Sarasota County Tax Collector - Barbara Ford-Coates - Exceptional Staff Exceptional Service

Documented Vessels

Vessel documentation is a national form of registration for vessels with a net weight of five tons or more. Vessels are documented by the Federal Government (U.S. Coast Guard) and not by individual states. These vessels are not titled in Florida.

A documented vessel must be registered in Florida, if used on Florida waters for longer than 90 days. The registration number will be the official federal documentation number and a decal will also be issued. The decal must be affixed to a window or the windshield on the port side of the vessel. The registration will be issued in the name shown on the federal documentation papers. Commercial vessels registered to a non-resident of Florida pay an additional fee of $50.00.

For federal documentation papers completed in the applicant's name, bring the following to register the vessel in Florida:

  • Application to Register Non-Titled Vessel
  • Copy of documentation papers
  • Copy of executed bill of sale to document amount of sales tax due
  • Proof of payment of sales tax or proof of tax exemption
  • Registration fees
  • $50 non-resident commercial vessel fee, if applicable

For federal documentation papers pending, vessel previously registered in Florida, and documentation number already assigned, bring the following to re-register the vessel in Florida:

  • Application to Register Non-Titled Vessel
  • Proof the documentation request is on file with the US Coast Guard (examples: post card that indicates the US Coast Guard received the paperwork or other documentary proof from the US Coast Guard that it is on file.)
  • Copy of executed bill of sale to document amount of sale tax due
  • Proof of payment of sale tax or proof of tax exempt
  • Registration fees
  • $50 non-resident commercial vessel fee, if applicable

For federal documentation papers pending, vessel not registered in Florida, and documentation number not assigned, bring the following to register the vessel in Florida:

  • Application to Register Non-Titled Vessel
  • Proof the documentation request is on file with the US Coast Guard (examples: postcard that indicates the US Coast Guard received the paperwork or other documentary proof from the US Coast Guard that it is on file.)
  • Copy of executed bill of sale to document amount of sale tax due
  • Proof of payment of sale tax or proof of tax exempt
  • Registration fees
  • $50 non-resident commercial vessel fee, if applicable

The Certificate of Documentation and Florida registration must be on board the vessel at all times. Registration fees are based on the length of the vessel. For additional information on documented vessels, contact:

United States Coast Guard
USCG/National Vessel Documentation Center
792 T J Jackson Drive
Falling Waters, WV 25419
800.799.8362