A certificate of
title is a legal document that proves ownership. Boat titling is different from
boat registration because a certificate of registration does not prove
ownership. A certificate of title requires all owners of a boat to sign off on
their interests when selling, and would provide the purchaser with proper
documentation for titling and registering a boat. Application forms are the same
ones used for boat registration and are available at county treasurer’s offices,
certain boat dealerships,
Commission's web site, at the Commission’s headquarters in Harrisburg
and at all regional law enforcement offices.
Boat titling is
required for all inboard motorboats with a model year of 1997 or newer (all
personal watercraft) AND all outboard motorboats 14 feet or more in
length with a model year of 1997 or newer. All inboard-powered boats, including
all 1997 or newer personal watercraft, are subject to the titling requirement,
regardless of length. At the request of the owner, the Commission will issue
titles to any boat, regardless of the length, power source, or year the boat was
manufactured. However, once a title is issued that boat must remain titled by
future owners. Also, anyone with a boat currently titled in another state must
obtain a Pennsylvania title when Pennsylvania becomes the state of principal
use, regardless of the age, size, or length of the boat.
The fee for titling
a boat is $15. There is an additional encumbrance fee of $5 if there is a lien
against the boat. The fee for a duplicate title is also $5.
assures the buyer of a boat that the seller has clear ownership of a boat
offered for sale. Some lenders won’t finance a boat without a title, so securing
a loan to purchase a boat may be easier if the boat is titled. Titling is also a
deterrent to boat theft. Boat dealers and other purchasers are more certain that
someone offering a boat for sale has the legal right to do so.