vessel documentation and boat registration

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Georgia Boat Registration Summary

          Georgia boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the State of Georgia. More detailed information, forms, guidelines, and other resources are obtainable by downloading a Boat Registration Kit for this state. You will also find an extensive listing of general purpose boat and trailer registration forms on our Forms page. Please visit our State page for additional articles and information about registering or titling boats, trailers, and outboard motors.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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Georgia Boat Registration
Georgia Boat Registration
Department of Natural Resources

Registration Statistics There are approximately 322,346 boats registered in Georgia. This state ranks 13th among nationwide boat registrations.
Registration Numbering The registration number prefix for the State of Georgia is "GA". Registration numbers must be displayed on all state registered boats, except those which are documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Registration Agency The Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division administers boat registrations in Georgia.
Registration Requirements

Registration is required on all boats except sailboats under 12 feet in length, canoes, kayaks, rowboats and rubber rafts that have no mechanical propulsion (i.e., are paddled, poled, oared or windblown), boats operated exclusively on private ponds or lake. The registration cycle is 3 years. Registration is also required for Coast Guard documented vessels.

Title Requirements Georgia does not issue boat titles, this is a registration only state.
Boat Records Boat registration records are maintained indefinitely by the State of Georgia. Detailed information on how to obtain verbal and written reports can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Abandoned Boats Georgia has provisions for removal of abandoned boats, however there are no specific procedures for registration. Information about abandoned boats can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
State Tax Requirements Sales tax applies on boat transactions and there is a yearly personal property tax.
Loan Perfection A security interest on a non-documented boat in Alabama is perfected with a UCC financing statement. If the vessel is Coast Guard documented, a preferred vessel mortgage must be recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center.
Ownership Designations Georgia does not designate joint ownership terms on boat registrations.
Residency Requirements Non-residents may apply for a registration if the boat is located within the State of Georgia.
Hull Inspections All boats built after 1972 must have an appropriate hull identification number in order to qualify for registration. If not, an assigned number must be affixed by a state official.
Reporting Requirements The transfer, abandonment, theft, or destruction of a Georgia registered boat must be reported to the Wildlife Resources Division within 15 days.
Outboard Motors Georgia does not title or register outboard motors.
Boat Trailers Boat trailers are registered in Georgia, but not titled.
Notary Regulations Georgia notaries must affix an embossed or stamped seal on all notarized documents.
Visitation Period Boats that are Coast Guard documented or registered in another state are allowed a visitation period of 60 days.

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