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North Carolina Boat Registration Summary

North Carolina boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the State of North Carolina. Additional boat registration and titling resources can be found by visiting our Registration 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 North Carolina Boat RegistrationState of North Carolina
Wildlife Resources Commission

Boat Registration Web Site
Boat Registration Statistics There are approximately 358,171 boats registered in the State of North Carolina. This accounts for 3.0% of all nationwide registrations.
Boat Registration Numbering The boat registration number prefix for North Carolina is "NC".
Boat Registration Requirements All motorized boats are subject to registration except for sailboats 14 feet or less in length. Registration is also required for vessels documented with the Coast Guard.
Boat Title Requirements Titling is required in North Carolina for all registered boats except those which are documented with the Coast Guard.
Conditional Boat Registrations North Carolina does not have provisions for bonded boat titles or conditional boat registrations when there is insufficient proof of ownership.
Abandoned Boats North Carolina has a definitive procedure for taking ownership of abandoned boats.
Boat Registration Records Boat registration records in North Carolina are administered by the Wildlife Resources Commission. This agency does not facilitate online boat record searches for the general public. If you need a print-out, it will be necessary to contact the Wildlife Resources Commission. Boat registration records are maintained indefinitely in North Carolina.
Boat Tax Requirements Sales tax applies to boat transactions in North Carolina.
Boat 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.
Boat Ownership Methods North Carolina does not designate joint ownership methods on boat registrations.
Boat Residency Requirements Non-residents may apply for registrations if the boat is located within the state.
Reporting Requirements Ownership transfers, abandonments, destructions, and thefts must be reported to the Wildlife Resources Commission within 15 days.
Boat Hull Numbers North Carolina does not require hull number inspections.
Outboard Boat Motors North Carolina does not issue titles and registrations for outboard motors.
Boat Trailers Boat trailer registrations and titles are issued in North Carolina.
Notary Public North Carolina notary commissions are for 5 years, no bonding required, and the notary must affix an embosser or stamp seal to all notarized documents.


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