Blog & Media Releases

Registering your boat is a smooth-sailing process at the Lee County Tax Collector

by Angie Filian | May 23, 2018

Whether you are a first-time captain or a seasoned sailor, there are some things you need to do before taking to the open water. If you were born on or after January 1, 1988 and are operating a vessel powered by 1- or more horsepower, you must pass an approved boater safety course. Once completed, you will need to get your vessel titled and registered. Which is where we come in! At the Lee County Tax Collector, we make getting your vessel titled and registered a smooth-sailing process. Here are some things you need to know before heading out on the water:


Things you will need for title: When titling your vessel for the first time you will need a few key documents. For a complete list of acceptable documentation, please review these pages:


Exemptions from registration and titling: Florida boat registration is not a requirement for all vessels. Vessel registration is dependent on the type of vessel, its use and owner. Canoe registration, for instance, is not necessary in Florida. The other types of vessels exempt from registration in Florida include:


  • Vessels with boat registration numbers from other states, so long as these boats are not operated/stored in Florida waters for a period longer than 90 days.
  • Vessels used solely as lifeboats for a ship.
  • Boats owned by the United States government.
  • Vessels used only on private ponds and lakes.
  • Vessels that are not motor-powered and are less than 16 feet long.
  • All kayaks, canoes, rowing sculls and racing shells that are not motor-powered.


Registration fees: When registering your boat in Florida, it is required for boaters to submit payment for the applicable fees. Vessel registration fees vary based on the size of the vessel. However, reduced vessel registration fees are available for certain vessels in certain instances. Namely, lower fees are available for vessels with Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and for vessel owners who have Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs).

Click here for a complete list of vessel registration fees.


Renewing your registration: Vessel registration renewal is available up to three months in advance of the document expiration date, and the boaters can request either a one-year or two-year registration document. The owner of the vessel must complete their boat registration renewal on their birth month every year or every two years. Luckily, the Lee County Tax Collector has made renewing your vessel registration easy! Simply visit this page on our website, provide the necessary information and you’re on your way to renewing your vessel registration!