Pennsylvania Requirements for Vessels
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 PWCs) 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 which 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.