Can I use my boat from Canada in US Waters?

Question: In Ontario Canada, my 10' 2" inflatable Zodiac dinghy, powered by a 9.8 HP Nissan outboard, does not require registration numbers. Do I have to attach registration numbers to use it in Florida coastal waters? If so, how can I get the dinghy registered? I will be vacationing in Florida this summer. Do I need to register my vessel there?

Answer: "Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use his vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector. However, he may retain the out-of-state registration number if he plans to return to his home state within a reasonable period of time."

This was taken from the Florida website and Although it says recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of ninety days, I would interpret that to mean that you are good to go, but I would have in my possession a copy of the ordinance or law section from an official publication supporting your assertion that Ontario does not require a registration for your specific class and power. Don’t depend on the law enforcement personnel to know what the rules are in another country. Taken from the Canadian regulations quoted below. A vessel owner of a craft of your size and description may voluntarily register their vessel, thus giving you the wise choice: Register in Canada and you are all set in Florida for vacation up to 90 days. That would be the best recommendation I can give you.

"Should the owners of such a vessel wish to register their vessel, they are free to do so voluntarily. A new simplified registration process has been created for human-powered vessels, or sailing vessels and small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 hp (7.5 kW) for those who wish to register voluntarily. The registration process will continue to be delivered by the Vessel Registration office in the National Capital Region."

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