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REGISTERING BOATS CALIFORNIA  Bottom

  • How on earth is it possible in California to get a boat registered and licensed when there is no record of ownership or registration? I was given a pretty nice Prindle 16, but previous owner could not provide papers.
    duffykevin57@gmail.com

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    Kevin Duffy
    Leadbetter Beach
    Santa Barbara
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  • I don't know about CA, but in AL (not an even comparison), I reached out to the State Marine Police and they ran the HIN in their database to show that it has never been registered and is not stolen. Then they gave me a letterhead to take to the DMV to allow me to register the boat. The cool part was my initials became the last two digits.
    This of course could backfire if it was previously registered and you don't have bill of sales recording the transaction back to that owner.
    Conversely, In AL the marine police don't seem to care about tiny sport boats and by in large (I have owned 24 boats with maybe two ever registered) never stop me asking for papers. YMMV.

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    FYC, Nacra 5.2 "Chris's Flyer"
    Previously owned: Trac 14, H14, H16, H18, N5.0, G-cat 5.0
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  • If the person who gave it to you was the owner of record, couldn't you work with them to get a replacement title? In any event, you can probably straighten this out with a bill of sale and a DMV appointment(s). I like to give a 'courtesy' payment in these kinds of situations - gives the 'seller' a small incentive to help you out with paperwork hassles.

    I bought a Prindle last fall which had fallen off the DMV's records. I did have the old title and a bill of sale, and the DMV seemed far more concerned about the trailer it was sitting on than the vessel itself.

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/file/reg-227-pdf/

    Matt



    Edited by westmatt on Jan 10, 2024 - 11:59 AM.
  • Yup CA does not make it easy without a title, seems strange to me why they would not want the boat in the system so they can charge fees.I have tried but just run up to a brick wall.If you cannot get a title from PO there is a company called two brothers title they can get you a New Hampshire title if you have a bill of sale and a photo of the vin number, then you can transfer it to CA

    --
    Carl

    Dart 18x2
    Nacra 5.8
    1967 B-LION for sale
    1985 Hobie 18
    Windrider Rave x2 for sale
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  • I took my boat from Ohio to CA. Ohio does not title unpowered boats, but I had maintained a registration and was able to get a title with a State police inspection. Kind of absurd. If there is no record of ownership or registration, your best bet is to call DMV and ask. I'm sure you will be able to get the boat (and trailer) titled, but I'm also sure it will be inconvenient being California. BTW I brought that boat back from Ca to PA where titles are not required for that unpowered craft, but was able to register it, and I kept the California title on file.

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    Tom
    NACRA 5.7 (1984 Sail 181)
    Pennsylvania
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  • Getting a title for a boat and trailer that does not have one is not that difficult in CA... Just a few more steps. I had to do this for the Prindle 18-2 that I rescued a few years back from a backyard.

    Download this form... fill it out, and get the seller to sign it for both the boat and the trailer.

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/file/bill-of-sale-reg-135-pdf/

    Then download this form and again, fill it out, and have the previous owner sign where they need to for the boat.

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/file/reg-227-pdf/

    If you can't get back to the owner then fill this out and be as detailed as possible in the comments section.

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/file/statement-of-facts-reg-256-pdf/

    Once completed you can take it to AAA if you're a member or the DMV (make an appointment for a VIN Verification and registration). Bring the boat and trailer with you as they will need to verify the VIN, pay the money and you're done..

    My recommendation would be to title the trailer. Even though you're getting a PTI plate and a bill of sale is good enough should you sell it, having a title is concrete.


    onekiwiYup CA does not make it easy without a title, seems strange to me why they would not want the boat in the system so they can charge fees.I have tried but just run up to a brick wall.If you cannot get a title from PO there is a company called two brothers title they can get you a New Hampshire title if you have a bill of sale and a photo of the vin number, then you can transfer it to CA



    Yes, there is always a work-a-round, however, this is skirting a process that is known as Title Kiting. Let's just say it is not kosher, or worth the headache it can cause.

    --
    John Schwartz
    Ventura, CA
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