclature/terminology. After years of being comfortable in our profession (engineering) we are beginning this incredible venture into boating. I certainly am not blaming our wonderful Coast Guard! We just have lots and lots to learn!
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:34 PM   #9
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Some states, Michigan does, will issue registration numbers for documented boats. You just don’t, cannot, put them on the boat. You just put the registration sticker on the boat to show that you are current with the registration. They say they cannot register a boat without generating numbers. My registration shows the numbers but since it is documented you cannot also show state numbers.
We learned today that Wisconsin requires the registration sticker to be put on the transom by the boat name; no numbers, just the registration sticker. I believe our registration number will be the same as the number on the certificate of documentation; but we will know more when the sticker arrives.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:59 PM   #10
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Yes, I learned from a local broker that Georgia does not require a title for boats.

The boat we are considering purchasing is documented so if we buy it and bring to local Georgia waters...how will my county ever even know I bought it?
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:15 PM   #11
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State taxes

Check with a tax guy or broker in Florida about Florida sales tax. We got tagged with Florida sales tax immediately on purchasing our boat, because the 90 days to leave Florida waters without paying state tax only applies to a boat bought through a dealer or broker.
Georgia does have an online boat registration, where they will accept uploaded photo images of the proof of ownership.
I used the signed Florida title and bill of sale to do a Georgia registration for an inflatable we just bought. Florida would not title it because there was an intervening buyer who did not register the dink.
He just bought it and it turned out to be too big for his purpose / davit system, so he sold it.
I called Georgia watercraft, told them that I was in Georgia on my way north, that my home state was Indiana, that I would not be back to Florids until November, and that I needed to totle the dink I had just bought. They said "no problem, just do it online". I had no problems. 20 mins and done.
Good luck and congrats on the new trawler.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:33 PM   #12
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Yes, I learned from a local broker that Georgia does not require a title for boats.

The boat we are considering purchasing is documented so if we buy it and bring to local Georgia waters...how will my county ever even know I bought it?

Well, you will have to register your boat with the GA DNR. I'm not sure if the DNR shares that information with the county or not.


From the GA DNR website;


Quote:
Registration is required for:
  • all mechanically-propelled vessels used on "Waters of this state."
  • sailboats over twelve feet in length used on "Waters of this state."
"Waters of this state" means any waters within the territorial limits of this state and the marginal sea adjacent to this state and the high seas when navigated as a part of a journey or ride to or from the shore of this state. This definition shall not include privately-owned ponds or lakes not open to the public. O.C.G.A. §52-7-3(26)
“Vessel” means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water or a sailboard, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water and specifically includes, but is not limited to, inflatable rafts and homemade vessels; provided, however, Code Section 52-7-18, relating to rules of the road for boat traffic, shall be applicable to sailboards. O.C.G.A. §52-7-3(25)
Vessel registrations extend for a period of three calendar years and expire the last day of the vessel owner's month of birth in the last year of registration.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:48 PM   #13
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Based on agreed price, what is the sales tax differential? Add other costs and that should help you. Be sure buy USCG abstract of title before you buy! $25 order online from documentation center. Do not avoid this.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:28 PM   #14
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Hey thanks...the document agency handling the purchasing of this vessel said it was going to cost me $495 to have the documented vessel paperwork transferred in my name...seems kind pricey to me...
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