View Poll Results: Did you buy a boat with no title?

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  • Yes I did...

    155 57.84%
  • No I would never make that mistake.

    95 35.45%
  • I bought it but got the title finally

    18 6.72%
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  1. #1
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    Default How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    At first you might think this question might be silly but the if you look you will see a lot of used boats are sold with no titles or titles to be delivered late.

    I am a prime example of somebody that bought a boat that the owner was not able to hand me the title. I found the boat I have on Craigs list and the owner had bought it and not had the title changed to his name. And to make things better the person with the title lived in a different city than I did and the person I got the boat from lived in a city different than both of us.
    When I bought the boat I had the seller sign a piece of paper stating they if he did not give me the title in 1 callender week he would refund the purchase price and i had his DL number and home adresse. I bough the boat on July 25, 2007 and had to wait longer than 1 week but I finally got the title and the boat and trailer are both in my name as of 9-10-07.

    Here is what I learned about used boats in Texas.
    A lot of people are selling boats that they do not have a title to or never transfered the title to themselves in Texas. I was told this is a growning problem fot TPWD. In a worse case if you buy a boat in Texas with no title you might have to turn it over to the police and they can auction it off. Or you just might buy a stole boat.

    ** I did find one way to get a title it was to to through a title servive where you sell them the boat and they title it and sell it back to you.

    ** When you buy a boat be sure to get
    1) A detailed bill of sale.
    2) A title if not a title be sure the seller will agree to refund the purchace price in a resonable time if they dont produce a title. ( I would visut there home and get there DL number and if possible a work number to be sure they dont run away.

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Commander bassboy1's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Done so a time or two on jon boats. A good bill of sale, and all blame would go back to the seller, and if he is innocent, and got an good bill of sale, it would keep going back until someone is guilty, or two stupid to get a bill of sale. As for trailers, we have bought many of them without titles, and the ones we built don't have titles. All but one of our trailers are registered as homemade, as you just need a drivers license to get it registered homemade.

    EDIT: I read the thread below this one, and learned why we don't have a title. The aren't required in Georgia. I wasn't with dad when he purchased all of them, and the ones I have been to get, we didn't get a title. I guess this means disregard my post, as it is meaningless. Sorry.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    What if the previous owner has the title for the boat, but its not in his name? This is what im about to go through. I got a boat, and he said he has the title for the boat but not in his name. He never transferd it because in the state of PA its not required to have boats titled. BUT... I went onto the commission website and it said all boats that were previously titled need to stay titled. Boats that never were titled do not have to be titled.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Depends on the state. Here in Arizona boat titles are not issued. Couldn't get one if you wanted to. On the other hand, a title is required for the trailer under the boat ...

    Kelly Cook

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    I had my trailer done at home built also. I just had to give the weight and how much it carries. In my county in Texas it couse me 47.50 to get licences for it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that no matter what the state, powered boats are required to have registration numbers. So, it is on record as belonging to somebody, whether it is by title or registration or whatever.

    Beyond that I suppose it is different in every state as to how "legal" they are about transferring ownership.

    I know it isn't easy to get by the title people in Florida.

    But we don't have trailer titles. Yet.

  7. #7
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    i have several boats that have homemade titles. the Fl laws make us have to be criminals.
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  8. #8
    Petty Officer 2nd Class rbryant1492_mfb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    In Texas to go the homemade boat title route you have to get an inspection from a game warden and you have be able to provide a list of the items you used to build the boat

  9. #9
    Lieutenant Junior Grade cougar1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    you guys should be up here in ONTARIO,CANADA .it,s our national pastime to buy and sell boats willy nilly.i know i haven't registered a boat for 25 years.have reg numbers but they came with the boat and have no clue were or to hume they belong to.i honestly dont know of a person that has reg a old boat though new one,s are.Ontario calculated that 75 percent or more of the boats out here are not reg. properly.the feds made a mess out of the system so many people just said the hell with it.im going to try a reg mine properly but if they bugger me around all over the place i will be back to square one.

  10. #10
    Petty Officer 2nd Class rbryant1492_mfb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    After I finally had my title in hand it was not to bad getting my papers and stuff. Fees and such were 150.00 they were actually nice

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    I have had several that were either bought as abandoned or simply picked up at estate sales. A few came from states without boat titles, a few were too old to have hull numbers, and a few were just boats that either had the titles lost or boats that were abandoned on property that had changed hands.

