Boat Registration and Titles – Frequently Asked Questions

DISCLAIMER: Due to unique situations, the information above may not be all inclusive. If your situation is not specifically discussed, please call the Boat Information Hotline at (800) 262-8755.


Office Locations

Where can I get my boat registration/title and outboard motor title processed?

The forms must be completed and submitted together with any required application fees, supporting documents, and any boat/outboard motor taxes due to:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters in Austin and all of the 27 Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement field offices throughout the state are normally open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Is photo identification required to process my boat registration/title and outboard motor title transaction?

Yes. A valid government issued photo identification must be presented at the office by the person submitting the transaction request.

What methods of payment are accepted?

Cash, checks and money orders are accepted at all locations. Credit and debit cards are not accepted at TPWD Locations for boat related transactions. Acceptance of credit and debit cards at Tax Assessor-Collector locations is up to the discretion of each individual tax office location.


Forms

Where can I pick up the required forms?

The forms can be obtained from:


Registration

Do I need to register my boat?

Yes. The following vessels (when on Texas public water) are required by law to have current registration. This includes vessels that are docked or moored:

Exempted vessels — All (non-motorized) canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length) when paddled, poled, or oared; sailboats under 14 feet in length when windblown; USCG documented commercial vessels used in coastal shipping; and USCG documented vessels exceeding 115 feet in length.

How do I renew my registration?

Registration may be renewed as early as 90 days prior to the expiration date.

The owner on TPWD record may renew registration by one of the following methods:

How much does it cost to renew my boat registration?


Title

Do I need to have a Texas title in my name for my boat and outboard motor?

Yes. The following are required to be titled:

Parks and Wildlife Code states:

“SUBCHAPTER B-1. CERTIFICATES OF TITLE FOR VESSELS AND OUTBOARD MOTORS

Sec. 31.045. OWNERSHIP OF VESSELS AND OUTBOARD MOTORS; CERTIFICATES OF TITLE.

(a) The ownership of a vessel or of an outboard motor is evidenced by a certificate of title issued by the department, unless the vessel or the outboard motor is new.”

Vessels that are currently registered and not titled must be titled when transferred. Sailboats 14 feet and over will be registered and titled as owners become aware of these requirements. Currently owned untitled outboard motors must be titled when transferred.

Exempted Vessels — USCG Documented vessels, all (non-motorized) canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length) when paddled, poled, or oared and sailboats under 14 feet in length when windblown.

Why does TPWD show a lien on my boat and/or outboard motor if I paid it off?

This occurs if either you or your lien holder have not advised TPWD that your lien has been satisfied. To advise and remove the lien information, the owner of record must apply for a replacement title with the lien released by submitting the Request to Release a Lien form PWD 403 media download(PDF 298.2 KB), and one of the following:

Submit application and required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office. TPWD will mail a title to you that does not show a lien.


Replacements – Titles, Registration Decals, Certificate of Number Cards

How do I replace a lost or destroyed title for my boat and/or outboard motor?

Parks and Wildlife Code states:

“Sec. 31.053 TRANSFERS OF VESSELS AND OUTBOARD MOTORS

No person may sell, assign, transfer, or otherwise dispose of an interest in a vessel or an outboard motor without:

(5) delivering to the transferee a certificate of title for the vessel or outboard motor in the name of the transferor and properly endorsed to show the transfer or evidence of an involuntary transfer.”

The owner of record must apply if there is no lien. If there is a lien on our record and the lien has not been paid, the lien holder must apply. If there is a lien on our record and the lien has been paid, the owner of record may apply for a replacement title with the lien released by submitting form PWD 403 media download(PDF 298.2 KB), and one of the following:

Submit application and required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

Standard replacement titles print 21 days after being processed and are mailed from TPWD Headquarters. For an additional fee, you can expedite the printing of a replacement title. Quick titles print one day after being processed and are mailed from TPWD Headquarters.

How do I replace lost or destroyed registration decals?

If you are the owner of record, your registration is current, and your decals have been lost or destroyed, submit:

Form PWD 143M media download(PDF 746.6 KB); and required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

The owner of record may authorize someone to obtain replacement decals for them by completing Letter of Authorization form PWD 581 media download(PDF 333.9 KB).

How do I get a replacement or additional Certificate of Number ID Card?

If you are the owner of record, your registration is current and you have lost or destroyed your ID Card, OR if you would like additional ID Card(s), submit:

Form PWD 143M media download(PDF 746.6 KB); and required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

The owner of record may authorize someone to obtain replacement or additional ID card(s) for them by completing Letter of Authorization form PWD 581 media download(PDF 333.9 KB).


Out-of-State Registration

Can I use my boat in Texas if it is registered in another state?

