If you are thinking about purchasing a pre-owned boat, you might be wondering about the steps you need to take to transfer boat registration or title paperwork.
To start, it’s important to understand that a boat registration isn’t technically transferrable. In some states the registration number may be transferred to the new owner (if available), but the new owner of the boat will always receive new registration paperwork that has been filed using the new owner’s name and contact information.
The title of a boat, on the other hand, is transferrable from one owner to the next. These are a few of the steps you may have to follow when completing a boat title transfer.
Be aware that some states (such as Arizona, Colorado, New Hampshire, and North Dakota) do not require a boat to be titled or have the requirement to transfer boat title paperwork. In these instances, the buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale from the seller and copies of bills of sale going back to the owner of record and the original state issued registration card if the boat is registered in a non-title state.
While you won’t have to go through a boat registration transfer, you will need to keep your boat registration paperwork aboard your newly acquired vessel. Part of learning how to boat is making sure you have valid title and registration documents based on your state’s requirements.