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Tennessee Boat Registration Summary

          Tennessee boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, title search, and operational requirements for the State of Tennessee. 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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Boat Registration Agency Tennessee Boat RegistrationState of Tennessee
Wildlife Resources Agency

Boat Registration Web Site
Boat Registration Statistics There are approximately 258,167 boats registered in the State of Tennessee. This accounts for 2.1% of all nationwide registrations.
Boat Registration Numbering The registration number prefix for the State of Tennessee is "TN"
Boat Registration Requirements Registration is required on all boats except paddle boats in Tennessee. Coast Guard documented boats must also become registered. Certificates are available on a 1 to 3 year option.
Boat Title Requirements Tennessee does not issue boat titles, this is a registration only state.
Conditional Boat Registrations Tennessee does not have provisions for bonded or conditional boat registrations.
Boat Registration Records Boat registration records in Tennessee are administered by the Wildlife Resource Agency. This agency does not facilitate online searches for the general public. Individual record printouts are available upon request. Boat records are maintained indefinitely in this state.
Boat Tax Requirements Sales tax is required on all boat transactions in Tennessee.
Boat Loan Perfection A security interest on a non-documented boat in Tennessee 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.
Boat Ownership Designations Tennessee does not designate types of ownership on boat registration records.
Boat Reporting Requirements Transfers or abandonments must be reported within 15 days.
Boat Hull Number Inspections The boat must be inspected by a Tennessee law enforcement official if there is a hull number discrepancy. Owners with an invalid HIN may renew their registrations, but only for the next three years.
Outboard Boat Motors Tennessee does not issue titles or registrations for outboard motors.
Boat Trailers Titling and registration are optional for boat trailers in Tennessee.
Notary Requirements A $10,000 notary bond is required in Tennessee and the notary must affix an. embossed or inked stamp seal to all notarized documents.
Boat Visitation Rules Currently registered boats from other states may use Tennessee waters unless Tennessee has become their state of principal use. Exception: Sailboats brought into Tennessee by persons from states that do not require numbering of sailboats are exempt from registration provided that Tennessee is not the state of principal use. State of principal use means the state on whose waters a vessel is used or to be used most, whether moored or underway, during a calendar year.

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