Thursday, May 9, 2024

Where Can I Register My Boat In Massachusetts

Procedure For Initial Boat Trailer Registration

Boat Registration Requirements 1.6.1

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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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.

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How Do I Register My Boat

Renewing a Boat Registration?

Boat registrations can be renewed online.

New Boat Registration?

251 Causeway St. Suite# 101

Boston, MA 02114

Boats 14 ft and Over Documents Required

  • Bill of Sale Name, address and signature of the seller must be on the bill of sale. See note 1 below
  • Title from the seller signed over to the new buyer
  • If your boat is purchased brand new from a registered boat dealer, department store or internet sales, an original Manufacturers Statement of Origin is required.
  • Proof of sales tax paid . You can pay this 6.25% tax online at and print out your receipt.
  • Pencil tracing of the hull ID number See note 2 below
  • Required fees check or money order only, no cash, debit or credit cards accepted. Checks are payable to Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Boats Under 14 ft Documents Required

  • Bill of Sale Name, address and signature of the seller must be on the bill of sale. See note 1 below
  • Proof of sales tax paid . You can pay this 6.25% tax online at and print out your receipt.
  • Pencil tracing of the hull ID number . See note 2 below
  • If boat is purchased brand new, from a registered boat dealer, department store or internet sales, a copy of the Manufacturers Statement of Origin is required.

How To Avoid Paying Taxes On Your Boatlegally

Optimist Sailboat Lettering from COLIN M, MA ...

Eds. Note: This article originally appeared in the Waterway Guide as a feature for cruisers. . Updated to reflect Marylands cap more here.

Dirk Schwenk, Esq., is a real estate and maritime attorney located in Annapolis, Maryland. If you are interested in his non-tax practice, please see Baylaw, LLC. For issues specific to waterfront property, please see Waterfrontlaw.

In my last article, I wrote about Maryland, specifically Marylands boat tax, and while Maryland and the Chesapeake are fantastic cruising grounds, I do recognize that there are other states in the Union. Since many of you readers and many of my clients venture out in the world-visiting far flung locales from Maine to Florida, the Caribbean and far beyond-I am often asked about the tax implications of other jurisdictions. I take these inquiries to mean:

How can I legally avoid paying taxes on my boat?

There is of course no simple answer to the question. If there were, the tax authorities would close it. Thats what happened in the good old days when it was pretty safe to register a boat to Delaware, place it in Coast Guard documentation, and call it good.

This article is the first step, and the easiest step in that direction.

2% capped at $2,000 Yes

Happy cruising!

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Complete Guide To Register An Inflatable Boat


Unpowered boats are boats without motors like: row boats, kayaks, canoes, and sailboats. If you are trying to purchase any kind of a motor mount system to your boat, I would suggest registering your boat.

My website really focuses on the Sport/Fishing Inflatable Boat with Transoms for a motor in the 9ft. to 11ft. range.

At least, go talk to your local Fish and Game Department for clarification. Ive done the research for you by adding a LINK for your state registration department. CHECK OUT THE RULES AND REGULATIONS IN YOUR STATE!

Why risk trouble when you dont have to.


First of all-DO NOT PANIC!

Most inflatable boats have several air chambers, so if one of the chambers get punctured, the boat will stay afloat. The remaining air chambers are separated by internal baffles or chamber walls that will either redistribute the air or will continue to give you plenty of time to get back to shore.

My website is all about SMALL LAKE FISHING, so you are closer to shore.

Again, Dont Panic! The new material used today is very resilient to wear and tear, as long as you are paying attention to what your doing you should rarely, if ever, have an issue with a puncture.

We do carry a kit with us just incase that contains some peel and stick patches and some duct tape or gorilla tape.

What Kind Of Boat Must Be Registered

Generally, boats must be registered in their state if they have a gasoline, diesel or electric motor, including a trolling motor. Personal Watercrafts are considered motorized crafts and needs to be registered in most states. Sailboats without auxiliary power must be registered if over a certain size like eight feet, but that differs by state. The registration requirements for kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, rowboats and other human-powered craft also differ by state but most dont need to be registered.

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Proof Of Ownership For Boat Trailer Registration

For initial registration of a boat trailer in Massachusetts, you’ll also need proof of ownership. If you bought the trailer new from a dealer, the dealer will provide you with the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin. This document establishes proof of ownership for boat trailer registration. If you purchased a used trailer, bring in the title of the previous owner with that person’s signature transferring it to you. If the transfer was made by a bill of sale, bring the original of that document.

Take Form RMV-1, correctly completed, and proof of ownership to an office of the Massachusetts Registry of Vehicles. Once you get them filed and pay a filing fee, you are good to go. The fee is a 6.25 percent sales/use tax imposed on the amount you paid for the trailer.

Boater Safety Courses In Massachusetts

Do I need to register my boat? –

Taking a boater safety course in Massachusetts is only required for youths between 12 and 15 years of age who wish to operate a motorboat without adult supervision. However, taking a Massachusetts boating safety course is a wise decision for any boater. You can save money on your boater insurance if you have earned a boating safety certificate in MA from any safety course approved by the Boat and Recreation Safety Bureau.

Note: One of the most efficient options for a boater safety course is an online option offered by many providers.

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Where Do I Register My Boat

A good place to start is right here on Discover Boatingjust visit our Boat Registration page, which allows you to start the registration process online. In most states, you can also register a boat with the Department of Motor Vehicles. In some cases it may be with the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Licensing, or the Department of Natural Resources . A boat can be officially registered in only one state.

Requirements For Registration And Titling Of Boats

Special Notice to Boat Owners

Renewing Boat Registrations

See instructions here for renewing a boat registration.

