Tennessee Boat Registration

Tennessee 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.

Tennessee 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 Tennessee. 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 Tennessee 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 TN.

Where are Tennessee Boats Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. Tennessee issues registrations and NOT titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the TN STATE Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) in Nashville. 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 Tennessee 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 600,000 boats registered in the State of Tennessee make up 4% of all USA vessel registrations?

Chart: Tennessee Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year
Chart: Tennessee Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year

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

Podcast: Tennessee boat registration

Tennessee Boat Registration Numbers

Tennessee boat registration numbers begin with a “TN”. The TN 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 TN 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 “TNZ” are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Hull number inspections are not required in Tennessee 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 Tennessee

Security interests on boats are NOT recorded with the Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) in TN because this states does not issue titles. 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 Tennessee are maintained by the Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). This agency does not facilitate online searches on their website but you can search the boat-alert.com database.

Tennessee Boat Registration Lookup

The Boat-Alert.com database combines 72+ 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 Tennessee

  • TITLING
    • REQUIRED: No
    • VESSEL TYPES:
    • EXEMPTIONS: NA
    • FEES: NA
    • DUPLICATE FEE: NA
    • TRANSFER FEE: NA
  • REGISTRATION
    • VESSEL TYPES: all mechanically powered vessels (including federally documented recreational vessels) and all sailboats
    • EXEMPTIONS: Military Fed State and Local Government Rescue Squad Ship’s lifeboat
    • USCG DOCUMENTED VESSELS REQUIRED: Yes
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: 60 consecutive days
    • FEES: 40 – $51 $97 $142
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: $6
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: $6
    • TRANSFER FEE: Same as registration
    • LATE FEE: No
Infographic: Tennessee Boat Registration
Infographic: Tennessee Boat Registration

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Categories: To learn more about Boat-Alert.com History Reports for used boats and hin number visit: www.Boat-Alert.com


About Boat-Alert.com®
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