Monday, July 8, 2024

How Do I Register My Boat In Texas

Q: I Haven’t Registered Or Titled My Boat Before What Should I Do

The Boating Guy – Do I need to register my boat?

A: In Massachusetts, initial registration and titling is done by filling out the department’s registration application at any of five Registration offices. The boat owner must submit proof of ownership, a bill of sale, proof of payment of Massachusetts sales tax, and the appropriate registration and/or title fees. For new boats, an original manufacturer’s statement of origin must be provided as proof of ownership. An MSO, title, or previous registration can serve as proof of ownership for used boats.

In order to complete the application, you must provide the vessel’s Hull Identification Number and the boat’s year of manufacture, make, and length. State law requires that the title application must be made and the sales tax paid within 20 days of purchasing a boat. The Division also stores information such as the engine manufacturer, serial number, and horsepower for record keeping purposes.

Official Texas Boater Safety Course

The fastest way to get your boating licenseno timers! is a delegated provider for the Texas Parks and Wildlife.

You need boating education in Texas if you are at least 13 years of age and were born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, and will be operating a boat powered by a motor of over 15 hp, a PWC, or a windblown vessel over 14 feet long on Texas waters.

This course is approved by the state of Texas and, once successfully completed, will result in your Texas Boating License.

Requirements For Boater Registration In Texas

Boat owners wondering how to register a boat in Texas should learn the steps necessary to complete the process. Boat registration can be completed through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or a tax collector office. TPWD boat registration is required for all motorized boats, sailboats at least 14 feet in length and United States Coast Guard documented vessels.

A new boat registration application must be filled out and certain documents must be presented to prove ownership of the vessel. Applicants must submit a boat bill of sale and the manufacturers statement of origin with their registration application. Boat owners must pay a boat registration fee to complete the registration process, and the fee amount depends on the length of the boat.

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Selling/buying A Used Boat: What Documents Do I Give The Buyer/receive From The Seller

The documents that will later be used to transfer or register a boat in Georgia from a private sale may vary, depending if the boat is already registered in Georgia, if the boat has a paper title issued, if the boat has been reported sold, and if the seller is the owner of record in the Georgia registration system. There are many possible scenarios, but these below are the most common.

A Bill of Sale for a boat must have adequate information to positively link the BOS to the boat.

Exceptions From Registration And Titling In Texas


Texas Parks and Wildlife boat registration is not required for all types of vessels. Boat registration requirements do not apply to certain out-of-state vessels. Vessels with valid boat registration numbers from other states do not need to be registered if the boat will not be used or stationed in Texas for more than 90 days.

Documented vessel registration is not required for the following types of boats in Texas:

  • Canoe registration
  • Kayaks, rowboats, or inflatable rafts that are not motorized.
  • Sailboats under 14 feet in length.
  • United States Coast Guard documented vessels used for shipping purposes or that exceed 115 feet in length.

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Q: How Long Are The Registration And Title Good For And How Much Do They Cost

A: The title certificate is good for the life of the boat, or until the boat is sold or otherwise transferred, at which time the new owner must obtain a another title. The title fee is $27.50. This is a one-time charge.

The boat registration certificate is valid for two years from the date of issuance. Cost is based on the length of the vessel.

I Have Not Received My Registration Renewal Notice What Should I Do

You can renew your vehicle without the renewal notice if you provide the following to your county tax office:

  • Registration receipt from the previous year, or
  • Texas license plate number, or
  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Government issued photo ID

Ask your local county tax office to verify your correct mailing address. If you would like to be reminded by email when to renew in the future, sign up for our free eReminder service now.

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Determine The Type Of Trailer You Have

Start by looking on the trailer tongue. This is where you are most likely to find the manufacturers name, which confirms you have a manufactured trailer. If you do not know whether the trailer is manufactured or homemade, it must be inspected by an auto theft law enforcement officer. To find the nearest inspection location with an auto theft law enforcement officer, contact your local county tax assessor-collector office or TxDMV Regional Service Center.

Texas Boat Registration Fees

Boat Registration Basics

Boaters wondering how to register a boat in Texas should be aware that there are fees required upon completion of a registration application. Texas boat registration fees depend on the size of the vessel, and these qualifications are broken down through the bullet points below:

  • Less than 16 feet in length: $32
  • 16 feet to 26 feet in length: $53
  • 26 feet to 40 feet in length: $110
  • Larger than 40 feet in length: $150
  • Livery boats less than 16 feet in length: $32

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How To Obtain Boat Registration And Title In Texas

Submit the following to obtain Texas registration and title for a vessel: 1 Form PWD 143 2 Form PWD 504 and 3 Out-of-state title OR out-of state registration card

We maintain a national registry of registered and documented vessels in the United States. When youre a BNR Member, we will protect your special boat name. Well securely store your boats name, home port, dimensions, hull ID, state registration, and insurance details in one portal.

