North Dakota 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 North Dakota. 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.
Game and Fish Department
Please contribute any experience or knowledge you may have about registering a boat
in North Dakota ....
||North Dakota is a boat
registration only state and does not issue titles. Registrations are administered by
the Game and Fish Department in Bismarck. This state does not issue titles or registrations for outboard motors. Boat trailer
registrations and titles are not issued in North Dakota.
Sales or use
tax applies to boats in North Dakota.
approximately 56,933 boats registered in the State
of North Dakota. This accounts for 0.5% of all nationwide
||Boat registration numbers
in North Dakota begin with an "ND" 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 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. Owners with older boats may apply with the Marine Police Division for a hull
number assignment. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with
the letters "NDZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory
designations. North Dakota
does not require boat hull number inspections.
||Unless otherwise exempt, boat
registration in North Dakota is required on all motorized boats. USCG documented
boats are exempt from registration. Visit their boat registration website for a
complete list of requirements and exemptions. This state does not have provisions
for bonded or conditional boat registrations. in cases where there is insufficient
proof of ownership, it will be necessary to petition a local court of law for an
award of ownership.
ownership, abandonments, destructions, and thefts must be
reported within 15 days.
Ownership and Liens
||North Dakota is a registration only state and does not issue boat titles.
Registration certificates may however serve as quasi-proof of ownership unless the
vessel is USCG documented. Security interests non-titled and non-documented boats
are therefore recorded through Uniform Commercial Code filings.
Tax liens are sometimes flagged in the state's registration database, 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 registered boats which are not USCG documented.
If the vessel is USCG documented, a security interest is 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.
||Boat registration records in North Dakota are maintained by the Game
and Fish Department. This agency does not facilitate online searches for the general public but
registration information may be obtained by telephone or by submitting a boat record
request form. It is also reported that the registration
office will provide
telephone verifications on registration certificates
North Dakato is a registration only
state and does not issue boat titles. Security interests in non-documented boats are
accordingly filed with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code recordings.
Online UCC searches are not available from their website but can be obtained from a
county recorder's office or public record vendor.
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
Non-recorded maritime liens may also be a factor when conducting boat title research
in North Dakota. 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
Boat Record Request Form
UCC Search Information
Public Record Vendors
County Recorder's Offices
Business Entity Search
Vessel Documentation Center
Game and Fish Department