Prior to registering your boat, please read DMV’s notice to all vessel owners. Read the notice here.

Replace a Registration

See instructions here for replacing a boat registration.

New Boat Registrations

Federal law requires a hull number on all vessels manufactured in 1973 or later. The hull number must be given on the application. If the vessel has a “CT” number , that number stays with the vessel and must be entered on the application.

If a vessel has a US documented number or a Foreign Documented number then that vessel is not eligible to obtain a CT Title. You will receive a CT vessel registration using your documented numbers.

Vessels eligible for titles are vessels with a model year of 2017 and newer, or vessels that were previously documented either US or Foreign. Documentation from the Coast Guard is required to show that the Vessel was and is no longer documented.

A. Application for Vessel Registration and Certificate of Number or Decal

B.MCO/Out of state title/or previously documented paperwork from the U.S Coast Guard or Foreign Entity.

C. If the state that the vessel is currently registered in, and your vessel is 2017 model year or newer, you must have the following:

D. Bill of Sale/ Q1V :

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The Requirements To Get Coast Guard Boat Registration

Documentation from the Coast Guard is a legal requirement for all commercial vessels, but not for recreational vessels. You do get the choice of registering with the Coast Guard or, instead, registering with your state. However, there are some circumstances where documentation from the Coast Guard may be a necessity for you. Depending on how you are paying for or financing your vessel, your financial institution may insist that you get Coast Guard documentation as a form of protection for them for financial safeguards.

Does Nh Require Boat Insurance To Register A Boat

Glastron Boat Lettering from Jeffrey M, MA ...

New Hampshire does not have a requirement for boat owners to insure their boats as part of the registration process. Surprisingly, only two states require boat insurance, even though all 50 states require motorist to have automobile insurance.

Just because you arent required to have insurance, doesnt mean you dont need it. Like your home, a boat is a major investment, and you should have some type of protection for it. Depending on the type of boat you have and the level of coverage you get, boating insurance isnt very expensive especially given how expensive a boating accident can be. We have a comprehensive article about boating insurance.

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What’s Included In A Boat Bill Of Sale

A watercraft bill of sale is like a fleshed-out receipt. A receipt or invoice contains just the basics: purchase price, brief description, and date of sale.

Do not confuse a bill of sale with a notice of sale. A notice of sale is a document used in real property to give notice of default proceedings.

A vessel bill of sale provides proof of the sale of a boat that is more detailed than a receipt. It includes the following information:

  • Names and addresses of buyer and seller
  • Date of sale
  • Purchase price
  • Detailed description of the boat or watercraft including make, model, year, color, condition, and hull identification number
  • Information on what is being sold along with the boat or watercraft, such as the trailer, life jackets, cover, etc.
  • Information about any warranties the seller is making about the boat
  • Signatures of the seller and buyer
  • Signature by a notary, if required by your state

The Vessel Must Display The Boat Number And Expiration Decal As Stated Below

  • Both port and starboard sides of the bow must display the registration number.
  • Registration number must read from left to right on both port and starboard sides of the bow.
  • Number must be in at least three inch high BLOCK letters.
  • Color of numbers must sharply contrast with the background.
  • The letters must be separated from the numbers by a hyphen or by a space measuring two inches wide. example: MS-1124-DF or MS 1124 DF.
  • The port side of the boat must show the expiration decal in line with and three inches to the stern of the registration number.

To register your boat/watercraft for the state of Massachusetts or to read more about Massachusetts Boat Registration Number Decal Display Laws, you can visit the First time boat registration page on the website using this Link.

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Do I Need To Register My Inflatable Boat In Massachusetts

boat registrationyour registrationboatsdoneed to registerboatsregistration

Technically, yes. However, some states do not require inflatable boats to be registered or to bear registration numbers. Policies and rules vary in each state, so it’s best to check the laws concerning boat registration in the state that you live in to know if you need to register your inflatable watercraft.

Likewise, do boats need to be registered? Registering a boat is a necessary requirement for operating it legally within a state. Each state has different specifications on what types of boats, watercraft, and vessels need to be registered.

Also know, what is needed to register a boat in Massachusetts?

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.

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.

Boats That Must Be Registered In New Hampshire


In New Hampshire, you are required to have a valid Registration Certificate and a current decal to operate your boat on public waters. If you have a motorboat of any size or a sailboat that is 12 feet or longer, you must register your boat. The only exceptions are:

  • Sailboats and sailboards less than 12 feet
  • Small, non-motorized vessels such as canoes and kayaks
  • Boats registered in other states provided you operate it in New Hampshire for 30 days or less
  • Vessels owned or operated by the U.S. government
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    Do I Need A Personal Flotation Device


    I listed the following rules and regulations from Arizona.My review of the other states all conform to the same standards with minor changes.

    Check my Boat Registration Links above, for your States Personal Rules and Regulations.

    All vessels must be equipped with U.S. Coast Guardapproved life jackets, called personal flotation devices . The quantity and type depend on the length of your vessel and the number of people on board and/or being towed. Each PFD must be in good condition, be the proper size for the intended wearer, and very importantly, be readily accessible! Readily accessible means you must be able to put the PFD on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency . PFDs should not be stowed in plastic bags or in locked or closed compartments, and they should not have other gear stowed on top of them. Vessel operators should ask everyone on their vessel to wear a PFD whenever on the water. PFDs can save lives, but only if they are worn!

    PFD Requirements: All vessels, except sailboards and certain racing shells or rowing skulls, must have at least one wearable Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device that is U.S. Coast Guardapproved and of the proper size for each person on board. Sizing for life jackets is based on body weight and chest size. All life jackets must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible.

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