boat registration - Coast Guard vessel documentation - yacht registry

Louisiana Boat Registration Summary

Louisiana 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 Louisiana. 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 Louisiana Boat RegistrationState of Louisiana
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Boat Registration Web Site
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Registration Overview The State of Louisiana issues both registrations and titles for boats. These are administered through the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Baton Rouge. Outboard motors are titled in Louisiana. Boat trailer registrations and titles are handled by the Division of Motor Vehicles.
Sales tax is levied on all boat transactions in Louisiana.
There are approximately 305,783 boats registered in the State of Louisiana. This accounts for 2.6% of all nationwide registrations.
Marking Requirements Boat registration numbers in Louisiana begin with an "LA" 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 "LAZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. The hull number must be inspected by a Louisiana law enforcement officer if there is a discrepancy.
Registration Requirements Boat registration in Louisiana is required on all motorized boats including sailboats 12 feet or longer unless otherwise exempt. This includes non-motorized houseboats and U.S. Coast Guard documented vessels. 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. Visit their website for additional exemptions.
Louisiana issues titles for boats and outboard motors of 25 horsepower or more that are financed or currently titled in another state.
This state has no provisions for bonded boat titles, conditional boat registrations. There is no process available for registering or titling abandoned boats.
Ownership transfers, abandonments, and destructions must be reported to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries within 15 days. Stolen boats must be reported within 5 days.
Ownership and Liens Boat registration records in Louisiana are administered by the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. This agency does not facilitate online registration searches for the general public. However, they will check their records by phone for a boat hull number and will verify a registration certificate if you have a copy in hand. If you need a print-out, it will be necessary to mail or fax the above Boat Record Request.
Security interests on non-documented boats which are state titled must be recorded on the Louisiana state registration records. If the vessel is documented, a preferred vessel mortgage should be recorded with the U.S. Coast Guard. A UCC recording would be appropriate if neither state titling or documentation applies.
Title Searches Boat title and registration records in Louisiana are maintained by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. 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 DWF offices will provide telephone verifications on information shown on boat title or registration certificates in hand.
Secured interests on non-titled and non-documented boats are recorded as UCC filings. Such information can be obtained by filing a UCC request form with the nearest Parish UCC officer or by utilizing the services of a public record vendor.
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 Louisiana. 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 Information Request Form
Public Record Vendors
Business Entity Search
Vessel Documentation Companies
Wiki Share Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries


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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