vessel documentation and boat registration

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Texas Boat Registration Summary

          Texas boat registration summary contains an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the State of Texas. More detailed information, forms, guidelines, and a complete listing of resources are obtainable by downloading a Boat Registration Kit for this state. You will also find an extensive listing of generic state level boat registration, boat trailer, and general purpose forms on our Forms Page . Please visit our State Page for additional articles and information regarding state level boat registration, titling, and operational requirements.

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

Registration Statistics There are approximately 577,174 boats registered in Texas. This state ranks 6th among nationwide boat registrations.
State Numbering The boat registration number prefix for Texas is "TX". Registration numbers must be displayed on all registered boats except those which are Coast Guard documented.
Registration Agency Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Registration Requirements Registration is required on all boats sailboats under 14 feet in length and non-motorized boats such as canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, and rubber rafts. Coast guard documented boats are also subject to registration. Registration certificates are renewed every 2 years in Texas.
Title Requirements Titling is required on all registered boats in Texas, except those which are Coast Guard documented.
Bonded Titling Texas has provisions for bonded boat titling. Information and forms can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Statutory Liens Texas has provisions for titling or registering a boat subject to a storage, storage, or mechanic's possessory lien. Information and forms can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Registration Records Boat registration records are maintained for 10 years in Texas. Detailed information on how to obtain verbal and written reports can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
State Tax Sales tax applies to boat transactions in Texas.
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 Co-owners may designate "rights of survivorship" when applying for a registration or title.
Residency requirements Owner residency is not required for registration, but the boat must be located within the State of Texas.
Hull Inspections A hull inspection by a Texas law enforcement official is required if there is a discrepancy or for boats requiring a state assigned hull number.
Reporting Requirements Transfers of ownership, abandonments, destructions, and thefts must be reported within 15 days.
Outboard Motors All outboard motors, except electric trolling motors, are subject to titling, but not registration.
Boat Trailers Boat trailer registration is required in Texas. Titling is required for those weighing over 4,000 lbs. Titles are not available for those weighing less.
Notary Regulations Notary commissions are for 4 years, a $10,000 bond is required, and notary seals must be embossed or stamped in a manner that is photographically reproducible.
Visitation Period A visitation period of 90 days is allowed in Texas for boats that are Coast Guard documented, foreign titled, or registered in another state.

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