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:
S On How To Register A Homemade Boat In Texas
Before you go ahead and register your boat, lets cover important details.
If your boat trailer is over 4000 pounds in weight, you need to title it. On the other hand, lighter trailers do not require any title. There are also varied procedures to follow depending on whether you have a homemade or manufactured trailer.
Here are some steps to get you through the entire process.
Manufactured Boat Trailer Registration
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and your County Tax Office handle Texas boat trailer registration. You’ll also be required to title the trailer if it weighs more than 4,000 pounds. Trailers under that weight do not need to be titled. Different procedures apply depending on whether the trailer is manufactured or homemade.
To register manufactured boat trailers in Texas, fill out an application for registration and pay the applicable sales and use tax. The application is called Form 130-U and requires owner identification information as well as information about the trailer’s make, model, weight and color. Take this in to the county tax collector/assessor’s office.
Take in your Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin as well. Think of this document as your trailer’s birth certificate. The MCO lists your Texas boat trailer’s unique identification information. Every trailer manufacturer is legally obligated to provide an MCO to the person buying a vehicle or to the dealer selling the vehicle.
You’ll also have to pay a sales/use tax on the trailer. This is calculated at 6.25 percent of the sales price of the trailer. You won’t need to provide proof of insurance on a boat trailer since there is no state requirement that boat trailers in Texas be insured. However, an annual boat trailer inspection is required for vehicles over 4,500 pounds. Inspection information is passed electronically to the DMV.
Texas Boat Registration Fees
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
The Basics On How To Register A Homemade Boat In Texas
Boat registration is mandatory in the state of Texas.
You need to present your proof of owning the boat and furnish your application form.
Even if you build the boat yourself, you need to register it. This is why knowing how to register a homemade boat in Texas is very important to avoid any problems in the future.
The offices responsible for boat trailer registrations in Texas are the County Tax Office and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You need to head over to these offices and follow certain steps to ensure the correct and required processes.
So how do you do it? The next section explains it further.
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Renewing Your Texas Boat Registration
Registration is valid for two years once it is obtained. Texas boat registration renewal can be completed online, by mail or in-person at a boat owners local TPWD office. Boaters can use receipt of their vessel registration renewal as a valid registration for up to 45 days after the boat owner completes the renewal process.
This registration receipt can be used until the driver receives their boat registration stickers and registration card to prove the validity of their registration. Like the car registration renewal process, boaters must make sure to renew registration documents to maintain boating privileges.
Reminder: Renew Your Boat Registration
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
Your registration for the following boat will expire soon:
Your registration fee of — is due by –.
Renewal is easy.
If this boat has been sold or ownership has changed, please complete the Form 1340 Ownership Change Notification – Vessel/Boat or Outboard Motor and mail to TPWD Boat Registration, 4200 Smith School Rd, Austin, TX 78744 or fax to 389-4900.Have questions? Call 1-800-262-8755. Thank you for your support of Texas boating.
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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.
Homemade Boat Trailer Registration
If you built the boat trailer yourself or hired a shop to build it for you, you still have to register it. But first, get it inspected by an auto theft law enforcement officer. Ask at the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles for the location of the closest inspection center with an auto theft law enforcement officer. Take your trailer in for inspection and fill out an Application for Assigned or Reassigned Number . Once you are assigned a number, you must get it die-stamped on the trailer.
Take Form 130-U and Form VTR-68-A, as well as the notice of assigned number and a photo of the trailer to the tax assessor’s office. You’ll also need Form 305-A, which is a statement about the ownership of the trailer and a safety inspection report, if applicable.
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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.
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Licensed Marine Dealer Distributor Or Manufacturer
To become a licensed dealer, you must be in the business of buying, selling, selling on consignment, displaying for sale, and exchanging vessels or outboard motors at an established or permanent place of business in the state of Texas. Each location must have a sign conspicuously displayed showing the name of the dealership so that it may be clearly seen by the public and have sufficient space to maintain an office, service area, and display of products.
