So you’ve found a boat. A used boat that is perfect for your current fishing and boating needs. And the price is right. However, the owner cannot find the title. How can you register an untitled boat?
First and foremost, boat registration is an important part of learning how to boate. Not only does it keep your boating legal and compliant, but it also helps generate funds that will help protect natural resources. The requirements for a boat’s registration and title vary by state. For example, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, every vessel with an engine must be registered and “non-motorized boats used in waters designated by the PA Fish and Boat Commission, the waters of PA State Parks, PA State Forests or the PA State Forests if requested by the owner. “In addition, all vessels over 14 feet with an outboard motor and boats with inboard motors newer than 1996 require a Pennsylvania title.
So back to the original question: “How do I register an untitled boat?” Check your state’s boating website for detailed information on registering an untitled boat. There are substitute title forms to fill out and submit, as well as proof of ownership. You will need to provide information such as ship type, hull material, engine and fuel type, propeller type and usage, and any contact information for the seller. Often times this can be done online. A title fee and, if applicable, a replacement fee will also be charged. You can then submit a registration application, the fee for which varies depending on the length and type of boat.
Another good source of information for registering an untitled boat is your insurance agent. After the title, keep it in a safe place. This can be on your boat if it’s big enough. As soon as the registration documents are also done, you can enjoy the water for a long time.
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After graduating with a degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and the US state of Michigan.