All motorized vessels, commercial and private must be titled and registered before they can be used in Florida waters. The following vessels are exempt from titling:
- Non-motor-powered vessels less than 16 feet in length
- Vessels owned by the United States Government
- Federally documented vessels
- Vessels used exclusively on private lakes and ponds
- Vessels used solely for demonstration, testing or sales promotional purposes by a dealer or manufacturer
- Vessels owned and operated by the state or its political subdivisions
- Vessels from a country other than the U.S., temporarily using the waters of this state for not more than 90 days
- Vessels already covered by registration numbers awarded according to a federally approved numbering system of another state or by the US Coast Guard in a state without a federally approved numbering system, provided that the vessels are not operated in Florida waters more than 90 consecutive days.
- Unless a vessel is exempt from titling, it must be titled at the same time it is registered.
The registration certificate must be on board the vessel when in operation. The purchaser of a new or used vessel has 30 days to apply for registration and title. During this 30-day grace period, the owner also needs to have aboard his vessel the proof of date of purchase. A properly executed Bill of Sale is acceptable.