U.S. Virgin Islands boat registration summary is a free resource designed to inform the boating public
about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the
territory of U.S. Virgin Islands. 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
Department of Planning &
USVI Boat Registration Information
Please contribute any experience or knowledge you may have about registering a boat in
U. S. Virgin Islands ....
Boat Registration Overview
||The U.S. Virgin Islands registers all non-exempt boats operating
within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the Department of Planning and
approximately 4,479 boats registered in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This accounts for
.04% of all nationwide
Boat registration numbers in the U.S. Virgin Islands begin with a "VI" 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
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. Owners with older
boats may apply with the DPNR for a hull
number assignment. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with
the letters "VIZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory
The U.S. Virgin Island registers all non-exempt boats operating within their
jurisdiction. Coast Guard documented vessels are also subject to registration. Boats registered in other
states or countries are exempt if visitation usage is less than 60 days. A complete
listing of requirements and exemptions can be found on the DPNR website.
Ownership and Liens
The U.S. Virgin Islands is a registration only territory 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 state's registration database, recorded as
UCC filings, shown on 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 the U.S. Virgin Islands are maintained by the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources. This agency does not facilitate online searches for the general
public but registration information may be obtained by submitting a written request. It is also reported that the registration office will
confirm hull identification numbers and provide
telephone verifications on registration certificates
The U.S. Virgin Islands is a
registration only territory and does not issue boat titles. Security interests in
non-documented boats are accordingly filed with the USVI Recorder of Deeds office as Uniform Commercial Code
recordings. Online UCC searches are available from their web site or by using a 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 boat registration
records, as UCC filings, in 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 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 the U.S. Virgin Islands. 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
U.S. Virgin Islands Department of