The dealer application form PWD 310 must be completed in full and submitted with the following:
- Copy of the sales tax permit
- Verification of assumed names
- List of dealer agreements and
- Submit application, supporting documents, and required $500.00 fee to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin.
PWD 310 Supplemental Information Rules and statutes pertaining to Dealer, Distributor and/or Manufacturer Licenses.
To become a licensed distributor or manufacturer, you must be engaged in the business of manufacturing new and unused vessels and outboard motors for the purpose of sale or trade or offer for sale, sell, or process for distribution new vessels or outboard motors to dealers in the state of Texas.
The distributor or manufacturer application form PWD 310 must be completed in full and submitted with the following:
Dealers must also submit the following:
To a new owner:
Vessels Exempted From Registration
Non-motorized canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts , or other vessels under 14 feet in length when paddled, poled, oared or windblown. Adding an outboard or trolling motor to one of these vessel types requires titling and registration.
A non-motorized vessel may have previously been titled as a motorboat. You can query ownership to check whether a title has been issued.
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Texas Boating Laws: The Basics
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts , ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law you are researching.
Texas Boat Registration Number Decal Display Laws
Registering your boat or watercraft in the state of Texas? You will need to abide by the Texas boat number registration decal display laws found on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
We outline the basic display law requirements here on this page but more in depth information regarding Texas watercraft regulations can be found in this page of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
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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.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Boat Title In Texas
TEXAS BOAT REGISTRATION INFORMATIONAll motorboats and all outboard motors must be titled, including sailboats 14 feet and over in length must be titled. Effective January 1, 2004, vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard are required to have state registration. Boat registrations are valid for a two-year period.
Beside above, how long does it take to get a new title for a boat? Make sure to get a receipt and keep it some place safe until you receive your title. Titles typically take anywhere from eight to 10 weeks to come in the mail. However, some states expedite the service and you may be able to get your title much sooner.
Moreover, how do I get a title for a boat in Texas?
How do you get a title for an outboard motor in Texas?
Submit the following to obtain Texas title for an outboard motor:
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Texas Boating Laws And Regulations
Who needs a Texas Boater Education ID Card?
Boat operators who were born after September 1st, 1993, and who are at least 13 years of age are required to obtain a boater education card in order to legally operate:
- A boat with a motor of 15 hp or more
- A sail-powered boat over 14 ft. in length
- A Personal Watercraft such as a jet-ski
In order to legally operate, operators are required to carry the following on board:
- Their photo ID and
- Their Boater Education Certification card issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, or
- Proof of completion of an Operators License issued by the Coast Guard.
Non-residents are able to operate their boats within Texas so long as they have obtained and can supply proof of completing, a Boater Education Course from another state that is accepted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and that has been NASBLA-approved.
TEXAS AGE AND HORSEPOWER RESTRICTIONS
Children under 13 years of age may operate a boat if they are supervised by a person who is:
- On board the boat while it is underway.
- Legally able to operate the boat, if required.
- 18 years of age or older.
Get your Official Texas
Boat Registration Requirements in Texas
Boat registration requirements vary from state to state. To legally operate a boat in the state of Texas, you must obtain a Texas Certificate of Number and validation decals.
Registration Number and Decal Placement
Other Registration Information
WHAT ARE Texas LIFE JACKET REQUIREMENTS?
Additional Information On How To Register A Homemade Boat In Texas
The TPWD mandates all motorboats that measure 14 feet or larger to undergo the registration process.
However, smaller vehicles such as kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and others that are under 14 feet do not need to be registered. The same holds true with vessels that are out-of-country and using the Texas waterways temporarily.
Vessels documented by the US Coast Guard do not need a title. But these boats need to be registered in the state of Texas.
Each year, the registration must be renewed. Boats must be renewed before the expiration date.
If you are a new resident in Texas, you are given a maximum of 90 days for you to register your boat. It is also important to apply for a title, which you need to file within 20 business days from the date of purchase. This way, you can prevent interest and tax penalties.
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?
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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 www.texasstateparks.org/help.