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WATERCRAFT SERVICES

 
Watercraft services are listed below and links to the forms you will need in order to get the paperwork required by law in order to have your watercraft registered properly per Ohio law.

Clear visible photo of the H.I.N. (Hull Identification Number) Required for out-of-State watercraft titles emailed to us by clicking here.

Watercraft Title:

 

Watercraft 14 feet and longer in length and watercraft less than 14 feet long that have a permanently affixed mechanical means of propulsion with 10 horsepower or more must be titled.  Canoes and kayaks do not require a Certificate of Title.  The Federal Boating Act requires all boats to have a Hull Identification Number or serial number that is at least 12 characters long. Click Here for Watercraft FAQS

Clear visible photo of the H.I.N. (Hull Identification Number) Required for out-of-State watercraft titles emailed to us by clicking here.

Watercraft

  1. Out of State Watercraft Titles must be accompanied by a photo of the Hull Identification Number (HIN)

  2. Ensure the HIN # is clearly visible and legible.

  3. Acceptable images: printed, emailed    title.mentor@lakecountyohio.go

The hull identification number (HIN) is the boat's serial number. It is a series of letters and numbers assigned to a boat — typically by the manufacturer — that tells the make and model of boat as well as date of manufacture.

  • The HIN is one of the required pieces of information you need to register a boat the first time. 

  • The HIN is a way that ownership of a boat can be tracked regardless of which state it is used in.

  • The HIN for a boat is permanent.

  • If a boat is titled, the HIN is recorded on the title.

 

Finding the HIN
The HIN should be 12 characters (numbers and letters), a minimum of 1/4 inch high, permanently attached to the upper right of the boat's transom or on the starboard (right) side within two feet of the stern (for boats without a transom). Frequently the HIN is stamped into a small metal plate that is riveted to the boat.

Pontoon boats will have a visible HIN on the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard hull attachment. Boats with plastic or molded hulls — like kayaks — may have the HIN etched into the hull at the stern (back end of the boat).

HIN-Boat-Number-Plate-700x429.jpg
Examples of The Hull Identification Number.

Outboard Motor Title:

Outboard motors 10 horsepower or greater require a Certificate of Title.

Jet Skis Title:

Jet skis and similar watercraft purchased after January, 2000 require a Certificate of Title.  Jet skis and similar watercraft owned prior to January, 2000 do not require a Certificate of Title.  However, owners are required to obtain a Certificate of Title if they wish to sell, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of their watercraft.  To obtain a Certificate of Title, owners must present a manufacturer's statement of origin, a sworn statement of ownership, or a notarized bill of sale to any Clerk of Courts titling office. Boat registrations in Ohio are valid for up to three years.  Watercraft registrations expire March 1 throughout of the expiration year.  The cost of your registration depends on the length of your boat, how it is propelled, and which type of registration you are purchasing. Boat registrations are good for three years and expire on March 1. There is no late fee for renewing after March 1 throughout. Click Here for Watercraft FAQS

Registering Your Boat in Ohio

Boat registrations in Ohio are valid for up to three years.  Watercraft registrations expire March 1 throughout the expiration year.  The cost of your registration depends on the length of your boat, how it is propelled, and which type of registration you are purchasing. Boat registrations are good for three years and expire on March 1. There is no late fee for renewing after March 1. Click Here for Watercraft FAQS

Registrations are required for every recreational boat in Ohio, including powerboats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and inflatable boats. NOTE: Kiteboards, paddleboards, and belly boats (or float tubes) do NOT have to be registered as boats in Ohio.

What you need to get a boat registered depends on what type of boat it is. Generally you need proof of ownership, some detailed information on the boat, some detailed information on you (the owner), a driver’s license or ID, and the registration fee.

When registering a boat for the first time you must provide proof of ownership. Proof of ownership may include:  

  • Certificate of Title;  

  • Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO);

  • Bill of sale; or,  

  • Registration assigned to the buyer.   

 

Please contact us to determine what may qualify as proof of ownership. Click Here for Watercraft FAQS

Renewing a Registration:

Boat registrations come up for renewal every three years. We mail you a notice a few months before your registration expires. This is why it is important that you keep your mailing address updated with us.

You can renew an existing boat registration (no change of owner) at any Boat Registration Agent if you bring your renewal notice with an ID and payment. Call ahead to make sure they are open and have decals available.

Change of Ownership:

If you are not the listed owner of the boat on the current registration, you will need official documentation of the ownership change before you can renew the registration. Renewal in these circumstances requires you to appear in person at the Lake County Title Bureau to get the registration put in your name. Official proof of ownership depends on what type of boat it is, whether it has a title or not. Click Here for Watercraft FAQS

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