Do boat trailers have titles? Boat trailer title regulations in some states

You own a boat trailer and are wondering, “Do boat trailers have titles?” It varies from state to state, but many states do in fact require that all boat trailers have titles, just like cars and other motor vehicles.

Do boat trailers have titles?

Do boat trailers have titles?

In this blog post, Scott Ewart looks at whether your boat trailer needs a title, depending on the size of your vessel. We’ll also discuss boat trailer title regulations in some states to help you understand the rules exactly. Stay tuned as we will provided fully information in this post below!

Do boat trailers have titles?

Do boat trailers have titles?

Do boat trailers have titles?

Does boat trailer have a title? Yes, it does. However, the specific rules and regulations vary from state to state, so it is important for boat owners to research the laws in their area. Boat trailers are registered or titled through the applicant’s local county tax office. In some states, if a trailer is registered as part of a boat title, then it does not need to be titled separately.

Boat trailer title regulations in some states

Boat trailer title regulations in some states

Boat trailer title regulations in some states

What is the answer for this question “do you need a title for a boat trailer?” Title regulations for boat trailers vary by state. In some states, boat trailers must be titled in order to be registered and legal for operation. Other states, such as Florida, allow boat trailers to operate without a title as long as they have been registered. What about Texas? Can you register a boat without a title in Texas? Here are the regulations of some states:

States Regulation about boat trailers
Alabama There is no registration title for boat trailers.
Alaska A license plate is necessary for all trailers.
Colorado All trailers are given titles and registered by the state of Colorado.
Connecticut All trailers are given titles and registered by the state of Colorado.
Florida Florida requires that your boat trailer be registered there.
Georgia The Georgia Motor Vehicle Division mandates that all boat trailers must be officially registered.
Hawaii In the state of Hawaii, you must register your boat trailer.
Kansas Boats that are more than 2,001 pounds need to be registered and titled for a trailer.
Michigan Michigan-licensed trailers must be registered.
Minnesota Small trailers under 3,000 pounds get permanent Minnesota registration stickers.


Trailers weighing more than 3,000 pounds need one license plate and annual registration.

New York New York requires boat trailer registration.
Ohio For those living in Ohio, boat trailers are required to be registered. The weight card, which exactly displays the trailer’s empty weight, is what seals the deal.
Pennsylvania In the state of Pennsylvania, you must have a title and register your boat trailer.
Texas Texas mandates boat trailer registration. Trailers exceeding 4000 GVW are titled, while those less than that are not.
Utah All Utah trailers that exceed 750 pounds, be they travel or camping trailers, must have a title and registration.
Washington In the state of Washington, you have to put plates on your boat trailer. But if your empty trailer is worth less than $2,000, you can get “intermittent use” plates. This kind of plate is pretty cheap.
Wyoming All boat trailers have to be registered in Wyoming

Steps to register title for boat trailers

Steps to register title for boat trailers

Steps to register title for boat trailers

To legally take your boat trailer out on the roadway, it’s essential to register it and receive a license plate for it. It happens at any of the Secretary of State’s branch offices. Make sure to complete this task before you hit the open road! Here is the example for registering the title for a boat trailer in Michigan:

Case 1: The weight of your trailer exceeds 2,500 pounds

If your trailer weighs more than 2,500 pounds, you will need to submit the following documents during registration:

You also need a title, which you can get from the Secretary of State.

If you just bought a used trailer, go to the Secretary of State’s office near you and ask them to change the title to your name.

You must send in your title application or transfer the title within 15 days of buying the trailer.

Case 2: The weight of your trailer is less than 2,500 pounds

New boat trailers:

If the trailer is new, you’ll need to submit:

  • A Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • The purchase receipt
  • A completed Michigan Boat Trailer Registration Form
If you purchased a used trailer, you’ll need to submit the following:
– The bill of sale you received from the seller.
– Make sure this bill includes information like:
  • The trailer’s manufacturing year
  • VIN
  • Seller’s name and address
  • The trailer’s empty weight

Case 3: You don’t determine the boat trailers’ weight

If you don’t know the exact weight of the trailer, you must have it weighed at certified scales before registering it. You can find certified scales at truck stops or weigh stations, scrap metal recyclers, and junk yards. They’ll charge you a small fee for the weighing service.

With a new boat trailer, the manufacturer’s certificate of origin will provide information about its weight.

If you just bought a boat trailer, you should look at the registration papers that the seller gave you to find out how much it weighs when it’s empty.

Once you have completed these steps, all that remains is to pay your registration fee and receive your license plate.

What about the donation process? Can I donate a boat without a title? Find more information here to accumulate knowledge for yourself!

Boat trailer title registration cost

Boat trailer title registration cost

Boat trailer title registration cost

To register a boat trailer, the cost varies from state to state. Those who register or title a boat trailer pay a 6% usage tax.

The amount is determined by the trailer’s purchase or retail price. If you bought your trailer from a dealer and paid 6% sales tax, the use tax is excluded. The bill of sale for the trailer must verify that you have already paid the applicable sales tax.

To get the license plate they need to register their boat trailer, boaters must pay a fee.

Boat trailer’s weight The fee
0 – 2,499 lbs. $75
2,500 to 9,999 lbs. $200
>=10,000 lbs. $300

Should I renew my boat trailer registration annually?

Does a boat trailer need a title? Boat trailers are an investment that needs to be taken seriously. Since they only require a one-time registration, the plates never expire and will not transfer if the trailer is sold. New owners must transfer the title, register the trailer, and get a license plate.

FAQs Do boat trailers have titles?

Is there a VIN number on a boat trailer?

Vin numbers are sometimes difficult to find on trailers as there is not a specific required position. However, they are usually imprinted somewhere in the metal. This is typically located on the trailer tongue or frame near the coupler.

Is a boat title required in the state of Nebraska?

All boats manufactured after 1972 will require a title in Nebraska. In order for your boat to be eligible for title processing, it must have a 12-digit Hull Identification Number (HIN) affixed to its exterior.

How can I obtain a Nebraska trailer title?

To register a vehicle for the first time, visit your local County Treasurer’s office. You can also renew online at or by mail, whichever is most convenient and accessible to you.

What distinguishes a boat trailer?

On a silver sticker at the front of the trailer, on the passenger-side inside of the rail, is the vehicle identification number. The tongue of the trailer’s bottom is likewise covered with a decal.


Do boat trailers have titles? Though specific requirements for registering and titling a boat trailer vary from state to state, in general, most states do require that trailers be titled. If you are unsure about the registration process in your home state, it is best to contact your local DMV office for more information. Thank you for stopping by and reading our article!

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