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Martin County Residents Guide

Martin County is located on Florida’s east coast directly north of Palm Beach County. The region is called the Treasure Coast because of the large number of Spanish galleons that wrecked off the coast during the 17th and 18th centuries carrying gold and silver coins, jewelry and other artifacts.  The Treasure Coast runs along the Atlantic Ocean and includes several coastal counties: Indian River County, St Lucie County, and Martin County.


Martin County Waterways

The Indian River Lagoon runs through Martin County with 81 miles of protected inland water ways.  The St Lucie River also runs West through Martin County directly to the Okeechobee waterways.  The waterways and locks allow you to navigate by boat across the entire state of Florida from Stuart through Lake Okeechobee to Ft. Myers and the Gulf of Mexico.

Martin County History

Martin County was established in 1925 when it separated from Palm Beach County.  In 2006, there were 142,645 residents in Martin County.  The average year round temperature is 74 degrees and the average ocean temperature is also 74 degrees.

Martin County Cities and Towns

Martin County is known for its small town feel and is made up of several towns with their own characteristics. Stuart Florida is the largest incorporated towns in Martin County and is nicknamed the “Sailfish Capital of the World” for the numerous fishing tournaments and sailfish in the area.  It has a historic downtown area along the St Lucie River with shops and restaurants to enjoy.

The four incorporated towns in Martin County are:

Jupiter Island Florida is directly on the Atlantic Ocean and is known for its well manicured landscaping and beautiful estates. Some of its celebrity residents are Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, and Alan Jackson to name a few.  The Jupiter Island’s town hall phone is 772-546-5011.

Ocean Breeze Park is a large mobile home park and shopping center on the Indian River in Martin County with approximately 500 residents.  Ocean Breeze Park incorporated in 1960.  The town hall phone is 772-334-2494.

Sewalls Point Florida is a peninsula town surrounded by the Intracoastal waterway and the St Lucie River.  It is home to many lawyers, doctors, and entrepreneurs.  Sewall’s Point town hall phone is 772-287-2455.

Stuart Florida incorporated in 1914 when it was a part of Palm Beach County. In 1925, Stuart became a part of Martin County.  To reach Stuart town hall office, call 772-288-5300.

Other towns and neighborhoods around Martin County that are not incorporated are Hobe Sound, Hutchinson Island, Indiantown, Jensen Beach, North River Shores, Palm City, Port Mayaca, Port Salerno and Rio.

Martin County Aerial

An aerial view of Martin County, FL with Palm City to the west and Stuart to the east.

Apartment and Condo Rentals in Martin County

Martin County was in a big growth phase when the real estate market slowed down.  The real estate boom created lots of new beautiful luxury apartment and condo rentals you can get for less than $1,000 per month. 

Get To Know Your Neighbor
In a small town atmosphere like the Stuart area, many apartment complexes offer monthly neighbor get togethers at their clubhouse with cook-outs, movie nights, parties, sports, and other fun activities. 

When you don’t live in a bustling city area with tons of people and nightlife (and traffic too), a great way to meet new people is at the apartment or condo clubhouse gatherings.

Amenities, Amenities, Amenities
The amenities are the best part of apartment or condo communities.  In Martin County you’ll probably want a pool to cool off during the hot summer months.  You’ll find a lot of these other great amenities at most of the apartment and condo complexes including a clubhouse, work out facility, pool and sauna, tennis court, volleyball court, free coffee and continental breakfast, business center, and extra storage units. 

If you love a specific sport such as golf ask about discounts on club memberships they offer on their property or nearby.

In the apartment you’ll want to make sure to ask for important features like a washer and dryer along with a screened in patio to make sure the nasty mosquitoes at dusk stay out.  Most complexes accept pets with a large non-refundable down payment but this can be negotiated. 

Palm City Apartments and Condos

Palm City is located west of the St Lucie River and is a great location for families, single parents, retirees, or anyone who needs quick access to the I-95 or the Turnpike.  Palm City is known for its great schools and low crime. 

Stuart Apartments and Condos

Stuart is the largest of cities in Martin County and will have the most diverse renters from married, divorced, single, college students, young adults to retirees.  If you like quick access to downtown Stuart and work close to or in Stuart, this may be a great choice for you.

Jensen Beach Apartments and Condos

Jensen Beach is on the north side of Martin County and gives you easy access north to Port St Lucie or Ft Pierce. 

Apartment Pricing and Discounts
It seems every complex is having a “great” deal or special.  Remember, the apartments and condo rental market is hurting so ask about the best possible rates and negotiate some free month’s rents and discounted pet deposits (or no pet deposit.)

Your apartment location in the complex is important.  Make sure you get a unit that is away from the loud streets such as I-95 or Turnpike that run through Martin County.  Ask about noise levels and be sure you get a good view with possible covered parking and extra storage.  These are a few perks they can easily “give” to you to get you to sign on the dotted line.

Martin County Utilities

To set up your utilities in Stuart or Martin County following is a contact list for you.  You’ll be able to quickly set up your electricity, telephone, water, cable, garbage pick up and other utility related needs.

Florida Power & Light Co., 6501 South Ocean Drive, Jensen Beach Florida 34957
Phone: 772-287-5400

Sanitation - Garbage Collection and Recycling
Around Martin County garbage and vegetative waste is collected twice a week and recycling is collected once a week. Your garbage should be set out no later than 7:00am the morning it is picked up (or the evening before if it is permitted.)

For questions or to find out your pick up days for garbage, vegetative waste and recycling, contact Waste Management at 772-546-7700.

Waste Management Nichols Station
7700 SE Bridge Road, Hobe Sound, Florida 33455
Phone:  772-546-7700

Indiantown Sanitation
15501 SW Famel Avenue, Indiantown, Florida 34956
Phone: 772-597-3755

Stuart Community Services
21 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart, Florida 34994
Phone: 772-288-5300

AT&T, 700 Northpoint Parkway, Suite 410, West Palm Beach, Florida 33469
Phone: 800-753-0710

Indiantown Telephone System, Inc.
15925 SW Warfield Boulevard, Indiantown, Florida 34956
Phone: 772-597-2111

Television, High Speed Internet Service
Cable TV and Cable Modem -  For cable TV or cable modem, contact Comcast Cable, 1495 NW Britt Road, Stuart Florida, 34994
Phone: 800-266-2278

DSL Internet
This high speed Internet connection can be set up in Martin County through telephone companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

Satellite Dish
If you prefer a satellite dish rather than cable TV, you can contact one of the providers for pricing including Direct TV or Dish Network.


Martin County Utilities, 2378 SE Ocean Boulevard, Stuart, Florida 34996
Phone: 772-221-1434


City of Stuart Water Department, 123 Flagler Street, Stuart, Florida 34994

Indiantown Company
15925 SW Warfield Boulevard, Indiantown, Florida 34956
Phone: 772-597-2121

South Martin Regional Utility
9000 Southeast Athena Street, Hobe Sound, Florida 33455
Phone: 772-546-2511

Pet Registration

You must have a pet license for all dogs and cats that live in Martin County. To get your animal a pet license, you must bring proof of rabies vaccination.

Pet License Contact Information:
Martin County Tax Collector’s Office
3485 SE Willoughby Boulevard, Stuart Florida 34994
Phone number is 772-288-5600

Florida Residency in Martin County

You are considered a resident of Martin County once you are employed, enroll your child in a Martin County school or register to vote. 

To document your residency (optional) in Florida, you need to fill out a Declaration of Domicile form which can be downloaded online at Martin County Clerk of Court’s website.  You will need to have the form notarized and include proof that you are a resident with a utility bill or phone bill with your address. 

Mail Residency Form for Martin County to:
Martin County Clerk of Court
PO Box 9016
Stuart, Florida 34995
Phone: 772-288-5576

Florida Boat Registration

All boats and sailboats with motors that use Florida waterways must be registered unless it’s registered in another state.  If you are a Martin County resident, you need to register your boat at the Martin County Tax Collectors Office.  You have 90 days to register your boat from the date that you purchase it or move to Florida.

Vessels that are exempt from registration include:

  • non-motor-powered vessels
  • vessels used exclusively on private lakes and ponds
  • vessels owned by the United States Government
  • vessels used exclusively as a ship’s lifeboat

Boat Registration Contact Information:
Martin County Tax Collectors Office
3485 SE Willoughby Boulevard, Stuart, Florida 34994
Phone number: 772-288-5600

Florida Drivers License

Within 30 days of establishing residency, you are required to obtain a Florida drivers license office from a local DMV office.  The offices are located in Hobe Sound, Palm City or Stuart. 

Converting a Drivers License from Another State
To convert your out of state drivers license to a Florida drivers license, you must bring the valid drivers license along with two original forms of ID with proof of birth date to a Martin County drivers license office in Hobe Sound, Palm City, or Stuart. 

New Florida Drivers License
If you do not have a a valid drivers license from another state, you will be required to complete a driver education course and test.  The first course you are required to complete is a Florida DMV approved 4-hour Drug and Alcohol Traffic Awareness Course which is available online. 

Florida Learners Permit
If you are age 18 or older and have experience driving, then you do not need a learners permit.  If you need to practice driving then you need to get a Florida learners permit until you are comfortable driving and have a minimum of 50 hours of driving experience with 10 hours at night.  With a learners permit, you must always have a licensed driver age 21 or older in the front passenger’s seat at all times.

If you are under age 18, you are required to have a Florida learners permit for 12 months.  At all times in Martin County and Florida, you must have a licensed driver age 21 or older in the passenger seat with you while driving.

