Thursday, June 30, 2022

How To Register My Boat In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Boat Registration Number Decal Display Laws

REGISTERING A BOAT

Registering your boat or watercraft in the state of Massachusetts? You will need to abide by the Massachusetts boat registration number decal display laws found on the boat registration pages of Mass.gov

We outline the basic display law requirements here on this page but more in depth information regarding Massachusettss watercraft regulations can be found in the boat registration FAQs page of Mass.gov

What Do I Need To Register My Inflatable Boat

On the first column is the state, followed by the office that handles boat registration. The exceptions column shows if your inflatable boat may be exempted from registration. Finally, the last column is the requirements for registration. Boats not powered by a motor and not more than 16 ft in length.

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Next Steps For Request A Boat Inspection

  • Inspection

    An officer from the Massachusetts Environmental Police will contact you and provide a time and place for your inspection. Make sure you arrive on time, with the documentation mentioned above.

    Once the inspection is complete, you will receive an inspection certificate that must be presented when registering your vessel.

  • Registration

    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 prove to the registration office that the HIN has been placed on your boat before you can receive your registration card and decal.

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    Massachusetts Specific Registration Laws

    Please review your state specific requirements before purchasing identification decals as they do vary from state to state. Our designer is setup to comply with the general requirements above. If you require a specific requirement not in our designer, just leave a comment at checkout and we’ll adust your design . Massachusetts has a nice boater guide book that everyone should review. The registration information portion is locatedHere.

    How Do I Change My Boat Registration In Massachusetts

    A: You must notify the Massachusetts Environmental Police within 15 days after selling your boat. You can download and complete our Motorboat, Snowmobile & OHV Registration Status Change Form. After completing and signing this form, you can mail or fax in to any one of our 5 registration offices in the state.

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    What Is Needed To Register A Boat In Massachusetts

    A: In Massachusetts, initial registration and titling is done by filling out the departments 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.

    Do you have to register a inflatable boat with a trolling motor?

    Non-motorized canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts when paddled, poled, or oared and sailboats under 14 feet in length when windblown. Adding an outboard or trolling motor to one of these types requires titling and registration.

    Q: Am I Required To Register My Boat

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    A: State law requires the registration of any boat that is powered by a motor and operated on public waterways in Massachusetts. Registration is required even if the motor is not the primary means of propulsion for that boat. Some examples of boats that require registration include fishing boats with motors, recreational motorboats, canoes or sailboats that use motors , and personal watercraft such as Jet Skis or wet bikes. Boats exempt from registration requirements include those that do not use motors, and documented vessels . Vessels used solely by a city, county, state, or federal agency will be issued a certificate of registration and number at no charge

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    Exemptions From Boat Registration And Titling In Massachusetts

    Common boat registration exemptions in Massachusetts include non-motorized boats. Note that vessels with out-of-state registrations used in MA for no more than 60 days per year are exempt. When determining which boats are exempt from registration in Massachusetts, keep in mind that vessels with a documented U.S. Coast Guard registration are also exempt.

    Q: What Should I Do If I Lose My Registration Or Title

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    A: If your registration or title certificate is lost, destroyed, or mutilated, you can apply for a duplicate. Just fill out the proper form and mail to the nearest registration office along with a check for the appropriate fee.Please note: Customers are allowed only 3 duplicate decals during a registration cycle.

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    Ma Boats Requiring Title & Registration

    You’re required to registerALL motorized boats used on Massachusetts’ public waters, with the following exceptions:

    • Vessels currently registered in another state that will be used in Massachusetts for no more than 60 days.
    • Watercraft without a motor.
    • Boats documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Additionally, you must title vessels measuring 14 ft or more that are designed to be motorized. This includes all boats with motors AND those with the equipment necessary to attach a motor. You are also required to pay your sales or use tax of 6.25% by the 20th day of the month following your boat purchase.

    Vessels exempt from the titling requirements include:

    • Watercraft owned by an entity of the U.S. government.
    • Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
    • Dealers’ boats used only for promotional demonstrations.
    • Vessels registered in another state being used on MA waters for up to 60 days.

    If you’re not sure whether your boat qualifies for titling and/or registration, call the Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau at 626-1610.

    Q: What Should I Do If I Am Buying Or Selling A Boat

    A: In order to execute a boat transaction, the following items are necessary:

    • Bill of sale
    • 12-character serial number pencil tracing
    • Proof of payment of Massachusetts’ sales tax
    • A completed application
    • Appropriate fees
    • Title from seller if applicable

    Massachusetts sales tax is now payable online. For more information visit the Department of Revenue website or call 392-6089.

    In addition to the previous requirements, if the boat is 14 feet or greater in length and uses a motor either temporarily or permanently, or if it is designed for use with a motor, the certificate of title must be signed over from the seller to the buyer. The buyer then presents this information and documentation to the Massachusetts Environmental Police Registration Bureau to obtain a new registration card and certificate of title.