Texas State Parks Won’t Be The Same Without You

Help keep Texas State Parks open and maintained so that we can enjoy these special places for generations to come. Donate $5 or more when you renew your vehicle registration. You can donate on the front of your registration renewal form or at your county tax assessor-collectors office. Learn more at

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Q: I Made My Own Boat What Do I Do About Registration And Titling

A: The owner of a homemade boat should contact the Environmental Police to schedule an inspection of the vessel by an officer . Homemade boats must be inspected to establish proof of ownership and to verify the description of the vessel. The inspecting officer will provide the customer with an inspection certificate that must be presented when registering the vessel. At the time of registration, your boat will be assigned a HIN . You will be given instructions on how to place this HIN on your boat. You must provide proof, to the registration office, of the HIN placement on your boat before you will receive your registration card and decal. In addition, the applicant must submit a completed form provided by the Department of Revenue showing that sales tax on materials used has been paid .

Displaying The Registration Number And Validation Decals

Aluminum Tunnel hull

The registration number and validation decals must be displayed as follows.

  • Number must be painted, applied as a decal, or otherwise affixed to both sides of the bow.
  • Number must read from left to right on both sides of the bow.
  • Number must be in at least three-inch-high BLOCK letters.
  • Numbers color must contrast with its background.
  • Letters must be separated from the numbers by a space or hyphen: TX 0001 GG or TX-0001-GG.
  • No other numbers may be displayed on either side of the bow.

Personal watercraft also are required to display the registration number and validation decals.

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Q: I Live In Another State But Sometimes Boat In Massachusetts Do I Need To Register And Title My Boat

A: Visiting boat owners who are registered in another state are allowed to boat in Massachusetts for up to 60 consecutive days without obtaining a Massachusetts registration and title. If you plan to keep the boat in Massachusetts for more than 60 consecutive days, you must obtain a Massachusetts registration and title certificate.

General Information About Numbers

We’ll guide you through the process of creating Texas boat numbers when you click design now. Each state has specific verbiage as to their requirements. See the Texas specific section below. The general requirements for boat registrations numbers are as follows:

  • A minimum of 3″ letter height
  • A block style font such as
  • Generally located on the forward hull portion of the boat next to the DNR tag
  • A contrasting color to base color of your boat.
  • Letters separated by a space or a dash

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Birthday Bonus For Georgia Boat Owners

Buying a boat in Texas without a title? Watch this!

Starting July 2013, Georgia residents who have a boat registered with the state can fish on their birthday as part of their boat registration fee.

Its a one-day bonus for the states some 300,000 resident boat owners. This offer from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources also covers use of some DNR shooting ranges, plus some other sporting privileges. To take advantage of it, boat owners just have to get outdoors.

The birthday bonus is a one-day resident combination license that not only allows Georgians 16 and older who own a vessel and have a valid, current registration to fish , it covers many other recreational opportunities, including fishing at public fishing areas, accessing state lands where a Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass is otherwise required, hunting small game and feral hogs on private land, and using shooting ranges where a license is required.

The license is good for the primary boat owners birthday during the three years the boat registration is valid.

Boat owners must carry a Georgia ID, such as a drivers license, and their plastic vessel registration card to show proof of a valid vessel registration. Activities like mountain trout fishing and big-game and migratory bird hunting require additional paid licenses. Saltwater fishing requires an additional free permit.

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Where Do You Put The Tx Number On A Boat

The TX number must be painted on, or otherwise attached to, each side of the forward half of the vessel, in such position as to provide easy identification. The TX number must read from left to right, be in BLOCK characters of good proportion not less than three inches in height and be of a color that contrasts with the background.

Q: Do I Need To Apply For A Certificate Of Title

A: All boats 14 feet or greater in length that are designed for use with a motor, or that use a motor at any time, must be titled. For example, sailboats 14 feet or longer with a backup motor in use, or sailboats designed for use with a backup motor, must be titled. Even canoes 14 feet or longer that use a motor of any type must be titled. Boats exempt from titling requirements include U.S. government-owned vessels federally documented vessels boats used solely for demonstration, testing, sales, or promotional purposes by a dealer or manufacturer and boats registered in another state which are not located in the Commonwealth for more than 60 consecutive day

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Your Guide To Boat Registration In Texas

Take these steps and make sure that your boat is properly and lawfully registered in the Lone Star State.

