Boat Registration and Titles – Frequently Asked Questions

Office Locations

Tax

Registration

Title

Replacements – Titles, Registration Decals, Certificate of Number Cards

Out-of-State

Transfer of Ownership

Owner and/or Lien Holder Information

Ownership History

Address Changes

Boat Trailer

Licensed Marine Dealer, Distributor or Manufacturer

DISCLAIMER: Due to unique situations, the information above may not be all inclusive. If your situation is not specifically discussed, please call the Boat Information Hotline at 800-262-8755.


Office Locations

Where can I get my boat registration/title and outboard motor title processed?

To protect public health and minimize the risks associated with the spread of COVID-19, all customers are highly encouraged to engage in alternatives to doing business in person with TPWD.

All required forms must be completed in full and submitted together with any required application fees, supporting documents, and any boat/outboard motor taxes due.

I don’t want to mail my original documents, what are my options?

What methods of payment are accepted?

Cash, checks and money orders are accepted at all locations. Credit and debit cards are not accepted at TPWD locations for boat related transactions. Acceptance of credit and debit cards at Tax Assessor-Collector locations is up to the discretion of each individual tax office location.


Tax

How much is boat / outboard motor tax and when is it due?

TPWD is required by law to collect tax for vessels/boats (115 feet or less in length) and outboard motors purchased in Texas or brought into Texas on or after January 1, 2000.

The tax rate is 6.25% of the sales price. Use the tax calculator.

Tax is due:

Applications filed after the date the tax is due are subject to tax penalties and interest.  When mailed, applications are considered “filed” the date they are postmarked.  

NOTE: TPWD does not have the authority to waive or exempt tax, penalty or interest due. Tax law and policy is under the sole authority of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Currently there is no extension or waiver for boat / outboard motor tax due to COVID-19. A Taxpayer may submit Form 57-200, Texas Claim for Refund of Boat and Boat Motor Tax (PDF) to the Comptroller of Public Accounts to request a refund of penalty / interest paid.

New Resident Tax — $15.00. New Resident tax is assessed (not sales or use tax) for owners who previously resided in another state who are bringing their previously titled or registered boat and/or outboard motor from that other state into Texas.


Registration

Do I need to register my boat?

Yes. The following vessels (when on Texas public water) are required by law to have current registration. This includes vessels that are docked or moored:

Vessels Exempted from Registration— All non-motorized canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length), or other vessels under 14 feet in length when paddled, poled, oared, or windblown; USCG documented commercial vessels used in coastal shipping; and vessels exceeding 115 feet in length.

How do I renew my registration?

Registration may be renewed as early as 90 days prior to the expiration date.

The owner on TPWD record may renew registration by one of the following methods:

How much does it cost to renew my boat registration?

Fees for boat and outboard motor registration are available in the Outdoor Annual regulations.


Title

Do I need to have a Texas title in my name for my boat and outboard motor?

Yes. The following are required to be titled:

Parks and Wildlife Code states:

“SUBCHAPTER B-1. CERTIFICATES OF TITLE FOR VESSELS AND OUTBOARD MOTORS

Sec. 31.045. OWNERSHIP OF VESSELS AND OUTBOARD MOTORS; CERTIFICATES OF TITLE.

(a) The ownership of a vessel or of an outboard motor is evidenced by a certificate of title issued by the department, unless the vessel or the outboard motor is new.”

Vessels Exempted from Titling — USCG documented vessels, all non-motorized canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length) or other vessels under 14 feet in length when paddled, poled, oared, or windblown.

Non-USCG documented vessels that are currently registered and not titled must be titled when transferred.

Why does TPWD show a lien on my boat and/or outboard motor if I paid it off?

This occurs when TPWD has not been notified that your lien has been satisfied. To notify and remove the lien information, the owner of record must apply for a replacement title with the lien released by submitting the Request to Release a Lien form PWD 403 media download(PDF 298.2 KB), and one of the following:

Submit with required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office. TPWD will mail a title to you that does not show a lien.

Standard replacement titles print 21 days after being processed and are mailed from TPWD Headquarters. For an additional fee, you can expedite the printing of a replacement title. Quick titles print one day after being processed and are mailed from TPWD Headquarters. Fee Chart media download(PDF 107.5 KB)


Replacements – Titles, Registration Decals, Certificate of Number Cards

How do I replace a lost or destroyed title for my boat and/or outboard motor?

