Buying a boat has become quite a simple job over the last decade or so. Whether it’s about getting a pre-purchase or to pay for the registration charges, it’s all on your fingertip.
If you have never owned a boat, and you’re willing to add it to your lifestyle, then it’s pretty much necessary to get it licensed. It’s important because you can avoid several legal problems, which is quite helpful in the long run.
Thankfully, the U.S. federal and state laws have made it very convenient for boating enthusiasts. If you own a boat or willing to have one, then continue reading about how you can register your boat online.
In this post, I will guide you through the essentials of online boat registration. Whether or not you can pay online and how many charges are there, we will also cover that.
Why Is Boat Registration Important?
Boat registration is essentially a duty that you owe to the country. There are some significant benefits. Here is a quick look:
Keep Boating Safe
When you register the boat, you ensure that the boating business remains safe from any illegal activities. So, you’re helping the boating community.
Development of Aquatic Parks
Often, many states use a portion of your registration fee for maintaining and developing the aquatic parks. So, it helps in preserving the natural resources for future boaters.
Prove your Ownership
When you register the boat, you stamp your ownership over the vehicle. Therefore, it adds to the list of your assets, which is crucial for finance-related matters.
Are Boat Registrations Same in Every State
The U.S. Department of Motors and Vehicles has uniform rules and regulations all over the state. However, it’s not the case for boats and other vessels. Many states have put boat registration under the fish-and-game department and the parks division.
It means that your boat registration fee and payment methods will be specific to your region. Therefore, it’s good to look up some directories to know the best place to make your payments.
What’s Needed for a Boat Registration
First, you need a boat, of course. Secondly, your boat must adhere to regulations that are specific to a state. So, the state laws determine the parameters on which they decide whether you should get the registration.
If you’re wondering what those parameters are, here is a quick look.
Place of Use
Whether you use your boat in private ponds or lakes, or if you’re exploring public water bodies, it has a direct relation to your registration. For instance, you won’t need to register a private boat in Florida. However, that may not apply to all the states.
Length of the Boat
The boat size has a direct relation to boat registration. Generally, small boats and non-motorized boats such as Kayaks, Canoes, Rowing vessels, etc., may be exempted from registration. Similarly, if your yacht is shorter than 16 feet, it’s exempted in some states.
Federally Documented Boats
In some states, you don’t need a boat registration if your federal boat documentation. The same goes for boats registered with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Bill of Sale
When you purchase a boat from the previous owner or buy a new boat, you need to attach the sale bill with your application. It’s a legal document that shows the transfer of ownership. So, it would be best if you connected it for verification.
Use either your driver’s license or any other photo I.D. for verification. You can send a scanned copy or via mail as per your state laws.
Boat Registration Fees
Like the registration process, the registration fee is also based on the state you live in. The registration fee depends upon the boat size. It starts at $5 and goes up to $190. Other costs related to titling and copies can take your total cost up to nearly $200.
However, the direct cost of registration depends upon your boat size. The rest of the charges are relatively minimal. In some states, you may also need to pay the taxes, which depends on your boat’s price.
Boat Registration Form
A boat registration form entails everything that you need to secure before registering your boat. IN this form, you will find all the details regarding your boat type and fees. Here is a look at some of the salient features you will find in most state forms for boat registration.
New or Used Boat
If your boat is new, then registration charges can be a bit different. There can be renewal or replacement charges that will apply to your boat in the case of a used boat. If your boat previously had a registration of some other state, then the renewal process can be somewhat complicated.
While registering, you must also mention how you purchased the boat. It can be either through a dealer, the owner, an insurance claim, a reward from the court or inheritance, etc.
Describe Your Boat
It would be best if you also mentioned the main boat specs. Mention the material, age, color, engine type, propulsion, length, and build year. Also, it would be best if you mentioned the purpose of the boat. For instance, you may be using it for fishing, casual boating, commercial passengers, etc.
In a nutshell, paying boat registration online isn’t much of a problem. However, some state laws bind you to submit hard copies and make the payments at their desired places. Like the documentation, states prefer that you send the documents over mail, and the same goes for the registration fee.
However, there are state-specific online portals that accept registration fees via internet transactions. The outlets and payment modes can be different, but generally, most states take online registration fees.
In this regard, listing sites are quite useful because they give you exact numbers for the registration fee and other relevant details.
So, it’s relatively straightforward to fill online forms and submit the payments through online transactions. Hence, if you plan a boat upgrade or have still not registered, your new registration is just a few clicks away.