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    Renewing Your Massachusetts Boat Registration

    If you have a valid major credit card for payment, you can renew boat registration online in Massachusetts by using the MA Environmental Police Vessel/Off-Highway Vehicle Online Registration Renewal System. After obtaining a boat registration renewal online, you may print a temporary 15-day registration that will allow you to use your boat legally until you receive your permanent documents in the mail.

    If you prefer to renew your registration by mail or in person, you may do so by following the directions on your registration renewal notice. Details on when to renew a boat registration in Massachusetts will also be included on this form, although you should keep in mind that you must renew your registration every two years. If you prefer to renew by mail, send your payment and renewal notice in the self-addressed envelope included with your renewal notification.

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

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    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.

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    Other Facts About Titling And Registering Your Vessel

    Here are some additional facts about titling and registering your motorboat in Massachusetts.

    • A Certificate of Number is valid for two years from the date it is issued. Owners of vessels that have already been registered will be sent a renewal notice to their residence at least one month prior to the expiration of their current registration.
    • All vessels 14 feet or greater in length that require registration also must be titled. The title application must be made to the Massachusetts Environmental Police within 20 days of purchasing a vessel. The title certificate is valid for the life of the vessel or until the vessel is sold or otherwise transferred, at which time the new owner must transfer the title.
    • The Massachusetts Environmental Police must be notified within 15 days of any of these events:
    • The sale, trade, or transfer of ownership of a registered vessel
    • The abandonment, destruction, loss, or theft of a registered vessel
    • The change of address of the owner of a registered vessel
    • The destruction or loss of a Certificate of Number or validation decal
  • Boat trailers are registered and titled under the same requirements as passenger cars. Application is made through the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
  • Larger recreational vessels owned by U.S. citizens may be documented by the USCG. Call the USCG at 1-800-799-8362 for more information. Documented vessels are exempt from Massachusetts registration and titling requirements.
  • Q: What About Registration Renewal

    A: Boat, ATV and Snowmobile owners will receive a registration renewal notice at least one month prior to the expiration of their current registration. You have the following options to renew.

    • Return with enclosed envelope write your registration number or renewal number on check.
    • You may bring renewal to any one of our 5 registration offices. Keep in mind that during the boating season, lines can be long .
    • Renew online at www.mass.gov/ole

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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.

    Q: What Do I Do With The Registration Certificate Number And Decal

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    A: The registration certificate is proof that the boat is registered. It also serves as proof of ownership if the boat is not titled or documented. The registration certificate should be available for inspection on board the motorboat whenever it is in operation.

    The registration number is assigned when you register your boat for the first time. It should be painted or attached to each side of the forward half of the boat. It should read from left to right, be in block letters not less than three inches high, and contrast with the color of the boat’s hull. The number consists of the letters MS followed by no more than four numbers and two capital letters. A two-inch space or hyphen must separate the letters and the numbers. The registration number is issued to the boat owner and not the vessel. Therefore, it can be transferred to different boats for a given owner, but it cannot be transferred to a new owner.

    The registration decal should be placed in line with and three inches to the stern of the registration number on the port side of the boat. The decal is issued with the initial registration and each registration renewal it indicates the month and year that the registration expires.

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    Boat Registration Numbers And Stickers

    A boat registration number is its license plate and is comprised of letters and numbers that must be displayed on the hull, near the bow, on the front third of the boat on both sides. The letters and numbers must be read from left to right and may have a minimum size . The numbers can also be painted on. A registration sticker or decal proves that your boat registration is valid for that year. The length of validity varies by state but can be from one to three years.

    Procedure For Initial Boat Trailer Registration

    When you first buy a boat trailer, you need to register it with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles before you use it in the state. The process begins with Form RMV-1, an application for registration of a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. Form RMV-1 is available online as a fillable form and in paper form at any Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

    You’ll need to insure your boat trailer. In the process, ask your insurance agent for a completed Form RMV-2. Your insurer must sign and stamp the form to prove to the state that you have obtained insurance. If you’re filling in the form yourself and intend to take it to your insurer to sign, be sure to include your identifying information as well as information about the boat trailer, including make, model, color and gross weight.

    You can locate the gross weight of the trailer from the trailer’s certificate of origin. If your boat trailer’s gross weight is over 3,000 pounds, you will also have to title it. Check either the “registration only” or “registration and title” box at the top of the form, depending on which applies.

    It’s also necessary to provide information about any liens on the trailer’s title. Give full identifying information about all lien holders. This is to ensure that liens get paid or transferred if you decide to sell the trailer.

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    Massachusetts Boat Registration Fees

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    You should know that the initial boat registration fees in Massachusetts and the renewal fees are the same and may be paid in the same manner. Boat registration costs in Massachusetts covers a 2-year registration period and is assigned as follows:

    • Boats under 16 in length: $44
    • Boats 16 to less than 26 in length: $66
    • Boats 26 to less than 40 in length: $88
    • Boats 40 and greater in length: $110
    • Duplicate: $11
    • Online transaction fee: $1.50

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