boat registration - Coast Guard vessel documentation - yacht registry

Missouri Boat Registration Summary

Missouri 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 Missouri. 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 Missouri Boat RegistrationState of Missouri
Department of Revenue
Motor Vehicle Bureau

Boat Registration Website
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Registration Overview The State of Missouri issues both registrations and titles for boats. These are administered by the Motor Vehicle Bureau in Jefferson City. Outboard motors are titled and registered in Missouri. Titles and registrations are required for boat trailers.
Sales and personal property taxes apply to boat transactions in Missouri.
There are approximately 290,376 boats registered in the State of Missouri. This accounts for 2.4% of all nationwide registrations.
Marking Requirements Missouri boat registration numbers begin with an "MO" 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 "MOZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations.
Hull number inspections are required if there is a discrepancy with the hull number and on state hull number assignments.
Registration Requirements Unless exempted, all motorized boats and any sailboats longer than 12 feet must be registered in Missouri. This includes Coast Guard documented vessels. Exceptions are those propelled solely by paddle or oars, sailboats or sailboards less than 12 feet in length, or a ship's lifeboat used solely for lifesaving purposes.
Transferred, abandoned, stolen, or destroyed boats must be reported to the Motor Vehicle Bureau within 15 days.
Ownership and Liens Missouri issues titles on all registered boats except for those which are Coast Guard Documented. The state does not have provisions for bonded titles or conditional registrations where sufficient proof of ownership is not otherwise available. In this case, an award of ownership will be required from a court of proper jurisdiction. Missouri does have procedures for titling abandoned boats.
Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Motor Vehicle Bureau. These will be shown on both the registration and title certificates when applicable. All titles with active security interests are sent directly to the secured party. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or USCG documented are recorded with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. Tax liens may be flagged on boat registration records, recorded as UCC filings, shown on state revenue records, or filed with a county clerk's office. There are no provisions for recording mechanic's liens or other non-secured claims against state titled boats.
If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender's security interest must be perfected by filing a preferred vessel mortgage. These are recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center and priority is attained according to the date filed. Other maritime liens can be filed in the same manner although they function as notifications only. All mortgage and lien filings are indexed on the vessel's underlying abstract of title.
Title Searches Boat title and registration records in Missouri are maintained by the Motor Vehicle Bureau. 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. Although designed for vehicles, this form also applies to boats. It is also reported that MVB offices will provide telephone verifications hull identification numbers or information shown on boat title or registration certificates in hand.
Uniform Commercial Code searches are available online from the Secretary of State. However, if there are any suspected state or federal tax liens, it may be advisable to use a public record vendor as they have a much broader access to such filings .
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 Missouri. 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
Security Request - Non Owner's
Record Request - Non-Owner's
Record Request - Owner's
UCC Search
Public Record Vendors
Business Entity Search
National Vessel Documentation Center
Vessel Documentation Companies
Wiki Contributors Missouri Motor Vehicle Bureau


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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