boat registration - Coast Guard vessel documentation - yacht registry

Puerto Rico Boat Registration Summary

Puerto Rico boat registration summary is a free resource designed to inform the boating public about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico. 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 territorial agency.
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Registration Agency Puerto Rico Boat RegistrationPuerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources
Office of the Commissioner of Navigation
Division of Boat Registration

Boat Registration Website
Please contribute any experience or knowledge you may have about registering a boat in Puerto Rico ....  Wiki-Share
Boat Registration Overview Puerto Rico issues registrations for all non-exempt boats operating within their jurisdiction. These are administered by the Department of Natural Resources.
There are approximately 21,682 boats registered in Puerto Rico. This accounts for 0.2% of all nationwide registrations.
Marking Requirements Boat registration numbers in Puerto Rico begin with a "PR" 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 "PRZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations.
Registration Requirements Puerto Rico requires registration of all non-exempt boats operating within their jurisdiction.

The Department of Natural Resources does not have provisions for registering abandoned boats.
Ownership and Liens Puerto Rico 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 Coast Guard documented. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or documented are therefore recorded through Uniform Commercial Code filings.
Tax liens are sometimes flagged in the boat registration database, recorded as UCC filings, shown on revenue records, or filed with a court 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.
Title Searches Boat registration records in Puerto Rico are administered by the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Vessel registration. Online access to their data system is not available, therefore you will need to contact them directly for verifications and record printouts. Their contact information is available from their website.
Uniform Commercial Code searches may be obtained by contacting the Department of state or through a Public Record Service.
Local 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 boat registration records, as UCC filings, in state revenue records, in a court 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 Coast Guard 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 Puerto Rico. 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
Registration Rules
UCC Information
Public Record Service
National Vessel Documentation Center
Vessel Documentation Companies
Wiki Contributors Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources 


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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