    The local marine police here do an inspection an if no former owner can be traced, or there are no hull id numbers present, they give you a form that certifies it's not stolen which allows motor vehicle services to re-assign a new hull ID number. I've done this on a few boats over the years. Pretty much so long as it's not stolen or if it hasn't seen the water in years, you will simply end up with a new title. I just went through that with one that had been sitting in someone's garage for 20 years that had been passed down from a dead relative with no paperwork. It was registered at some point, but it was too long ago to still be in the system. They simply re-assigned a new set up Registration numbers and issued me a new title. There has also been a few changes over the years in the minimum size boat that needs to be titled. It's a bigger deal to get the untitled boats re-registered than one with no title.
    (Our DMV asks for the last registration and a hand written bill of sale as proof of ownership transfer on older boats and those less than 12' long). That makes registering a small boat that's sat in the rafters for 30 years a real pain, especially if you don't know it's history or still have the old registration.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    As mentioned above, Georgia doesn't title boats, only trailers. My first boat was pruchased from someone who never reregistered in Georgia after moving down from Ohio so I did get a title with that boat and passed that title on to who I sold the boat to (along with a very detailed bill of sale) in case the new owner moved to a state that requires titles. My most recent boat spent all of its life in Georgia so it never had a title. The trailer unfortunately didn't have a title either by the time I bought it but there was a form I filled out and someone from the Sheriff's office had to come by and look at the trailer. I think he was writing down the SN. They then sent me a new title for the trailer.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Quote Originally Posted by cougar1985 View Post
    you guys should be up here in ONTARIO,CANADA .it,s our national pastime to buy and sell boats willy nilly.i know i haven't registered a boat for 25 years.have reg numbers but they came with the boat and have no clue were or to hume they belong to.i honestly dont know of a person that has reg a old boat though new one,s are.Ontario calculated that 75 percent or more of the boats out here are not reg. properly.the feds made a mess out of the system so many people just said the hell with it.im going to try a reg mine properly but if they bugger me around all over the place i will be back to square one.
    I think it depends on where eactly you are using the boat.

    We spend alot of time in North Bay and Muskoka regions and I have never even SEEN a cop boat up there checking papers.

    But I've been out on Lake Erie a few times up by the mouth of the river and have been asked twice to give over some documents on the water. I always get a little heckling cause I ain;t got my TC labels yet in the mail but got a letter stating my process was going through and to carry that letter on board. Nothing about motor or weight restrictions. My serial # plate also fell off one day while fishing.

    I would have thought they would leave me alone. My boats 50yrs old and it's not like I am overloaded or anything.

    Anyways... no labels or title in Canada-----

    Without a title:
    -Legit bill of sale.
    -Information on prev. owner (Name addr tel# etc.)
    -Letter of declaration under oath.

    Without conformity labels:
    -4 pics of boat (bow, stern, port or starboard and seating layout.)
    -Submit a single vessel data sheet (Information on you and boat name and model and year.)
    -Submit classification codes (Hull material, shape, controls, etc.)
    -Submit Construction Standards for Small Vessels. (Measurements, weight, etc.)
    -Give them a check for $5 that they may not cash for a year!
    -Sit on your axe and wait.
    1959 Lonestar Monterey - 1977 Mercury 402 outboard - Smart Tab equipped - Garmin GPSMap76 - Hummingbird PiranhaMAX 190c - Seacast core-composite transom

  14. #14
    Petty Officer 1st Class mrfixitman40's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    in PA it depends on the year of the boat if it has to have a title or not when i bought mine there was no title just an expired registration . once they verified who owned it was correct it was no problem but i went ahead and had it titled so i had it if i ever go to sell it . i had no problem with getting it registered . On the other hand when my brother got his (from a dealer) they never had the title signed by the original owner and he had a he!! of a time getting it registered .

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbryant1492 View Post
    In a worse case if you buy a boat in Texas with no title you might have to turn it over to the police and they can auction it off.

    ** When you buy a boat be sure to get
    1) A detailed bill of sale.
    2) A title if not a title be sure the seller will agree to refund the purchace price in a resonable time if they dont produce a title. ( I would visut there home and get there DL number and if possible a work number to be sure they dont run away.
    Another thing that could happen if you buy a boat from someone that has not gotten the title transfered into their name prior to you buying it is this:

    As far as the goober-ment knows, the last owner of the boat is the owner who's name is on the title and/or registration numbers.

    Note that some titles have spaces for reassignment when being resold several times before title is submitted for updating by the state.

    But there are a lot of titles that only have space for one reasignment when sold. Then they are to be turned into the state for updating.

    Now lets say you buy some boat and the seller can't produce a title or registration in his name.
    1. it could be stolen
    2. the last registered owner (going back who knows how far) could
    possibly reclaim ownership. Which would really suck if you spent time and $$ restoring it.

    So before you do such a thing, get the paperwork straightened out and get it re-titled and registered in your name as soon as possible.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    In South Carolina you must have a title for the boat and outboard. Plus the title must be notorized.Which is a pain because both titles and the bill of sale must be notorized.I bought 2 boats from goodwill several yrs ago neither had titles.
    I gave one away.The fellow i gave it to tried to get a title only to find out it had a lien on it from 1979.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Bought ours in North Carolina which didn't used to require a boat title (trailer had title though). I think they do now require it.

    I too have got to go the Canadian application route as noted above what with the photos and description, complete with measurements mailed in to Transport Canada. They are either so behind or so slow they actually advertise the fact that it could take well over a year to get a compliance sticker and they will mail a letter to that effect to keep on board.

