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. More detailed information, forms, guidelines, and other resources are obtainable by downloading our boat registration kit for this state. You will also find an extensive listing of supplemental boat, trailer, and outboard motor titling or registration forms on our forms page.

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.
Registration Numbering The boat registration number prefix for Massachusetts is "MS".
Registration Agency Division of Law Enforcement, Registration Bureau
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.
Title Requirements All registered boats over 14' are titled in Massachusetts except those which are Coast Guard documented.
Conditional 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. Additional information on abandoned boats can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Tax Requirements Sales tax is levied on boat transactions in Massachusetts.
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.
Registration Records Detailed information on how to obtain verbal and written reports can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Ownership Designations Multiple owners are designated as either "Co-owner" or "Joint Owner" on Massachusetts boat records.
Residency Requirements Non-residents may register a boat in Massachusetts if this is the state of principal usage.
Reporting Requirements Ownership transfers of boats registered in Massachusetts must be reported within 15 days.
Hull Inspection A  boat must be physically inspected by a Massachusetts law enforcement officer if there is a hull number discrepancy.
Outboard 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.
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.

The internet's largest collection of maritime databases all rolled into one convenient search interface.
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Visit our services page for a complete listing of state level titling and registration services for every type of boat or watercraft. Your option of economical self-service kits or convenient full-services.

The internet's most comprehensive gathering of state registration, and boat transaction forms. Includes instructions, examples and are fielded for easy usage. Available for immediate download right online.


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