Martin County Road Test
After you’ve completed the required course and have a minimum of 50 hours including 10 hours at night of driving experience (with a learners permit), you can then take the road test to get your full drivers license.  To make an appointment, call 772-288-5600 in Martin County.  The road tests are done at the Hobe Sound DMV office and it typically takes two (2) weeks to get an appointment.  You must make a road test appointment in advance and by calling or by stopping by the Hobe Sound DMV office.

Martin County Drivers License DMV Offices:

  • DMV Office in Hobe Sound is located at 11734 SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound Florida, phone: 772-288-5600.
  • DMV Office in Palm City is located at 3003 SW Martin Downs Boulevard, Palm City Florida 34990, phone: 772-288-5600.
  • DMV Office in Stuart is located at 3485 SE Willoughby Boulevard, Stuart Florida, phone: 772-288-5600.

Vehicle Registration in Martin County
Within ten (10) days of establishing Martin County residency, you are required to register your vehicle and obtain a Florida license plate and tag.  You must go to the Martin County Tag Office at the Tax Collector’s Office with the vehicle title, registration and proof of insurance.

Martin County Tax Collectors and Vehicle Registration Offices:

  • Hobe Sound Tax Collector Office is located at 11734 SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound Florida 33455, phone: 772-288-5595.
  • Indiantown Tax Collector Office is located at 16550 SW Warfield Boulevard, Indiantown Florida 34956, phone: 772-288-5595.
  • Jensen Beach Tax Collector Office is located at 1485 NE Jensen Beach Boulevard, Jensen Beach Florida 34957, phone: 772-288-5595.
  • Stuart Tax Collector Office is located at 3485 SE Willoughby Boulevard, Stuart Florida 34994, phone: 772-288-5595.
  • Palm City Tax Collector Office is located at 3003 NW Martin Downs Boulevard, Palm City Florida 34990, phone: 772-288-5595.
  • Stuart Tax Collector Office is located at 3485 SE Willoughby Boulevard, Stuart, Florida 34994, phone number: 772-288-5600.

Florida Fish and Hunting Licenses in Martin County

Before you go fishing or hunting in Martin County or anywhere in Florida, you must register and have a license.  You need to register through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) who manage fish and wildlife resources to ensure their long-term well-being and the benefit of people. 

Fishing License - For a recreational fishing license you can call 1-888-347-4356 to register over the phone. 

Hunting License - For a hunting license you can call 1-888-486-8356 to register over the phone.

You can also apply online for a Florida fishing or hunting license.

Contact Information:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600
Phone: 850-488-4676

Hurricanes in Martin County

Hurricane Warnings Broadcasts
Official announcements for hurricanes in Martin County are broadcasted on radio station WQCS, 88.9 FM and on local television stations by the National Hurricane Center and the Martin County Division of Emergency Management.  When a hurricane is threatening this area, updates are announced at 9am, 1pm and 6:30pm on radio station WQCS, 88.9 FM.

Hurricane Watch
When Martin County emergency management officials announce a hurricane watch, this means there’s a possibility of a hurricane heading this way.  At this point, you should make sure your car has a full tank of gas, you have cash on, plenty of food, water and medicines as well securing your home with hurricane shutters.

Hurricane Warning
This alert means a hurricane is on a path that will directly impact Martin County.  This is a serious advisory and all residents should already be prepared for the hurricane with provisions and their home is protected.

Getting Hurricane Prepared - Questions and Assistance
You can call the American Red Cross at 772-287-2002 or the Martin County Emergency Management at 772-287-1652 if you have any questions or need assistance in preparing for hurricanes.  If you feel unsafe in your home, here is a list of hurricane shelters that are set up for Martin County residents. 

Martin County Hurricane Shelters (partial list, check with the American Red Cross at 772-287-2002 for new shelters):

Hobe Sound Shelters:
Seawind Elementary, 3700 SE Seabranch Blvd.

Indiantown Shelters:
Indiantown Middle, 16303 SW Farms Rd.
Warfield Elementary, 15261 SW 150th St.

Jensen Beach Shelters:
Felix Williams Elementary, 401 NW Baker Rd.
Jensen Beach Elementary, 2525 NE Savanna Rd.
Jensen Beach High, 2875 Goldenrod Rd.

Palm City Shelters:
Bessey Creek Elementary, 2201 SW Matheson Ave.
Hidden Oaks Middle, 2801 SW Martin Hwy.

Stuart Shelters:
Port Salerno Elementary, 4890 SE Jack Ave.

Comments about: Martin County Residents Guide

A few lines above it says:

Florida Boat Registration
All boats and sailboats that use Florida waterways must be registered unless it’s registered in another state.

Shouldn’t that be “boats and sailboats with motors”?

By Woody Lee on 08-22-2008

You are correct, sailboats without motors are exempt from registration. Thanks for catching that we will clarify it.

By Inside Florida on 08-23-2008

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