    The dumb thing is that there are Scout dealers here in Canada selling the very same model boat. When I pointed this out to the fine representative of the afore-mentioned august organization and suggested that perhaps we both could save some time as the boat has, somehow, somewhere, at some time, already been approved by Transport -- the answer was "No sir -- I'm afraid you will have to apply for compliance on this specific boat."

    Uh, yeah -- keep up that good work...

    In the meantime I'm still running around with an expired US registration on the side, which gets some funny looks as the number scheme is nothing like ours up here (not to mention we don't have a concept of registration expiry for boats -- it's a one-time fer ever an ever proposition). Good for a convo starter at the gas docks although I'm apparently asking for a $250 fine for operating an unlicensed boat on Canadian waters.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbryant1492 View Post
    At first you might think this question might be silly but the if you look you will see a lot of used boats are sold with no titles or titles to be delivered late.

    I am a prime example of somebody that bought a boat that the owner was not able to hand me the title. I found the boat I have on Craigs list and the owner had bought it and not had the title changed to his name. And to make things better the person with the title lived in a different city than I did and the person I got the boat from lived in a city different than both of us.
    When I bought the boat I had the seller sign a piece of paper stating they if he did not give me the title in 1 callender week he would refund the purchase price and i had his DL number and home adresse. I bough the boat on July 25, 2007 and had to wait longer than 1 week but I finally got the title and the boat and trailer are both in my name as of 9-10-07.

    Here is what I learned about used boats in Texas.
    A lot of people are selling boats that they do not have a title to or never transfered the title to themselves in Texas. I was told this is a growning problem fot TPWD. In a worse case if you buy a boat in Texas with no title you might have to turn it over to the police and they can auction it off. Or you just might buy a stole boat.

    ** I did find one way to get a title it was to to through a title servive where you sell them the boat and they title it and sell it back to you.

    ** When you buy a boat be sure to get
    1) A detailed bill of sale.
    2) A title if not a title be sure the seller will agree to refund the purchace price in a resonable time if they dont produce a title. ( I would visut there home and get there DL number and if possible a work number to be sure they dont run away.
    Just exactly how and who does this? I know of lots of laid up boats here in La. that I would love to get but the owners have no titles (most of em lost due to hurricanes and flooding, really!!!). If you could, could you Pm the info to me? Dave A.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Quote Originally Posted by scoutabout View Post
    In the meantime I'm still running around with an expired US registration on the side, which gets some funny looks as the number scheme is nothing like ours up here (not to mention we don't have a concept of registration expiry for boats -- it's a one-time fer ever an ever proposition). Good for a convo starter at the gas docks although I'm apparently asking for a $250 fine for operating an unlicensed boat on Canadian waters.
    You can still get registration numbers for the side of the boat even without the compliance labels. Just go into a Service Canada branch and transfer the title into your name and where it says complainace label #,.... leave it blank.

    I got mine the same way (ON7066523)
    1959 Lonestar Monterey - 1977 Mercury 402 outboard - Smart Tab equipped - Garmin GPSMap76 - Hummingbird PiranhaMAX 190c - Seacast core-composite transom

  20. #20
    Chief Petty Officer npd4432's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    No titles on boats in PA until 1997. The Fish and boat Commission, not the state DOT issues and regulates the registrations and titles for boats here. Kind of a pain, not as accessable as PENNDOT.
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  21. #21
    Lieutenant jaxnjil's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Quote Originally Posted by KCook View Post
    Depends on the state. Here in Arizona boat titles are not issued. Couldn't get one if you wanted to. On the other hand, a title is required for the trailer under the boat ...

    Kelly Cook
    same here in colorado

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  22. #22

    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Hi,

    New to the board, wealth of information here!

    Just wanted to say that you can apply for a title here in North Carolina, but it's optional. I titled my last boat and it simplified the sale. I didn't have a title for the boat before that one and I sold it to a man in Florida. Florida only required a detailed bill of sale. Trailers must be registered.

    I sold my boat yesterday, simply signed the titles over and that was it. I am going to look at a used boat tomorrow, don't know that he'll have a title or not. But if I buy, I'll probaby apply for a title....I just like having that piece of paper. Title is issued by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission.

    Howard

  23. #23
    Petty Officer 2nd Class rbryant1492_mfb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    This is the place that you can get a title from
    http://www.its-titles.com/

  24. #24
    Lieutenant scoutabout's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Quote Originally Posted by scrobo View Post
    You can still get registration numbers for the side of the boat even without the compliance labels. Just go into a Service Canada branch and transfer the title into your name and where it says complainace label #,.... leave it blank.

    I got mine the same way (ON7066523)

    Interesting scrobo, thanks -- I might just try that. Also, have they changed the numbering format to start with ON in Ontario? I'm used to the 50E, 60E or whatever prefix based upon region within the province.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: How many of you have bought a used boat with no title ?

    Here in the state of Connecticut titles are not issued for boats, you only need a bill of sale. The same goes for trailers under 3,000 lbs here.

    ...I dread going into the DMV any day of the week up here, whether its for a boat, trailer or vehicle. You better pack a lunch!

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