Nevada Boat Registration

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Nevada Boat Registration Summary

Nevada 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 Nevada. 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.

This information is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective agency.

Comments - Suggestions - Revisions ....  Wiki-Share


State of Nevada

State of Nevada
Department of Wildlife

Registration Website


Registration Overview

Nevada issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered through the Department of Wildlife in Reno. This state does not title or register outboard motors. Boat trailer titles and registrations are required in Nevada. Sales tax is required on dealer boat sales, but not on private party transactions directly between a buyer and seller. There are approximately 41,627 boats registered in the State of Nevada. This accounts for 0.4% of all nationwide registrations.

Registration Requirements

Unless otherwise exempted, boat registration is required in Nevada on all motorized boats, including sailboats with motors. Coast Guard documented vessels are also subject to registration. A complete list of exemptions may be found by visiting the Department of Wildlife website. Boats which have been transferred, abandoned, stolen, or destroyed must be reported to the Department of Wildlife within 10 days.

Marking Requirements

Nevada boat registration numbers begin with an "NV" 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 "NVZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. The boat must be inspected by a Nevada law enforcement official if it is pre-owned and was not previously titled or if there is a hull number discrepancy.

Ownership and Liens

Nevada issues titles on all registered boats except for those which are Coast Guard Documented. Nevada does not have provisions for bonded titles or conditional registrations where sufficient proof of ownership can not be otherwise provided. In these cases, it will be necessary to obtain an award of ownership from a court of proper jurisdiction. Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Department of Motor vehicles. 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.

Boat Title Research

Boat title and registration records in Nevada are maintained by the Department of Wildlife. 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 Department of Wildlife offices will check on hull numbers by telephone and verify information shown on boat title or registration certificates in hand. Uniform Commercial Code searches are no longer available online in Nevada. It will be necessary to submit a UCC11 Information Request form with the Secretary of State. There are also many public record vendors that can provide UCC recording information. The assistance of such vendors may be advisable for any suspected tax liens as they have a much broader access to these types of 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 title company for assistance in this regard. Non-recorded maritime liens may also be a factor when conducting boat title research in Nevada. 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 boat manufacturers. Yacht brokers, documentation companies, and attorneys do not warrant or guarantee titles. It is therefore incumbent on the owner to stand behind any such representations. Of course it will be of no consolation if a guarantor is insolvent, non-cooperative, or can not be located. This calls for a thorough background check to ensure the owner's wherewithal for making good on any hidden liens or title deficiencies.

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