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Here are some additional facts about titling and registering your vessel.

  • A Certificate of Title proves ownership. At the request of the owner, any vessel may be titled. Once a title has been issued, that vessel must remain titled by future owners. The following vessels are required to have a Certificate of Title:
    • Power-driven boats with a model year of 1997 or newer, excluding boats less than 14 feet in length that are powered by an outboard motor
    • All inboard vessels, including personal watercraft (PWC), with a model year of 1997 or newer, regardless of length
  • A Certificate of Boat Registration is valid for two years and expires on March 31 of the second year. Owners of vessels that have been registered previously will be sent a renewal notice prior to the expiration date.
  • The owner of a registered vessel must notify PFBC’s Licensing and Registration Section within 15 days if:
    • He or she changes addresses or…
    • The vessel is lost, stolen, destroyed, abandoned, or sold.
  • Owners of vessels registered in another state have 60 days to transfer the registration to Pennsylvania after Pennsylvania becomes the principal state where the boat is used.
  • If you lose or destroy your Certificate of Boat Registration or decal, you must apply to PFBC’s Licensing and Registration Section for a duplicate and submit a processing fee.
  • Larger recreational vessels owned by U.S. citizens may (at the option of the owner) be documented by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Call the USCG at 1-800-799-8362 for more information. Documented vessels also must obtain a Pennsylvania registration and display the validation decals.
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