California Boat Registration

California Boat Registration History Report

California boat registration resources are found below and you can also obtain the Boat Alert History Check for your Hull ID number. Boaters should know about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of California.

Wondering what the Boat Registration Agency is in California? How about the Boat Registration and marking requirements in California? Read the overview below to learn more as we also cover Registration Requirements along with things you need to know about boat Ownership and Liens in California so you can better perform Boat Title Searches in CA.

Where are California Vessels Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. California does issue both. So you will get registration and titles as long as your boat is non-exempt and is operating within its jurisdiction. Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get these. The head office in located in Sacramento and you do not have to register an outboard boat motor but titling and registration will be required for the boat trailers.

Boat Alert History Report · California Boat Registration

Did you know that 6.0% of all nationwide Boat registrations are in California?

Boat Registrations by year in the State of California (source: Nasbla) - Motorized vs. Non motorized recreational boats.
Boat Registrations by year in the State of California (source: Nasbla) – Motorized vs. Non motorized recreational boats.

When it comes to taxes, the sales tax is only the first time the boat is registered or transferred into California. Your Country will take the Personal Property Tax on our boat. Can you find boat California titles from HIN number? or even a free vessel registration search in California? we cover that below.

Infographic: California Boat Registration
Infographic: California Boat Registration

California Boat Registration Numbers

Not to be confused with the HIN Number, the Boat Registration Number in California starts with the letters “CA” or “CF”. For example, CF1234FE. The Reg. No. must be displayed on the hull with a registration sticker. If your boat is a large one then it is probably documented at the USCG so you would have a boat official number instead. You would display the vessel name and hailing post when you have a Coast Guard documented vessel. The official documentation number should be visible at an interior location in the hull. Remember to put the “registration stickers” right next to the registration number decals on the hull.

Order custom Vinyl registration Decal from ebay

All vessels manufactured after 1972 must have a 12-digit hull identification number affixed to the boat by the original manufacturer. There are sometimes, “State assigned” hull ID’s. This would have the letters “CFZ” because they are home made boats. Get your boat inspected by a California law enforcement official if there is a discrepancy with the hull identification number and check with Boat Alert support team if you have a hard time reading the HIN or want to know its history.

Boat Liens Database In California

Claims, Liens or Security interests on any non-documented boats are recorded with the Department of Motor Vehicles in the State of California. Look for these on the registration certificate and title before you buy a pre-owned boat. Other things to watch out for are Tax liens recorded as Uniform Commercial Code filings and mechanic’s liens but those and other non-secured claims against registered boats don’t have any provision so you might not find out about them easily.

If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender’s security interests will be recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) and are indexed on the boat’s abstract of title. This is different from state registration lookups and can be ordered at boat-abstract.com

California Boat Registration Number Lookup Website

Boat title and registration records in California are maintained by the DMV. Only owners can search their records online on their website due to strict privacy laws in CA. You can always try to submit a boat record request form. This means you will not find a boat title lien search service in California that will help you check a boats title problems online

Boat Registration Lookup In California

The Boat-Alert.com database combines 53+ nationwide databases into a single place so you can search in a matter of minutes. These include records for stolen boats, marine lien claims, boating accidents, pollution incidents, auctioned boats, factory recalls, and boat manufacturers. Some States will give more data than others.

Search a Boat Hull ID history report with Boat-Alert.com
Click to Order a HIN Report

Titling & Registration Requirements in California

  • TITLING:
    • REQUIRED: Yes EFFECTIVE DATE : 1/1/60
    • VESSEL TYPES: Undocumented motor boats, Undocumented sailboats over eight feet in length or with a motor, Amphibious vehicle/vessels, Houseboats, Inflatable vessels with motors, Personal watercraft ski-type vessels (for example, jet ski or wet bike)
    • EXEMPTIONS: Vessels propelled solely by oars or paddles, Sailboats eight feet or less in length without motors, A ship’s lifeboat, Non-motorized surfboards over eight feet in length, propelled by a sail that requires the operator to hold the mast upright.
    • FEES: Vessel Original -$9 Vessel Transfer – $15 Registration (odd vs even year) – $10-$20 Use tax – Variable Quagga Mussel Fee (if applicable / odd vs even year) – $8- $16
    • DUPLICATE FEE: $15
    • TRANSFER FEE:
  • REGISTRATION:
    • VESSEL TYPES: Undocumented motor boats., Undocumented sailboats over eight feet in length or with a motor., Amphibious vehicle/vessels, Houseboats, Exception: A floating, stationary residential dwelling (floating home) not designed to have power of its own, dependent for utilities from a source on shore, and which has a permanent sewage hookup on shore (CVC §9840)., Inflatable vessels with motors., Personal watercraft ski-type vessels (for example, jet ski or wet bike). Shuttle craft. A shuttle craft is a full-size, open bow, jet boat similar to a barge. It is powered and steered by a personal watercraft
    • EXEMPTIONS: Vessels propelled solely by oars or paddles., Sailboats eight feet or less in length without motors., A public vessel of the United States, another state, or subdivision of another state., A ship’s lifeboat. (A dinghy is not a lifeboat.), A vessel of another country temporarily using the waters of this state., A vessel bearing an assigned number in full force, which has been issued pursuant to federal law or a federally-approved numbering system of another state, provided it has not changed its state of principal use and has not been within this state for a period in excess of 90 consecutive days., Non-motorized surfboards over eight feet in length, propelled by a sail that requires the operator to hold the mast upright., A vessel not using or on the waters of this state., Racing vessels brought into this state exclusively for racing purposes and remaining for less than 90 days providing the state of origin also exempts such vessels (CCR §190.19)
    • USCG DOCUMENTED VESSELS REQUIRED: No
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: A vessel bearing an assigned number in full force, which has been issued pursuant to federal law or a federally-approved numbering system of another state, provided it has not changed its state of principal use and has not been within this state for a period in excess of 90 consecutive days.
    • FEES: CLASS 5. Dealer or manufacturer; temporary license, twenty-three dollars ($23) plus a two dollar ($2) issuance fee for each license.
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: $15
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: $15
    • TRANSFER FEE: $15
    • LATE FEE: Renewal Penalty – $10

Incoming Search Words:

  • boat HIN search title report in California,
  • California boat registration number lookup website,
  • boat title lien search service in California,
  • California boat title search by hull number,
  • check a boats title problems online,
  • find a boat registration search service in California,
  • find boat California titles from HIN Number,
  • free vessel registration title search for California,
  • how to check boat registration numbers In California,
  • vessel registration and HIN search in California,
  • Where are California Vessels Registered,
  • California Boat Registration Numbers,
  • Boat Liens Database In California,
  • California Boat Registration Lookup,
  • Boat title and registration records in California,
  • Boat Title Searches in CA

To learn more about Boat-Alert.com History Reports for used boats and boat vin number search visit: www.Boat-Alert.com


About Boat-Alert.com®
Boat Alert History Reports© exists to aggregate boat databases so that shoppers can search and buy a used boat safely while saving time and money researching a used boat's history. We began in 2015 and constantly adding more boat fax history report for HIN data for USA and Canada to ensure that your boat has a clean history. We are happy to offer a 60-day money back guarantee and proud to have served more than 15,000 customers with their boat HIN Search History needs. boat serial number lookup ©. Two percent of all proceeds go to charity. We value fair treatment of employees, customer satisfaction, having the most databases possible, and fast customer service at the core of our brand. View our LinkTree.