Can you register a boat without a title? That’s a great question and you are in the right place to find out. It’s no secret that registering a boat is much easier when you have a title on hand, but it’s not impossible without one. If you have recently purchased a boat and there’s no title to be found, this guide can help you determine what to do next and how to complete the task anyway.
What are the Challenges?
It’s definitely challenging to register a boat without a title. There are a couple of challenges to face along the way. That includes proving ownership and getting around the issue of missing documentation. Without a proper title, you’re going to have to find an alternate way to prove that you own the boat you just purchased. Keep reading to find out how to do that.
How to Prove Ownership: “Can You Register a Boat Without a Title” You May Ask
The boat’s title is the easiest way to prove ownership, but without it, you must find a different way to do so. Fortunately, there are several ways you can go about this, including the following:
- Bill of sale – this legally transfers ownership from one person to another and includes important information about the vessel
- Registration documents – this shows that the boat is registered in your name, proving that you own it
- Insurance documents – this is another way to prove ownership
It’s also important to keep in mind that not all sellers will comply with the above options and you may need to prove ownership in an additional way. Examples might be:
- Unopened letter of request through the mail
- Multiple attempts to contact the seller
- Documentation of all communication
- Finding legal advice
Dealing With Missing Documentation
Some kind of documentation is necessary to get a new title. In some cases, a surety bond can replace documents. What are the steps to doing this? Read below to find out:
- Research state requirements
- Gather alternative documents
- Complete the associated paperwork
There are several special cases that you should also be aware of. These require special steps and you can find out what they are by contacting the officials in the state in which you reside. They might be one of the following:
- Registering an abandoned boat
- Registering a homemade boat
- Out of state registration
- International boat registration
Liens and Disputes
Another consideration is liens and disputes. If this applies to your boat, you will need to contact the lienholder to create a payment plan. However, you should always check for the presence of liens before you buy a boat. When disputes arrive, get legal assistance. You should also check the current registration before you start the purchase process.
Now that you know the answer to, “can you register a boat without a title,” you need to know who to turn to when you need help. It can be overwhelming to buy a boat and get through everything that needs to be done. Contact the US Vessel Documentation Center today and we can guide you through the process, from start to finish.