Frequently Asked Questions
|Q: I just bought a boat. What do I do?|
|A:If the boat is new, you need to complete an application for boat title/registration and furnish the original "Manufacturer"s Statement of Origin" (MSO). Submit the application, MSO and required fees to the Marine Board. |
If the boat has been previously registered in Oregon, you should receive an "Oregon Certificate of Title" from the seller. The legal and registered owners must release their interest by signing and dating the release of interest line on the title. (On older titles, release line is located on the back, on newer titles, release line is located on the front) Complete the "New Owner" section and submit it to the Marine Board with the required fees. Application forms are available from the Marine Board and registration agents (click here for application).
If the boat was previously registered in another state that does not issue titles, submit an "Application for Boat Title/Registration," bill of sale and the prior owner's registration card. If the boat you purchased comes from a title state, submit the out-of-state title, a completed Application for Boat Title/Registration and the proper fees for transfer.
|Q: Does my boat need to be inspected first?|
Some boats in Oregon are required to be inspected by a marine law enforcement officer before they can be titled and registered. These include, homebuilt boats, boats never titled or registered in any other state, boats registered in a non-title state and boats where the hull number listed in the application or previous title appears to be incorrect. Excluded are new manufactured boats with a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO), boats titled in another state if the title accompanies the application for Oregon title and the hull number listed is correct.
The inspection focuses on the hull identification number (HIN). The Marine Board determines whether your boat needs to be inspected upon receiving your Application for Boat Title. If so, the board will notify you in writing and provide a list of locations to take your boat for inspection. After the HIN inspection is completed, you will receive a "HIN Inspection Certificate." You must return the certificate directly to the Marine Board, not an agent, at P.O. Box 14145, Salem, OR 97309-5065. You may continue to use your boat while waiting for your inspection and/or title and registration documents, provided you have a valid temporary permit.
|Q: Do I need to register my boat trailer? |
|A: If the combined weight of the boat and trailer is more than 1,800 pounds, you are required to title and license the boat trailer. |
If your loaded boat trailer weighs less than 1,800 pounds, you do not have to title and register it or get a trip permit to pull it over public roads.
|However, you may wish to obtain a title for your trailer. If the trailer is stolen, most law enforcement agencies and insurance companies will want to see proof of ownership. |
All trailers used on the road must be equipped to meet safety standards.
For more information on boat trailers go the DMV website.
|Q: Do I need to register my small pontoon boat if it has a motor?|
Yes. Any watercraft with a motor must be titled and registered with the Marine Board. You will need to title ($30) and register your motorized float tube or pontoon boat.($3 per foot and each portion of a foot plus the $5 Aquatic Invasive Species surcharge) You can print the Application for Boat Title (PDF - 13k). Submit the manufacturer's statement of origin and/or bill of sale. If there is no Hull Identification Number (HIN) on the boat, one will be assigned. If you need a temporary permit, call (503) 378-8587 and ask for additional instructions or e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail all paperwork and fees to: Oregon State Marine Board, PO Box 14145, Salem, OR 97309-5065.
|Q: How do I get my boat titled and registered from another state?|
If you moved from a state that titles boats, complete an Application for Boat Title/Registration and present the out-of-state title for your boat. If the state does not issue boat titles, submit the current registration card with an Application for Boat Title/Registration to the Board or an agent.
|Q: My boat has never been titled. How can I obtain a title now?|
To title your boat, complete an Application for Boat Title/Registration. You'll also be required to furnish proof of ownership. If you have the bill of sale or Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO), send those documents with a statement explaining why the boat has not been titled or registered. Send all documents with the appropriate fees.
If you no longer have a bill of sale or MSO, send a signed statement giving the history of the boat. Include how the boat was acquired, how long you have owned the boat and whether it has been previously registered or titled in Oregon or any other state.
|Q: I lost my title. How can I get another one? |
Complete an "Application for Lost Boat Title " and submit it to the Board with required fees. All persons listed on the front of the title, including lienholders, must sign that the title is lost. These signatures may be notarized or you may sign and submit a copy of valid photo identification (front and back).
|Q: I bought a boat, but it didn't have a title. What do I do?|
Contact the Marine Board to obtain the name and last known address of the owner of record for an Oregon titled boat. For out of state boats, call the Marine Board for contact information for the other state. Complete an Application for Lost Boat Title, and have all parties who have an interest in the boat sign that the title is lost and release their interest. Their signatures must be notarized or they should sign and provide a copy of valid photo identification (front and back).
|Q: Does the Marine Board license my trailer too?|
|A: No. |
You can get your trailer license from the Motor Vehicles Division (DMV ).
