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How can you register a boat with no title or other documents?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hope one of you can help with this one; A buddy of mine has been offered a small skiff which was left abandoned on someone else's private property years ago. The boat is in nice shape and a bit of elbow grease will get her fit for duty in no time. The problem is that no one has a title, or a registration, and no one knows how to contact the previous owner. It looks like it was previously registered in Connecticut, but my friend wants to register it in NY. Surely there has to be some way to get this thing registered. I recall someone refurbishing an old wreck that he got for free, and he was able to get it registered because his claim was that he built the boat. Can someone please tell me how to go about this? Thanks!

Valentine
post #2 of 13
I think he could apply for a lost title.
post #3 of 13
I don't think he can apply for the title. Regardless, even if he had it, he legally couldn't sign over title to himself. From previous discussions on this topic, I seem to remember that there is no easy way to title the boat. I suggest that he call the NY DDMV to inquire. They are actually helpful.
post #4 of 13
Probably something under the salvage laws. just a guess...
post #5 of 13
Val, have you checked with the department of motor vehicles in your state? They would be the perfect source, considering they are the ones who are going to have to give you a title and registration.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by valentine View Post
Hope one of you can help with this one; A buddy of mine has been offered a small skiff which was left abandoned on someone else's private property years ago. The boat is in nice shape and a bit of elbow grease will get her fit for duty in no time. The problem is that no one has a title, or a registration, and no one knows how to contact the previous owner. It looks like it was previously registered in Connecticut, but my friend wants to register it in NY. Surely there has to be some way to get this thing registered. I recall someone refurbishing an old wreck that he got for free, and he was able to get it registered because his claim was that he built the boat. Can someone please tell me how to go about this? Thanks!

Valentine


Do you know what Manufacturer made the boat? What is the serial # on the transom?
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by foulhook View Post
Do you know what Manufacturer made the boat? What is the serial # on the transom?


Never thought of that, but with that info he may be able to do a title search
post #8 of 13
you can register the boat homemade if the serial number is illegible.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerrickT View Post
Never thought of that, but with that info he may be able to do a title search


Correct. If there is no held title he can get the manufacturer to issue a new Serial # and a new title.

Tight lines, Bob
post #10 of 13
Several years ago I found a boat in the bay. I contacted the marine police in my area. I was told I could leave it in there yard as a lost Item and claim it in a year along with all the paper work ect.

I gave the marine police the Reg numbers along with my name a phone number.
The marine police contacted the owner and I got the reg from the owner.
post #11 of 13
It's not that easy. NJ is tough on titles and I believe NY is also. If it were that easy, it would aid boat theft. I know that in NJ it is just about impossible to register a trailer without the title. I can't imagine that registering a boat without the title would be easier.
Call the DMV and ask. Let us know what they say.
post #12 of 13
Actually registering a boat trailer w/o a title is very easy in Jersey. Bill of sale notarized and off you go. Had to do for the guy who bought my boat.
Cabo
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabo2005 View Post
Actually registering a boat trailer w/o a title is very easy in Jersey. Bill of sale notarized and off you go. Had to do for the guy who bought my boat.
Cabo


The buyer in the post doesn't know who owned the boat so he can't get a notarized letter. In your case, since the owner details were know, the DMV could look up the title. If the boat was previously registered in NJ, the DMV can also look up the title but without the registered owner's consent, can not transfer title to a new registrant.
There has to be proof of ownership and in this case there isn't any. There are services that can track down owners and do title searches. Note that if the title is not clear, the new owner could be on the hook. The buyer could find out at a later date that there is a lien on the vessel. personally, i would stay away from boats with no papers.
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