In Texas, water is simply a way of life. From rivers to coastline to ponds to lakes , its just not a Texas summer day if you dont spend some of it on a boat. But, before you pack your cooler full of snacks, stock up on your sunscreen and head out on the water, you must make sure your boat is registered and legal to take out. Follow our guide here to register your boat ASAP.

How do I know if my boat needs to be registered?

In Texas, pretty much every single boat on the water must be registered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife office. All motorized vessels regardless of length as well as all non-motorized vessels 14 feet or longer must be registered. Those vessels already documented with the US Coast Guard must also be registered to go out on the water in Texas.

No matter where you are on Texas waters, you are required to have up-to-date registration. This includes any boats and vessels that are docked or moored.

What boats are exempt?

If your vessel fits one of these categories, it does not need to be registered with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

  • Your vessel is a non-motorized canoe, kayak, punt, rowboat or rubber raft
  • Your vessel is under 14 feet in length and non-motorized
  • Your vessel is documented by the Coast Guard and used as a coastal shipping vessel
  • Your vessel exceeds 115 feet in length

How do I register my boat in the state of Texas?



I Just Purchased A Trailer How Do I Title/register My Trailer

How do I sell my boat?

There are specific requirements for titling and registering trailers in Texas and it can seem a bit complicated. Registration is always required for a trailer, but the need for a title is based on the trailer weight. If the trailer is over 4,000 pounds gross weight it must be titled, but if it is 4,000 pounds gross weight or less, titling is optional. If the trailer was previously titled, it must continue to be titled.

There are exceptions for Farm Trailers:

  • Title is required if it is over 34,000 pounds gross weight or was previously titled
  • Title is optional if it is 34,000 pounds gross weight or less
  • Registration is optional if the farm trailer is 4,000 pounds gross weight or less
  • Farm trailers are exempt from inspection

You will need to take the following to the applicant’s local county tax office in order to title/register the trailer:

  • Fees: Contact your local county tax office for the exact fee amount and payment methods
  • Titled trailers require a vehicle identification number. If the trailer does not have a vehicle identification number :

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    Bill Of Sale For Boat

    A Bill of Sale for a boat must have adequate information to positively link the BOS to the boat, similar to the example WRD BOS.

    Owners of Georgia registered boats must notify the Department, in writing, of sale or transfer, theft or recovery, or destruction or abandonment of a boat within 15 days.

    The following should be on the BOS:

    • GA or Other State Registration Number
    • HIN #
    • Hull Material
    • Sellers and Buyers Signature

    It is a judgment call whether WRD believes the BOS received is adequate to link the vessel to the BOS in a reasonably sufficient manner, or whether other documents such as a transferred title, a manufacturers statement of origin, or other information supports the submitted BOS. A BOS does not have to be witnessed OR notarized, although this is acceptable.

    If it is determined that a BOS is not available at all or is not adequate, the customer should obtain an adequate BOS. If a BOS cannot be obtained, the Affidavit of Vessel Ownership process may be completed.

    How To Register A Boat

    So you’ve finally purchased the boat of your dreams. Now, what’s the next step? A good place to start is with boat registration. Registering a boat is required by lawmuch like with a carand the rules and guidelines for how this process is done and what kind of watercraft must be registered are dictated by the state in which the vessel will regularly operate .

    Here’s the basic steps to follow when registering a boat:

  • Research the boat registration requirements in your state.
  • Complete a registration formeither online, through the mail, or in person.
  • Provide proof of ownershipincluding a title and/or bill of sale.
  • Pay the registration fee, which varies by state and the size of the vessel.
  • Be conscious of the expiration date and apply for renewal.
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    What Is A Hull Identification Number

    The Hull Identification Number is a 12 or 14 character serial number that uniquely identifies a boat. The HIN is analogous to a VIN on a car. All boats manufactured or imported on or after November 1, 1972, must bear a HIN, and this HIN must be identified during the boat registration process. Vessels manufactured or imported before 1972 are EXEMPT because they often do not have a HIN.

    The HIN is found on a metal or plastic plate, typically on the transom of the boat, usually on the right starboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. On vessels without transoms, or impractical to use transoms, the HIN is usually affixed to the starboard outboard side of hull, aft, within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of the hull side, gunwale or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. On catamarans and pontoon boats with replaceable hulls, the HIN is usually affixed to the aft crossbeam, within one foot of the starboard hull attachment.

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