boat registration - Coast Guard vessel documentation - yacht registry

Kentucky Boat Registration Summary

Kentucky boat registration summary is a free resource designed to inform the boating public about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of Kentucky. The data is maintained as an open wiki forum where readers are encouraged to participate by sharing knowledge and experiences with this particular state. Simply click on the "Wiki-Share" link to contribute further details or suggest a revision.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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Boat Registration Agency Kentucky Boat RegistrationState of Kentucky
Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources

Boat Registration Web Site
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Registration Overview The State of Kentucky issues both registrations and titles for boats. These are administered through the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in Frankfort. Outboard motors are not titled or registered in Kentucky. Registration and titling is not required for boat trailers.
 
Personal property taxes are assessed on boats in Kentucky.
 
There are approximately 173,344 boats registered in the State of Kentucky. This accounts for 1.4% of all nationwide registrations.
Marking Requirements Boat registration numbers in Kentucky begin with a "KY" designation which is followed by four numbers and then two letters. These must be displayed on all non-documented boats along with registration sticker tabs. Coast Guard documented vessels may not display the state registration numbers. However they must display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. An official documentation number must also be affixed to a visible interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.
 
All vessels manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with the letters "KYZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Kentucky does not require hull identification number verifications.
Registration Requirements Registration is required in Kentucky for all motorized boats with certain exemptions. Coast Guard documented vessels are exempt from registration. A visitation period of 60 days is allowed for boats that are Coast Guard documented, foreign titled, or registered in another state.
 
Kentucky issues titles for all registered boats except those which are Coast Guard documented.
 
Transfer, abandonment, theft, or destruction of an Kentucky registered boat must be reported to the County Clerk's Office within 15 days.
Ownership and Liens Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. These will be shown on both the registration certificate and title when applicable. All titles with active security interests are sent directly to the secured party.
 
Tax liens are sometimes flagged in the state's registration database or perhaps recorded as Uniform Commercial Code filings. There are no provisions for recording mechanic's liens or other non-secured claims against registered boats which are not documented.
 
If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender's security interest may be perfected by filing a preferred vessel mortgage. These are recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center with the earliest submissions taking priority. Other lien claims can be filed in the same manner although these function as notifications only. All such filings are indexed on the vessel's underlying abstract of title.
 
Security interests in non-documented and non-titled boats are recorded as Uniform Commercial Code filings.
Title Searches Boat title and registration records in Kentucky are maintained by the Division of Motor Vehicles. This agency does not facilitate online searches for the general public due to strict privacy laws. However, record printouts may be obtained by an owner or otherwise qualified party by submitting a boat record request form. It is also reported that the DMV offices will provide telephone verifications on information shown on boat title or registration certificates in hand.
 
State and Federal tax liens on boats are not always recorded in a consistent manner and are therefore difficult to identify. They may show up as a red flag on state registration records, as UCC filings, in state revenue records, in a county clerks records, or on a vessel's abstract of title for documented boats. Given these disparities, it may be worth obtaining the services of a public record vendor that has access to a broad range of personal property lien recordings.
 
Ownership, mortgage, and lien search recordings for USCG documented vessels can be obtained by ordering an abstract of title and a copy of the certificate of documentation from the National Vessel Documentation Center. However, these are encoded and can be difficult to interpret, especially on older vessels with numerous recordings. It may be worthwhile to contact a professional vessel documentation company for assistance in this regard.
 
Non-recorded maritime liens may also be a factor when conducting boat title research in Kentucky. These include liabilities for items such as services, equipment, fuel, storage, parts, supplies, and damages which can become attached to the boat itself regardless of ownership. One of the most useful tools for doing this kind of research is our premier boat history search database. It is a gathering of eight nationwide databases into a single interface which can be searched by numerous criteria. These include records for stolen boats, marine lien claims, boating accidents, pollution incidents, auctioned boats, factory recalls, and documented vessels.
Resources Boat History Search Database
Boat Record Request
UCC Search
Public Record Vendors
Business Entity Search
Vessel Documentation Companies
Wiki Contributors Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

BoatScopeTM

Visit our database page for the nation's premier boat history report with a full compliment of title search resources. Includes eight maritime databases all rolled into one convenient interface. A must-have service for any prospective buyer, marine lender, or maritime professional.

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