Buying a Boat Without a Title: What to Know?

Should you find yourself buying a boat without a title, there are two likely scenarios. You may have purchased a small vessel with a lost title. Or, more likely, the vessel is longer than 27 feet, and you can find its name/hailing port marked on the back. In that case, it is a USCG documented vessel.

In the latter case, you can acquire Coast Guard documentation for the vessel. You can do so through our site. If the vessel has never been documented, you can apply for Initial Vessel Documentation through this page.

If the vessel already has an official number, utilize the Transfer/Exchange of documentation form.

If you have a smaller vessel with no official number, then contact your appropriate DMV/State Registrar. Should you have a documented vessel and you wish to obtain a title for it, file a Certificate of Deletion for a vessel and then register it with your state.

If you have any further questions about this or are still unsure if the vessel has ever been documented, contact us at