Best Ways to Avoid Losing your Boat Title or Registration

The risks of losing a boat title or registrations are well-known to boat owners in the United States. However, not everyone knows how to safeguard their papers from being misplaced or stolen. This article provides advice on preserving your boat’s registration and title. As an added service, we’ll include a few places where people may go for assistance if they need to update or replace these essential papers. 

The acquisition of these papers is necessary to establish ownership and the right to use a boat. But if you lose them, then what? Here are several ways to keep your boat’s title and registration safe from being misplaced. Boats are expensive investments; therefore, taking care of them is essential. Follow these guidelines if you don’t want to lose your boat’s registration or title.

Keep Your Boat Title and Registration Safe

Although it may go without saying, you should always maintain your boat title and registration in a secure location. Check that they aren’t simply sitting in a cupboard or desk drawer, where they may be misplaced or stolen. The most accessible approach to keep your boat and its registration safe is to keep track of both documents at all times. That may seem absurd, but it’s the truth! 

As a boat owner, you know that occasionally you’ll have to relocate your vessel more than once to reach your desired destination. Keep the boat’s registration and title with you, and make copies for everyone who may ride along. Please verify that your boat’s title and registration have the same information and that your boat is covered by an insurance policy that follows it wherever it travels. Just because someone else was at the wheel doesn’t absolve you of responsibility for any damage done to your boat while it was in their care.

Update Your Information with the Maritime Documentation Center

The United States Maritime Paperwork Center is responsible for keeping all vessel documentation records. This includes both registrations and titles for boats. The departments are government bureaus that keep files electronically. This may seem an obvious prerequisite, but it isn’t. Because here is where you’ll find your boat’s license and registration details, keeping them up-to-date is essential to ensure that authorities can locate them quickly and easily upon a check. 

Be sure that all the digits on your boat add to what you expect them to be. There must be a perfect three-way match between the registration number, the boat title number, and the license plate number. Ensure to double-check your details. If discrepancies between your account and their information are on file, authorities may temporarily suspend your boat’s use.

Carry Proof of Insurance

Also, we need to ensure that a copy of our insurance documentation is on file with the relevant state agency if the original is misplaced or destroyed. In the worst-case scenario, if we cannot provide a duplicate when requested, we will still be able to demonstrate that we were covered. If the police pull us over while out on the water for no apparent reason, we’ll need to provide evidence of insurance. 

Additionally, this will be helpful if we get a letter from the state requesting proof of insurance. Keep your insurance information handy when boating in case an accident occurs and someone is hurt. Boats in a slip should also be insured at all times, regardless of whether or not there are any people aboard (or their passengers are onshore). If something should happen to your boat while you’re gone, have your trusted friends and family members call your insurance provider using the information you’ve provided them.

Boat Title

Follow State Requirements

Ensure to research the laws of your state before purchasing a boat since some of them need registration with the DMV before issuing a title. It is impossible to get a title for the boat if it has not previously been registered. In certain areas, you may get your boat title right away. If this is the case, you’ll want to bring in all the documentation required by your state’s motor vehicle department and complete the title application correctly (usually a bill of sale). 

If you did not build the boat yourself, you must provide a bill of sale as evidence of purchase; if you did, you might be asked to provide further documentation of your ownership (like a picture of yourself working on it). If you don’t have insurance and someone smashes into your boat or goes overboard, you’re on the hook for their medical bills and any property damage.

For further information on retaining your boat’s title or registration, call the Maritime Documentation Center at 800-535-8570. You can trust them for timely, accurate information since they have years of industry expertise and many delighted clients. Every day of the year, the facility is available for use at all hours.