What You Need To Know About Vessel Registration Before You Buy a Boat

Vessel Registration

Learning about vessel registration and its significance before purchasing a boat is smart. Registering a boat with the appropriate authorities at the state and federal levels is a legal requirement.

To the uninitiated, this may seem like unnecessary red tape, but rest assured that it is there for your protection and to help you get the most out of your money. If your boat is involved in an accident or breaks local legislation, you might face fines or penalties if you haven’t registered it. If you break maritime law and your boat isn’t registered, the authorities have the right to seize it.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to follow the rules since the expense of penalties and fees may rapidly build up if the police or other authorities have to search down the owner of an unregistered vessel. Here’s some information you should have before buying it.

Vessel Registration is required in Most States.

Most governments have made the registration of vessels obligatory, and boat insurance cannot be purchased without it. Whether you are acquiring a used boat or a new powerboat, motorboat, sailboat, or personal watercraft, you will need to have a title and register the vessel to have ownership of the vessel.

Whether you purchase the vessel secondhand or brand new, this is the case. Before taking your boat out on the water, your state will almost always demand that you register it with them first. There is an exemption to this restriction if you intend to use it only on private land; for instance, if you reside on a lake and dock your boat at home, you are exempt from this law.

When this occurs, you usually do not have to register the boat until you intend to take it out on public waterways since this is often the point at which you are obligated to do so.

There are Different Types of Registrations

While exciting, purchasing a boat does not always come without its challenges. That’s why it’s essential to understand the nuances between the various vessel registration categories.

By selecting “Full Ownership Registration,” you may have the same rights to the boat as a landowner. Any uses of the vessel are sanctioned under this clause. Given its adaptability, this is the best choice if you want to sell it. However, if you want to use the vessel primarily for leisure and not for commercial reasons, consider registering it under a restricted category.

The reason being it’s less expensive than buying outright, but you still get to enjoy the yacht and all its perks. It also ensures that your insurance will pay you if anything wrong happens. The primary drawback is that if you sell the boat, you won’t get anything back except the title. Buying a boat is a big decision, so before you make one, do some research to find out what kind of registration would work best for you.

Registration Fees Vary By State 

The cost of vessel registration stands out as the most significant. Varying states have different requirements for registering a boat, but in most of them, you need to be the legal owner before registering the vessel. A sales tax may be due in addition to the registration price in certain places. Liability insurance may also be required.

Before purchasing a boat, double-check with your state’s motor vehicles department or boating and aquatic safety division to be sure there’s nothing more you need to know. Registration costs might range from free to several hundred dollars. Buying a boat may seem like a no-brainer if it’s your first time doing so.

Vessel Registration

You May be Able to Get Exemptions or Discounts

In most states, the fee you pay to register your vessel will differ in price depending on the type of boat you own. In addition, the state might provide discounts on particular boats, as well as for senior citizens and military veterans. If your boat is less than 16 feet long, does not have a motor, and does not have a trailer, then it is possible that you will not be required to pay any registration fees at all.

When registering your vessel, one of the things you will be required to do is provide information on all of the vessel’s owners. Thanks to this measure, everyone involved will have a better chance of staying informed and up to date, especially if there are any changes involving the vessel in question’s ownership.

Vessel Documentation Online LLC is a reputable maritime consulting firm specializing in vessel registration and documentation. Whether you’re looking to buy a boat or already have one under your ownership that needs to be documented, don’t hesitate to contact them by calling (877) 564-1398.