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North Carolina Boat Registration Summary

          North Carolina boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the State of North Carolina. 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 and trailers.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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North Carolina Boat Registration
North Carolina Boat Registration

Boat Registration Statistics There are approximately 386,884 boats registered in the State of North Carolina. This accounts for 3.2% of all nationwide registrations.
Registration Numbering The boat registration number prefix for North Carolina is "NC".
Registration Agency North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Registration Requirements All motorized boats are subject to registration except for sailboats 14 feet or less in length. Registration is also required for vessels documented with the Coast Guard.
Title Requirements Titling is required in North Carolina for all registered boats except those which are documented with the Coast Guard.
Conditional Registrations North Carolina does not have provisions for bonded boat titles or conditional boat registrations when there is insufficient proof of ownership.
Abandoned Boats North Carolina has a definitive procedure for taking ownership of abandoned boats. Detailed information for abandoned boats can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Boat Registration Records Boat registration records are maintained indefinitely. Detailed information on how to obtain verbal and written reports can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Tax Requirements Sales tax applies to boat transactions in North Carolina.
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 North Carolina does not designate joint ownership methods on boat registrations.
Residency Requirements Non-residents may apply for registrations if the boat is located within the state.
Reporting Requirements Ownership transfers, abandonments, destructions, and thefts must be reported to the Wildlife Resources Commission within 15 days.
Hull Inspections North Carolina does not require hull inspections.
Outboard Motors North Carolina does not issue titles and registrations for outboard motors.
Boat Trailers Boat trailer registrations and titles are issued in North Carolina.
Notary Public North Carolina notary commissions are for 5 years, no bonding required, and the notary must affix an embosser or stamp seal to all notarized documents.
Visitation Period A visitation period of 90 days is allowed for boats that are registered in another state, Coast Guard documented, or registered in a foreign country.

        BOAT HISTORY SEARCH
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   ▪  Salvaged boat database.
   ▪  Boat lien claim database.
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   ▪  Boat accident database.
   ▪  Pollution database.
   ▪  Documented vessel database.
   ▪  Factory recall database.
   ▪  Manufacturer database.
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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