Parks and Wildlife Code states:

“Sec. 31.053 TRANSFERS OF VESSELS AND OUTBOARD MOTORS

No person may sell, assign, transfer, or otherwise dispose of an interest in a vessel or an outboard motor without:

(5) delivering to the transferee a certificate of title for the vessel or outboard motor in the name of the transferor and properly endorsed to show the transfer or evidence of an involuntary transfer.”

The owner of record must apply if there is no lien. If there is a lien on our record and the lien has not been paid, the lien holder must apply. If there is a lien on our record and the lien has been paid, the owner of record may apply for a replacement title with the lien released by submitting form PWD 403 media download(PDF 298.2 KB), and one of the following:

Submit with required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

Standard replacement titles print 21 days after being processed and are mailed from TPWD Headquarters. For an additional fee, you can expedite the printing of a replacement title. Quick titles print one day after being processed and are mailed from TPWD Headquarters. Fee Chart media download(PDF 107.5 KB)

How do I replace lost or destroyed registration decals?

If you are the owner of record, your registration is current, and your decals have been lost or destroyed, you may Replace Decals Online through the Texas Parks & Wildlife or Texas Online website.

Or you may submit form PWD 143M media download(PDF 206.8 KB) with required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

The owner of record may authorize someone to obtain replacement decals for them in person or by mail by completing Letter of Authorization form PWD 581 media download(PDF 314.1 KB).

How do I get a replacement or additional Certificate of Number ID Card?

If you are the owner of record, your registration is current and you have lost or destroyed your ID Card, OR if you would like additional ID Card(s) you may Replace or Request Additional ID Card(s) Online through the Texas Parks & Wildlife or Texas Online website.

Or you may submit form PWD 143M media download(PDF 206.8 KB) with required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

The owner of record may authorize someone to obtain replacement or additional ID card(s) for them in person or by mail by completing Letter of Authorization form PWD 581 media download(PDF 314.1 KB).


Out-of-State Registration

Can I use my boat in Texas if it is registered in another state?

If you have a vessel registered or titled in your name in another state you may operate the vessel up to 90 consecutive days with current out-of-state registration.

Use tax is due and payable upon arrival in Texas. In lieu of paying use tax, a temporary use tax permit may be obtained by submitting form PWD 1434 media download(PDF 147.1 KB)to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

Separate permits are required for each vessel and/or outboard motor. The fee for each permit is $150.00.

The permit is valid for 90 days and is non-renewable, non-transferable, and non-refundable. Only two temporary use tax permits may be issued for the same taxable vessel or taxable outboard motor within a calendar year. The second permit in a calendar year may not be issued before the 30th day after the date the first permit expires.

How do I register my boat in Texas if it is already registered and/or titled in another state?

If you currently have your vessel registered and/or titled in your name in another state you can transfer the registration/title to Texas. You must transfer your registration and title within 90 days and pay use tax or new resident tax, as applicable, within 45 working days.

Submit the following to obtain Texas registration and title for a vessel:

Submit the following to obtain Texas title for an outboard motor:

I bought a boat and/or outboard motor that's registered and/or titled in another state. How do I transfer ownership and get Texas boat registration/title and/or Texas outboard motor title?

The seller must:

The purchaser must:


Transfer of Ownership

How do I transfer my Texas boat registration/title and Texas outboard motor title?

Purchasing Used Vessels/Outboard MotorsDO NOT purchase a used vessel/boat or outboard motor without receiving an original title (signed on the front and back) along with a signed bill of sale from the person(s) listed on the title or from their legally documented representative. If a legal representative signs the title or bill of sale for the recorded owner(s), you must obtain a copy of the documentation authorizing the legal representative to act on behalf of the owner(s). Texas Parks and Wildlife is not authorized to register/title boat trailers, those are handled by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles through your local County Tax offices.

The seller must:

The purchaser must:

How do I notify TPWD that I have sold/no longer own my boat/outboard motor OR that I have moved the registration/title to another state/country?

The owner on TPWD record may notify TPWD by using one of the following methods:

Parks and Wildlife Code states:

Sec. 31.037. CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP INTEREST; NOTICE TO DEPARTMENT.

