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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXIV
Chapter 328
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F.S. 328.03
328.03 Certificate of title required.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3), each vessel that is operated, used, or stored on the waters of this state must be titled by this state pursuant to this part, and the owner of a vessel for which this state is the state of principal use shall deliver to the department an application for a certificate of title for the vessel, with the applicable fee, not later than 30 days after the later of:
(a) The date of a transfer of ownership; or
(b) The date this state becomes the state of principal use.
(2) An application for a certificate of title is not required for:
(a) A documented vessel;
(b) A foreign-documented vessel;
(c) A barge;
(d) A vessel before delivery if the vessel is under construction or completed pursuant to contract;
(e) A vessel held by a dealer for sale or lease;
(f) A vessel used solely for demonstration, testing, or sales promotional purposes by the manufacturer or dealer;
(g) A vessel operated, used, or stored exclusively on private lakes and ponds;
(h) A vessel owned by the United States Government;
(i) A vessel already covered by a registration number in full force and effect which was awarded to it pursuant to a federally approved numbering system of another state or by the United States Coast Guard in a state without a federally approved numbering system, if the vessel is not located in this state for a period in excess of 90 consecutive days; or
(j) A vessel from a country other than the United States temporarily used, operated, or stored on the waters of this state for a period that is not in excess of 90 days.
(3) The department may not issue, transfer, or renew a number issued to a vessel pursuant to the requirements of 46 U.S.C. s. 12301 unless the department has created a certificate of title for the vessel or an application for a certificate for the vessel and the applicable fee have been delivered to the department.
(4) An additional $10 fee shall be charged against the purchaser or transferee if he or she files a title transfer application after the 30-day period. The county tax collector may retain $5 of the additional amount. Any person who does not properly transfer title of a vessel pursuant to this chapter is subject to the penalties provided in s. 327.73(1)(ee).
(5) A certificate of title is prima facie evidence of the accuracy of the information in the record that constitutes the certificate and of the ownership of the vessel. A certificate of title is good for the life of the vessel so long as the certificate is owned or held by the legal holder. If a titled vessel is destroyed or abandoned, the owner, with the consent of any recorded lienholders, shall, within 30 days after the destruction or abandonment, surrender to the department for cancellation any and all title documents. If a titled vessel is insured and the insurer has paid the owner for the total loss of the vessel, the insurer shall obtain the title to the vessel and, within 30 days after receiving the title, forward the title to the department for cancellation. The insurer may retain the certificate of title when payment for the loss was made because of the theft of the vessel.
(6) The department shall provide labeled places on the title where the seller’s price shall be indicated when a vessel is sold and where a selling dealer shall record his or her valid sales tax certificate of registration number.
(7)(a) The department shall charge a fee of $5.25 for issuing each certificate of title. The tax collector shall be entitled to retain $3.75 of the fee.
(b) The department shall use security procedures, processes, and materials in the preparation and issuance of each certificate of title to prohibit, to the extent possible, a person’s ability to alter, counterfeit, duplicate, or modify the certificate.
(8) The department shall charge a fee of $4 in addition to that charged in subsection (7) for each initial certificate of title issued for a vessel previously registered outside this state.
(9) The department shall make regulations necessary and convenient to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
History.s. 4, ch. 67-586; ss. 24, 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 12, ch. 74-327; ss. 7, 8, ch. 79-359; s. 52, ch. 80-274; s. 13, ch. 81-100; s. 21, ch. 83-218; s. 11, ch. 84-184; s. 3, ch. 85-108; s. 7, ch. 85-324; s. 1, ch. 87-291; s. 467, ch. 95-148; s. 58, ch. 95-333; s. 62, ch. 96-413; s. 20, ch. 2009-86; s. 6, ch. 2019-76; ss. 8, 9, ch. 2022-197.
Note.Former s. 371.76.