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It's the Law

Other Facts About Titling and Registration


A Certificate of Number is valid for two years from the date it is issued. Owners of vessels that have already been registered will be sent a renewal notice to their residence at least one month prior to the expiration of their current registration.

The Massachusetts Environmental Police must be notified within 15 days of any of these events:

  • The sale, trade, or transfer of ownership of a registered vessel
  • The abandonment, destruction, loss, or theft of a registered vessel
  • The change of address of the owner of a registered vessel
  • The destruction or loss of a Certificate of Number or validation decal

Boat trailers are registered and titled under the same requirements as passenger cars. Application is made through the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Some smaller trailers need not be titled.

Larger recreational vessels owned by U.S. citizens may (at the option of the owner) be documented by the USCG. Call the USCG at 1-800-799-8362 for more information. Documented vessels are exempt from Massachusetts registration and titling requirements.