Oregon law requires a two-year trailer license when the gross weight of the trailer, boat and motor exceeds 1,800 pounds.
|Q: How do I display my decal and numbers? |
The registration number assigned by the Board must be obtained by the owner and attached to or painted on each side of the forward half of the boat (usually on the bow) and above the waterline. On a flared bow the number should be placed on some part of the forward half of the vessel where it can be easily read. Click here for a diagram.
Registration numbers and letters must be in a color that will contrast with the boat's hull. They must be plain (not script) and vertical (not slanted). No other numbers or letters can be displayed nearby if they will interfere with the identification of the vessel by its state number.
The registration decals, renewed every two years, must be placed on each side of the vessel, 3 inches aft (toward the stern) of, and directly in line with the registration number. Only the current decals should be displayed.
|Q: Do I have to register my boat in Salem? |
No. The Marine Board has developed partnerships with many boat dealers and sporting good stores who provide exceptional customer service to boaters by serving as registration agents. There are approximately 90 businesses throughout the state that will accept applications and fees. Locate the agent closest to you and submit your information and fees to them. They will give you a temporary permit to operate your boat and forward your application and fees to the Marine Board. The agent may charge you up to $7.50 for this service.
|Q: What if my decals (tags) are lost or stolen?|
If the tags are lost, send a request for replacement and a check for $10.00 to the Marine Board. In your letter, be sure to include your name, address and boat OR number.
Or, you can go to a local Marine Board agent. Be sure to take proof of ownership with you. You can present an expired registration card, renewal notice, copy of your boat title or you can call the Marine Board to get a computer print-out of your ownership and boat information.
If you believe the tags were stolen, contact your county sheriff's marine patrol. Then, to get a new set, follow the procedure above.
|Q: I want to know who owns a particular boat. How do I find out?|
Mail a written request to the Marine Board, giving the boat's number and description. Include your name, address and phone number so we can contact you.
|Q: What about boathouses and floating homes?|
Titles and license plates are required on:
- floating homes (moored structures secured to piers or pilings, used primarily as a residence);
- boathouses (covered structures on floats or piles used to protect moored boats);
- combinations (floating homes and boathouses together).
For a title and license plate, contact the Marine Board for an application. The fee is $20. The certificate of title is valid as long as the ownership and location remain the same.
Along with the application, you will need:
- for a new structure, a notarized *Statement of Contractor or Builder Form*;
- for a never-titled structure, a copy of the personal property tax statement or the original bill of sale.
For a previously titled floating home or boathouse, submit the title within 30 days of transfer. Like other boats, there is a $25 penalty for submitting the title more than 30 days after the ownership transfers.
|Q: What if I find a lost boat--or I lose one?|
Oregon has no salvage laws. Contact your local county sheriff's marine patrol. They can help locate the owner, or help you find your boat. Keeping registration current helps law enforcement and the Marine Board match up missing boats and owners.
|Q: What are boat registration and hull identification numbers?|
The registration number is similar to a car's license plate number and is issued upon initial titling. The Hull Identification Number (HIN) is similar to a car's vehicle identification number and identifies the manufacturer, serial number and date of certification (construction). Certain U.S. Coast Guard regulations are required to be built into the boat based on date of certification. All boats manufactured after Nov. 1, 1972 must have the HIN permanently displayed on the upper right-hand corner of the boat's transom (back end) and affixed in accordance with Coast Guard Regulations before being sold in Oregon.
Both the HIN and registration numbers must be on the boat. They are a deterrent to theft and the Marine Board uses them to help locate stolen or missing boats. The HIN on the boat must match the numbers on the title and registration. Altered, improper or missing HINs may be cause for seizure by marine enforcement officers. Let the Marine Board know if you suspect a problem with the HIN on your boat.
|Q: Do amphibious vehicles need to be registered as a boat?|
1) If it's street legal, you need a DMV title, and the Marine Board will register it, $6 plus the $5
Aquatic Invasive Species program fee.
2) If it's not street legal, you need an Oregon State Marine Board title ($30) and registration $6
plus the $5 Aquatic Invasive Species program fee.
You can print the Application for Boat Title from the webpage and fill it out as "construction other" and write in "amphibious". Submit the fees as applicable.
If you go into a local agent, the agent may charge an addtional $3.75-$7.50 depending on services. You need to provide any Statement of Origin for the vessel so we can verify the serial number.
|Q: What if I scrap, dismantle or destroy my boat?|
|A: When you scrap, dismantle or destroy a boat submit the original boat title to the Marine Board noting the condition of the boat. If you are taking the boat to a landfill you may need to show them the title before submitting it to the Marine Board. |
See ORS 830.710 and 830.720