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How to Register a Homemade Boat in Florida

Owning a homemade boat in Florida can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. However, before you can take your vessel out on the water, it is important to register it with the appropriate authorities. This article will guide you through the process of registering a homemade boat in Florida, providing you with all the necessary steps and information you need.

Step 1: Gather the Required Documents

Before you begin the registration process, make sure you have all the necessary documents on hand. These include:

1. Proof of Ownership: You will need to provide proof that you own the boat. This can be in the form of a bill of sale, a manufacturer’s statement of origin, or a previous boat registration certificate if applicable.

2. Builder’s Affidavit: Since the boat is homemade, you will need a notarized builder’s affidavit. This affidavit should include the boat’s description, including its dimensions, hull material, and propulsion method. It should also state that the boat was built by you and not purchased as a complete vessel.

3. Proof of Identification: You will need to provide proof of your identification, such as a valid driver’s license or passport.

Step 2: Complete the Application

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, you can proceed with the boat registration application. This can be done online through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website or by visiting a local tax collector’s office. Be prepared to provide detailed information about the boat, including its dimensions, weight, and propulsion type.

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Step 3: Pay the Registration Fees

To complete the registration process, you will need to pay the appropriate registration fees. These fees vary depending on the length of your boat. The FWC website provides a fee schedule that you can refer to for the exact amount you will need to pay.

Step 4: Inspect the Boat

After submitting your application and paying the fees, you will need to schedule an inspection of your homemade boat. An FWC representative will inspect the vessel to ensure it meets the necessary safety requirements. During the inspection, they will check for proper flotation devices, navigation lights, and other safety equipment.

Step 5: Receive the Registration Certificate

Once your boat passes inspection, you will be issued a registration certificate. This certificate should be carried on board the vessel at all times as proof of registration.


Q: Can I register a homemade boat if I did not build it myself?
A: No, to register a homemade boat in Florida, you must be the one who built it.

Q: Are there any size restrictions for homemade boats?
A: No, there are no size restrictions for homemade boats in Florida. However, you must ensure that your vessel complies with all federal and state regulations.

Q: How long is the registration valid for?
A: Boat registrations in Florida are valid for one year from the date of issuance.

Q: Can I operate my homemade boat while waiting for the registration process to be completed?
A: No, you must wait until your boat is registered and you have received the registration certificate before operating it on Florida waters.

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Q: What if I plan to sell my homemade boat?
A: If you decide to sell your homemade boat, you must transfer the registration to the new owner. This can be done by completing the appropriate forms and paying the required fees.

In conclusion, registering a homemade boat in Florida requires gathering the necessary documents, completing an application, paying the registration fees, and passing a boat inspection. By following these steps, you can ensure that your homemade boat is legally registered and ready for your next maritime adventure.