If you have a boat registered or titled in your name in another state you may operate the vessel up to 90 consecutive days with current out-of-state registration.

How do I register my boat in Texas if it is already registered and/or titled in another state?

If you currently have your boat registered and/or titled in your name in another state you can transfer the registration/title to Texas. You must transfer your registration and title within 90 days.

Submit the following to obtain Texas registration and title for a vessel:

Submit the following to obtain Texas title for an outboard motor:

I bought a boat and/or outboard motor that's registered and/or titled in another state. How do I transfer ownership and get Texas boat registration/title and/or Texas outboard motor title?

The seller must:

The purchaser must:


Transfer of Ownership

How do I transfer my Texas boat registration/title and Texas outboard motor title?

In a private sale, whenever possible, both the seller and buyer should go to the nearest participating office to transfer the boat title and registration and outboard motor title into the name of the purchaser.

Purchasing Used VesselsDO NOT purchase a used boat or outboard motor without receiving a title signed on the front and back along with a bill of sale from the person(s) listed on the title or from their legally documented representative. If a legal representative signs the title for the recorded owner(s), you must obtain a copy of the documentation authorizing them to act on behalf of the owner(s).

Seller – by accompanying the buyer to the local office you are assured that the record is transferred out of your name and future liability for the vessel/outboard motor eliminated. The vessel and/or outboard motor title will remain in your name until a new title is applied for and processed by the local office or through the mail.

Purchaser – you can avoid unwanted surprises about your purchase by having the seller accompany you to the local office. If there are any problems with the title, they may be resolved at that time.

The seller must:

The purchaser must:


Owner and/or Lien Holder Information

How can I get the current owner and/or lien holder information on a boat and/or outboard motor?


Ownership History

How can I get the history on a boat and/or outboard motor?

Boat and outboard motor ownership information is, by law, public information and TPWD retains historical boat/outboard motor documentation for a period of 10 years. To obtain a copy of all documents submitted for transactions on history file for a boat/outboard motor, submit:


Address Changes

How do I change the address of a boat that is currently registered in my name?

Boat owners are required by law to notify TPWD of address changes. This can be done at no cost to the customer by submitting one of the following:

Submit to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

Note: A new certificate of number card will not be printed if the request is submitted without a request for a new ID card and submission of the required fee of $11.00.


Boat Trailer

Where do I get my boat trailer transferred?

Texas Parks and Wildlife does not have the legal authority to process trailer registration. Boat trailer registration is issued through county tax assessor-collector offices. Please contact your local tax assessor-collector office for assistance.


Licensed Marine Dealer, Distributor, or Manufacturer

How do I become a licensed marine dealer?

To become a licensed dealer you must be in the business of buying, selling, selling on consignment, displaying for sale, and exchanging vessels or outboard motors at an established or permanent place of business in the state of Texas. Each location must have a sign conspicuously displayed showing the name of the dealership so that it may be clearly seen by the public and have sufficient space to maintain an office, service area, and display of products.

The dealer application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 283.5 KB) must be completed in full and submitted with the following:

How do I become a licensed marine distributor or manufacturer?

To become a licensed distributor or manufacturer you must be engaged in the business of manufacturing new and unused vessels and outboard motors for the purpose of sale or trade or offer for sale, sells, or processes for distribution new boats or outboard motors to dealers in the state of Texas.

The distributor or manufacturer application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 283.5 KB) must be completed in full and submitted with the following:

How do I renew my marine license?

To renew your license, submit your renewal letter with a completed application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 283.5 KB), $500.00, and, if applicable, verification of all assumed names.

Dealers must also submit the following:

Distributors and manufacturers must also return the following:

How do I transfer my license?

To a new owner:

To transfer your license to a new owner complete in full the marine license application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 283.5 KB) and submit it along with $500.00, and, if applicable, verification of all assumed names.

Dealers must also include the following:

Distributors and manufacturers must also include the following:

To a new location (with the same owner):

To transfer your license to a new location complete the marine license application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 283.5 KB) and submit it along with $11.00, and, if applicable, verification of all assumed names.

Dealers must also include the following:

How do I correct or update my marine license?

To correct or update information on your marine license other than ownership and location, submit a completed marine license application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 283.5 KB) and submit it along with $4.00, and, if applicable, one or more of the following:

How do I obtain an additional or replace a lost or destroyed validation card and decal?

If your Marine License is current and you wish to purchase an additional or replace a lost or destroyed validation card and decal, submit:

Form PWD 310A media download(PDF 259.5 KB) and required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.


DISCLAIMER: Due to unique situations, the information above may not be all inclusive. If your situation is not specifically discussed, please call the Boat Information Hotline at (800) 262-8755.


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