vessel documentation and boat registration


Massachusetts Boat Registration Summary

          Massachusetts boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the State of Massachusetts. Additional boat registration and titling resources can be found by visiting our State page as shown in the above menu selections. Boat registration services, supplemental forms, and historical research data  are also available from our Services, Forms, and Database pages.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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Massachusetts Boat Registration
Massachusetts Boat Registration
Division of Law Enforcement

Boat Registration Statistics There are approximately 137,668 boats registered in the State of Massachusetts. This accounts for 1.1% of all nationwide registrations.
Boat Registration Numbering The boat registration number prefix for Massachusetts is "MS".
Boat Registration Agency Division of Law Enforcement, Registration Bureau
Boat Registration Requirements Registration is required on all motorized boats in Massachusetts. Coast Guard documented boats are exempt from registration. Registration certificates are renewed every 2 years.
Boat Title Requirements All registered boats over 14' are titled in Massachusetts except those which are Coast Guard documented.
Conditional Boat Registrations Massachusetts does not have provisions for bonded boat titles or conditional boat registrations where sufficient proof of ownership is not available. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis through the Registration Bureau.
Abandoned Boats Massachusetts has defined procedures for registering abandoned boats.
Tax Requirements Sales tax is levied on boat transactions in Massachusetts.
Boat Loan Perfection Security interests on non-documented boats which are state titled must be recorded on the state title records. On Coast Guard documented vessels, a preferred mortgage must be recorded on the vessel's abstract of title. A UCC financing statement must be filed if the boat is neither titled or documented.
Boat Registration Records Boat registration records in Massachusetts are administered by the Massachusetts Environmental Police.
Boat Ownership Designations Multiple owners are designated as either "Co-owner" or "Joint Owner" on Massachusetts boat records.
Boat Residency Requirements Non-residents may register a boat in Massachusetts if this is the state of principal usage.
Boat Reporting Requirements Ownership transfers of boats registered in Massachusetts must be reported within 15 days.
Boat Hull Number Inspection A  boat must be physically inspected by a Massachusetts law enforcement officer if there is a hull number discrepancy.
Outboard Boat Motors Massachusetts does not issue title or registration certificates for outboard motors.
Boat Trailers Registration is required for boat trailers in Massachusetts. Titles are required on boat trailers weighing over 3,000 lbs.
Notary Regulations Massachusetts notary commissions are  for 7 years, no bonding is required, and the notary must use an embossed or inked seal.
Boat Visitation Period A visitation period of 60 days is allowed for boats that are registered in another state, Coast Guard documented, or registered in a foreign country.
Boat Operator Requirements No person under 12 years of age may operate a motorboat, unless accompanied on-board and directly supervised by a competent person 18 years of age or older. Personal watercraft users must still be at least 16 years of age in order to operate, with no exceptions. Youth who are between 12 and 15 years of age must complete an approved basic boating course in order to operate a motorboat without adult supervision. Personal watercraft users who are 16 or 17 years of age must complete such a boating course. Youths under 16 years of age may not operate personal watercraft.
Massachusetts Boating Directory Boat Registration Information
More Boat Registration Information
Application for Boat Title / Registration
Other Boat Registration Forms
Abandoned Boat Information  -  General Public
Abandoned Boat Information  - Marinas & Boatyards
Sales & Use Tax Information
Notary Public Information
Boating Regulations
Boating Handbook
Regional Boat Registration Offices

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