Summer is just around the corner and that means boaters will be taking to the water. And that means everyone needs to get their boat registrations in order before hitting the lake. Here are few helpful reminders that may prevent problems for boat owners: Purchasing a boat from an individual? Check the ownership information first, it’s easy to do and free. You can see whether the boat has a title and determine who is listed as the owner and if that matches to the person (or their legal representative) that you are buying the boat from. Avoid buying a boat with existing problems by determining is a lien exists and whether it has been released by the bank. Avoid situations noted on the record where an issue exists that will prevent a smooth transfer of ownership. Remember, when a title has been issued, you’ll need the seller to provide the title with the purchaser’s name and address listed on the back of the title and a bill of sale to complete the transfer into your name.
Didn’t get your registration renewal notice? Check the ownership information to see if you need to update your address. Providing an updated address is free and easy by using Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s form PWD 143-M (boats) or PWD 144-M (outboard motors). All forms may be downloaded online or picked up at a registration and inspection office. Texas experiences all kind of weather events — did a boat wash up on your property during the most recent hurricane or flood? Use the ownership information to connect with the owners.
Check the documents before making the trip — Just moved to Texas? Inherited a boat? Selling as a result of divorce? Won a boat in a raffle? Titling a homemade boat? And the list goes on. Before making a drive to one of the offices, you can check to see what documents are needed by viewing the “Requirements for Specific Transactions for Vessels and Outboard Motors”. Summarized graphs with detailed explanations are available on the TPWD Boat Ownership Web page.