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  #1  
Old 03-07-2013
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Registration Numbers

My new-tp-me boat doesn't have any registration numbers on the hull - and I'm not sure about the dinghy.

Anyone have ideas on alternative set-ups to avoid the decals, but still be in compliance should I get inspected?
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

Federally documented vessels, generally are not required to display state registration numbers. However, depending on your state regs, you may still have to register your vessel and display an " annual" registration sticker. For Maryland it looks like a two year "documented vessel sticker. I don't live there..so don't trust me. ;-)

Check the dinghy requirements too.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Boating
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicklaus View Post
My new-tp-me boat doesn't have any registration numbers on the hull - and I'm not sure about the dinghy.

Anyone have ideas on alternative set-ups to avoid the decals, but still be in compliance should I get inspected?
If you document, then you don't have to display any numbers.

I believe that numbers have to be permanent, so painting them on may be the only way to do it without decals. I believe that putting numbers on a piece of wood and hanging them on a lifeline is not permanent enough, and would like lead to you getting boarded.

What's wrong with decals anyway? 50 cents each at Lowes.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

The documentation number does have to be permanent but doesn't have to be visible from afar. My number is inside the vessel on the hull. The vessel name and home port need to be painted on the transom and match the documentation papers.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

Thanks.

Did some more digging and it appears as long as the federal registration number is attached (I believe it is carved on a plaque by my nav station) the vessel does not need external numbers. I will need to display my Maryland decals, which I have, on the port and starboard side.

The previous owner didn't have his displayed anywhere.

I wasn't worried about the cost of the decals - just wanted to avoid putting any more stickers than necessary on my hull.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

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Originally Posted by Nicklaus View Post
Thanks.

Did some more digging and it appears as long as the federal registration number is attached (I believe it is carved on a plaque by my nav station) the vessel does not need external numbers. I will need to display my Maryland decals, which I have, on the port and starboard side.

The previous owner didn't have his displayed anywhere.

I wasn't worried about the cost of the decals - just wanted to avoid putting any more stickers than necessary on my hull.
It's a documentation number, not registration. I believe that you must transfer the documentation to your name. It takes the place of a title. It's illegal to have a title on a documented vessel - you have one or the other, but not both. Hopefully you had a doc search done prior to purchase, to verify that there are no liens on your vessel. If you took out a loan, the lender would have made sure this was done. If you paid cash, you or your broker were responsible for this. If this was not done, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

If your dighy is motorized it also must have registration numers and they must be displayed in MD.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

First, let's clarify the difference between Documented and Registered.

When you buy a boat, naturally you will want some proof that you own it. That is either in the form of a State issued Title or a Federally issued USCG Vessel Documentation (a documented boat). You never get both. The USCG has minimum requirements to document with them. See here: USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, FAQ Page

Registration is strictly a State requirement to identify vessels that remain in their waters for a period longer than they identify. This varies highly, but 30 to 90 days is common. They do this so that they can effect regulation, track usage and collect taxes.

You will always have a form of title, and almost always have a registration as well, unless you are eternally transient or overseas.

Our boat is Documented with the USCG and registered in RI. However, I am not required to display any RI registration numbers, because I am Federally documented. The Federal Documentation number must be permanently inscribed aboard, but it not required to be visible. Your documented boat name and hailport are required to be visible and there are specific requirements for them (size and location).

Our dinghy does not meet the minimum size requirements to be USCG Documented and, therefore, is both State Titled and Registered. Therefore, registrations numbers are required to be displayed on it.

Some say that putting the symbol T/T (which denotes Tender To) and then your Documented boat's name will somehow attach it to the boat and avoid the need for titling or registering it. I've never found where that is actually permitted in RI, but may be in other state. My best guess is this is rumor that confuses the difference and the T/T only tags along with the boats title (documentation), not its registration.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

I take exception to the 'you never get both' statement.

USCG documentation does not preclude state issued titles. In fact to sell a vessel, USCG documented or both you will need that title.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Registration Numbers

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Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I take exception to the 'you never get both' statement.

USCG documentation does not preclude state issued titles. In fact to sell a vessel, USCG documented or both you will need that title.
Call the National Vessel Documentation Center at 800-799-8362. I am virtually certain that they will tell you that it is illegal to have both documentation and a state title on the same boat.

Having both opens up a whole host of problems. For one, you will not be able to get a loan for the boat, because the lender cannot place a reliable lien. If they place a lien on the state title, you could sell the boat with the unliened doc papers and run off with the money without paying off the loan. Same if they place the lien on the documentation. They will not place a lien on both, because they know it's illegal to have both, and will do a title/documentation search prior to issuing the loan to make sure it has only one. Obviously you can bypass this issue by paying cash when you buy a boat, but then you might not be able to sell it.

There are a bunch of other problems that they told me about, but it was 3 years ago and I can't remember. Some of the other problems can end up with someone else being able to claim ownership of your vessel.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 03-08-2013 at 11:20 AM.
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