Massachusetts Boat Registration

Massachusetts Boat Registration History Report

Massachusetts boat registration info 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 Massachusetts.

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 boat in Massachusetts 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 MA.

Where are Massachusetts Boats Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. Massachusetts issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the MA STATE Boat and Recreation Vehicle Registration and Titling Bureau in Boston. It is part of the Massachusetts Environmental Police. 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 3,000 lbs.

Boat Alert History Report · Massachusetts Boat Registration

Did you know that 130,000 boats are registered in the State of Massachusetts and make up 1.1% of all USA vessel registrations?

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

Massachusetts Boat Registration Numbers

Massachusetts boat registration numbers begin with a “MS”. The MS 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 non-documented at the USCG. Put the MS boat registration sticker tab next to it. The state reg. number should not be confused with the 12 character Hull ID (HIN).

Titles are issued on all registered boats over 14′ in Massachusetts, except for those which are Coast Guard Documented. Massachusetts does not have provisions for bonded boat titles or conditional boat registrations where sufficient proof of ownership is not available. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis through the Boat Registration Bureau. Massachusetts has defined procedures for titling abandoned boats

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 “MSZ” are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Hull number inspections are not required in Massachusetts unless there is a discrepancy.

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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 location on the boat: interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.

Boat Liens Database In Massachusetts

Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Boat Registration Bureau in MA. 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.

Massachusetts Boat Registration Number Search Website

Boat title and registration records in Massachusetts are maintained by the Massachusetts Environmental Police. This agency does not facilitate online searches on their website.

Massachusetts Boat Registration Lookup

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.

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

Titling & Registration Requirements in Massachusetts

  • TITLING:
    • REQUIRED: Yes EFFECTIVE DATE : 1/1/90
    • VESSEL TYPES: All vessels designed to be powered 14 ft. or greater in length regardless of age of boat
    • EXEMPTIONS: Documented vessels Vessels not designed to be powered Boats under 14 ft.
    • FEES: Boat title $27.50 – 14 ft or greater in length
    • DUPLICATE FEE: Duplicate, corrected, or updated title – $16.50
    • TRANSFER FEE: We do not do title transfers. All titles are considered new from one owner to the next @ $27.50 each
  • REGISTRATION:
    • VESSEL TYPES: All boats that are powered either by gas or electric motors
    • EXEMPTIONS: Non-powered boats do not have to be registered
    • USCG DOCUMENTED VESSELS REQUIRED: No
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: 60 consecutive days
    • FEES: Non-Motorized Houseboat Fee
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: Duplicate registration $11.00
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: Duplicate decal – $5.50
    • TRANSFER FEE: $16.50 to process a transfer or registration with time remaining
    • LATE FEE: No

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