(a) The recorded owner of a vessel numbered in this state shall notify the department not later than the 20th day after the date:

  1. of the transfer by sale, donation, gift, or other means of all or any part of the owner's interest in the vessel, other than the creation of a security interest in the vessel;
  2. of the destruction or disposal of the vessel; or
  3. of the permanent removal of the vessel from this state to another state or country.


Owner and/or Lien Holder Information

How can I get the current owner and/or lien holder information on a boat and/or outboard motor?


Ownership History

How can I get the history on a boat and/or outboard motor?

Vessel/boat and outboard motor ownership information is, by law, public information and TPWD retains historical documentation for vessels/boats and outboard motors for a period of 10 years. To obtain the History, which provides a copy of all documents submitted for transactions on file for a vessel/boat and/or outboard motor, submit:


Address Changes

How do I change the address of a boat that is currently registered in my name?

Vessel/boat owners are required by law to notify TPWD of address changes. You may Update Address Online at no cost through the Texas Parks & Wildlife or Texas Online website.

Or you may submit one of the following:

Submit to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

Note: A new certificate of number card will not be printed if the request is submitted without a request for a new ID card and submission of the required fee of $11.00.


Boat Trailer

Where do I get my boat trailer transferred?

Texas Parks and Wildlife does not have the legal authority to process trailer registration. Please contact your local tax assessor-collector office for assistance with boat trailer registration.


Licensed Marine Dealer, Distributor, or Manufacturer

How do I become a licensed marine dealer?

To become a licensed dealer, you must be in the business of buying, selling, selling on consignment, displaying for sale, and exchanging vessels or outboard motors at an established or permanent place of business in the state of Texas. Each location must have a sign conspicuously displayed showing the name of the dealership so that it may be clearly seen by the public and have sufficient space to maintain an office, service area, and display of products.

The dealer application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 142 KB) must be completed in full and submitted with the following:

PWD 310 Supplemental Information – Rules and statutes pertaining to Dealer, Distributor and/or Manufacturer Licenses.

How do I become a licensed marine distributor or manufacturer?

To become a licensed distributor or manufacturer, you must be engaged in the business of manufacturing new and unused vessels and outboard motors for the purpose of sale or trade or offer for sale, sell, or process for distribution new vessels or outboard motors to dealers in the state of Texas.

The distributor or manufacturer application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 142 KB) must be completed in full and submitted with the following:

PWD 310 Supplemental Information – Rules and statutes pertaining to Dealer, Distributor and/or Manufacturer Licenses.

How do I renew my marine license?

To renew your license, submit your renewal letter or a completed application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 142 KB), the $500.00 renewal fee, and, if applicable, verification of all assumed names, to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin.

Dealers must also submit the following:

Distributors and manufacturers must also return the following:

PWD 310 Supplemental Information – Rules and statutes pertaining to Dealer, Distributor and/or Manufacturer Licenses.

How do I transfer my license?

To a new owner:

To transfer your license to a new owner, complete in full the marine license application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 142 KB) and submit it along with the $500.00 fee, and, if applicable, verification of all assumed names, to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin

Dealers must also include the following:

Distributors and manufacturers must also include the following:

To a new location (with the same owner):

To transfer your license to a new location, complete the marine license application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 142 KB) and submit it along with the $11.00 fee, and, if applicable, verification of all assumed names, to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin.

Dealers must also include the following:

PWD 310 Supplemental Information – Rules and statutes pertaining to Dealer, Distributor and/or Manufacturer Licenses.

How do I correct or update my marine license?

To correct or update information on your marine license other than ownership and location, submit a completed marine license application form PWD 310 media download(PDF 142 KB) and submit it to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin along with the $4.00 fee, and, if applicable, one or more of the following:

PWD 310 Supplemental Information – Rules and statutes pertaining to Dealer, Distributor and/or Manufacturer Licenses.

How do I obtain an additional or replace a lost or destroyed validation card and decal?

If your Marine License is current and you wish to purchase an additional or replace a lost or destroyed validation card and decal, submit:

Form PWD 310A media download(PDF 76.9 KB) and required fees to Texas Parks & Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Law Enforcement field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-Collector office. Fee Chart media download(PDF 107.5 KB)


DISCLAIMER: Due to unique situations, the information above may not be all inclusive. If your situation is not specifically discussed, please call the Boat Information Hotline at (800) 262-8755.


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