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.
Please read our
||Puerto 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 ....
Boat Registration Overview
||Puerto Rico issues registrations for all non-exempt boats operating
within their jurisdiction. These are administered by the Department of Natural
approximately 21,682 boats registered in Puerto
Rico. This accounts for 0.2% of all nationwide
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
Puerto Rico requires registration of all non-exempt boats operating within their
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.
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
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
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
Public Record Service
Vessel Documentation Center
Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources