District of Columbia Boat Registration – DC boat search

District of Columbia Boat Registration HIN Check

Example where to find the Boat Registration Number and title Decal sticker
Example where to find the Boat State Registration Number and title Decal sticker. State letters differ.

District of Columbia boat registration FAQs are found below and can be downloaded as PDF. We have written this page to inform the boating community about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of District of Columbia. We also cover the titling fees if applicable.

We will cover information about the Boat Registration Agency in this state and if you are wondering about Registration and marking requirements we have an overview of that as well. We also talk about Registration Requirements for boats in District of Columbia along with things you need to know about boat Ownership and Liens so you can better perform Boat Title Searches or boat history lookups in DC.

Where are District of Columbia Boats Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. District of Columbia issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the DC STATE Metropolitan Police District in Washington (MPDC). Uses their OVERS system. This state does not issue titles or registrations for outboard motors but note that Boat trailer registration and titling would be mandatory for those weighing over 1,000 lbs.

Does District of Columbia have clean titles? Boat titles are always “clean” unless a state has enacted UCOTVA. All other states will not have any indication on the title that the boat has a salvage or total loss brand like cars have on their titles.

Did you know that 2000 boats registered in the State of District of Columbia make up 0.2% of all USA vessel registrations?

Chart: District of Columbia Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year
Chart: District of Columbia Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year

For more boating statistics see: Volume of Recreational boating vessels in the U.S.

Podcast: District of Columbia boat registration

District of Columbia Boat Registration Numbers

District of Columbia boat registration numbers begin with a “DC”. The DC designation is followed by four numbers and then two letters like in most states. You will have to display these as shown above, if your boat is not documented at the USCG. Put the DC boat registration sticker tab next to it. The state reg. number should not be confused with the 12 character Hull ID (HIN).

All boats manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with the letters “DCZ” are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Hull number inspections are not required in District of Columbia unless there is a discrepancy. (use HinDecoder.com to validate your HIN formatting is good)

Order engraved HIN Tag ID Plate from ebay here.

Sample HIN Tag ID Plate
Sample HIN Tag ID Plate

Exceptionally, a Coast Guard documented vessel does not need to display the state registration number but instead they would display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. The USCG Official documentation number must also be affixed on other locations on the boat: interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.

Boat Liens Database In District of Columbia

Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Metropolitan Police District in Washington (MPDC) in DC. These will be shown on both the registration and title certificates if there are any. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or USCG documented are recorded with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. 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.

Tax liens may be flagged on boat registration records, recorded as UCC filings, shown on state 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 state titled boats. Uniform Commercial Code searches are available online from the Secretary of State.

Boat title and registration records in District of Columbia are maintained by the Metropolitan Police District in Washington (MPDC). This agency does not facilitate online searches on their website but you can search the boat-alert.com database.

District of Columbia Boat Registration Lookup

The Boat-Alert.com database combines 68+ 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.

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

Titling & Registration Requirements in District of Columbia

  • TITLING
    • REQUIRED: Yes EFFECTIVE DATE : 1/1/1977
    • VESSEL TYPES: Non Coast Guard Documented Vessels
    • EXEMPTIONS: Coast Guard Documented
    • FEES: 6% TITLE TAX- formula is purchase $ price X 6% = tax due NEW- purchase price shown on BOS USED- amount on BOS up to 30 days from sale date. (After 30 days a Fair Market Value will be determined). DOCUMENTED- exempt from Title Tax TITLE FEE-$2.00 for DC Certificate of Number vessel
    • DUPLICATE FEE: $5
    • TRANSFER FEE: $2
  • REGISTRATION
    • VESSEL TYPES: All Vessels
    • EXEMPTIONS: Race Shells
    • USCG DOCUMENTED VESSELS REQUIRED: Yes
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Less than 50 Consecutive Days
    • FEES: Non-powered – $10.00 (any length) Less than 16 – $15.00 Between 16 – $25.00 Over 26 – $35.00 Over 40 – $60.00
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: 5
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: 5
    • TRANSFER FEE: Depends on size of vessel. $10.00-$60.00
    • LATE FEE: No
Infographic: District of Columbia Boat Registration
Infographic: District of Columbia Boat Registration

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Categories: To learn more about Boat-Alert.com History Reports for used boats and find a boat registration search service 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 hull id number 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 id 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.