vessel documentation and boat registration

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Maryland Boat Registration Summary

          Maryland boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the State of Maryland. 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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Maryland Boat Registration
Maryland Boat Registration
Department of
Natural Resources

Registration Statistics There are approximately 181,544 boats registered in the State of Maryland. This accounts for 1.5% of all nationwide registrations.
Registration Numbering The boat registration number prefix for Maryland is "MD".
Registration Agency Department of Natural Resources
Registration Requirements Registration is required for all motorboats in the State of Maryland. Registrations are issued on a 2 year cycle. Registration is not required for Coast Guard documented vessels, but a special use decal must be obtained.
Title Requirements Maryland issues titles all boats that require registration except those which are Coast Guard documented.
Electronic Titles Maryland does not have an electronic boat title program.
Conditional Registration Maryland does not have provisions for bonded boat titling or registration. A court award will be required when there is insufficient proof of ownership.
Abandoned Boats Maryland has a defined process for claiming title to an abandoned boat. Additional information and examples can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Mechanic's Liens Maryland has provisions for enforcing boat liens incurred by marinas, boatyards, and other service agencies. Additional information about mechanic's liens can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Registration Records Boat registration records are maintained indefinitely in Maryland. Detailed information on how to obtain verbal and written reports can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
State Tax Requirements Excise tax is due within 30 days of the purchase date or entry into the State of Maryland.
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.
Ownership Designations Maryland does not indicate joint ownership methods on boating records.
Residency Requirements Non-residents may apply for boat registration and titling if Maryland is to be the state of Principal use.
Reporting Requirements The sale, transfer, abandonment, theft, or destruction of a boat registered in Maryland must be reported to the Department of Natural Resources within 15 days.
Hull Inspection None required.
Outboard Motors Maryland does not issue titles for outboard motors.
Boat Trailers Registrations and titles are required for boat trailers in Maryland.
Notary Regulations Maryland notaries must affix a seal or stamp on all notarized documents.
Dealer Licensing State licensing is required for boat dealers and brokers. Bonding requirements range from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on annual sales volume.
Visitation Period A vessel duly registered in another jurisdiction may enjoy Maryland waters for a cumulative total of 90 days in a calendar year without being required to pay vessel excise tax. A vessel may remain longer than 90 days so long as a majority of the year is spent in another jurisdiction (i.e. Florida for 7 months and Maryland for 5 months).

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Includes a complete gathering of boat title search resources.

        BOAT TITLE SERVICES
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.

         BOAT FORMS ONLINE
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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