If you purchased a vessel from the last registered owner, never registered and titled the vessel in your name and would like to resell the vessel, you can use the Affidavit of Vessel Purchase and Resale Form to transfer the vessel.
If your vessel was purchased from a dealer outside of North Carolina who is not required to collect N.C. tax, you may owe use tax on your vessel. It is the vessel owner's responsibility to remit any applicable amount of use tax due on the purchase of a vessel from another state. For more information, call the N.C. Department of Revenue at 877-252-3052 or visit dor.state.nc.us/.
Brochure: Use Tax Information for Newly Registered Boats
To properly register and title a new vessel you will need to submit the following:
Vessels can be registered for a period of 1 or 3 years and any vessel 14ft in length or greater or a personal watercraft (i.e. jet ski) is required to be titled. You may register and title your vessel online at GoOutdoorsNorthCarolina.com, by mail or in person at a local Wildlife Service Agent.
To properly register and title a used vessel you will need to submit the following:
Purchasing a titled vessel from an individual
Purchasing a non-titled vessel from an individual
Purchasing a titled or non-titled vessel from a Dealership
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) documented vessels that have been in North Carolina for more than 90 consecutive days, must be registered in the state. However, federal law restricts states from issuing titles for documented vessels since the USCG issues a Certificate of Documentation (COD) to owners of documented vessels which supersede a state title. To register your documented vessel you will need to submit the following:
USCG Documented vessels can be registered for a period of 1 or 3 years but should only be titled if USCG Documentation is canceled. You may register your vessel online at GoOutDoorsNorthCarolina.com, by mail or in person at a local Wildlife Service Agent.
If you have purchased a U.S. Coast Guard documented vessel, please follow the link listed below for additional instructions.
A vessel Documented with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is required to be registered in North Carolina to operate on public waters. However, federal law restricts states from issuing titles for documented vessels since the USCG issues a Certificate of Documentation (COD) to owners of documented vessels which supersede a state title. If you have purchased a USCG documented vessel you will need to submit the following:
If you choose not to document the vessel with the US Coast Guard
If you choose to Document your vessel with the US Coast Guard
Upon receipt of the Renewal Notification, you may renew using any one of the four methods listed below. You may renew at any time 60 days prior to the expiration date of your registration. Receipt of the Renewal Notice form is not required to renew.
If your Registration Card or Decal has been lost or destroyed, follow one of these procedures to purchase a duplicate. Processing fee applies.
To obtain a duplicate title please submit the following. All title only transactions must be completed by mail or in person at our WRC Headquarters in Raleigh.
To sell a titled vessel when the title has been lost you must give the purchaser the following:
If you are selling your vessel out of state you will need to obtain a duplicate title as no other state will recognize our Seller’s Statement of Lost Title Form.
To properly register and title a vessel in North Carolina that is registered and titled in your name in another state you will need to submit the following:
To properly register and title a vessel that is registered but not titled in your name in another state you will need to submit the following:
Vessels can be registered for a period of 1 or 3 years and any vessel 14ft in length or greater or a personal watercraft (i.e. jet ski) is required to be titled. You may register and title your vessel online at GoOutdoorsNorthCarolina.com, by mail, or in person at at a local Wildlife Service Agent.
To properly register and title a vessel that belongs to someone who has passed away you will need to submit the following:
If you have changed your name and need to update your vessel record, submit the following. These transactions can only be processed by mail or in person at the WRC Headquarters in Raleigh.
Updating a titled vessel
Updating a non-titled vessel
To properly add a lien to your vessel record you will need to submit the following. These transactions can only be processed by mail or in person at the WRC Headquarters in Raleigh.
Adding a lien to a titled vessel
Adding a lien to a non-titled vessel
Definition: “Abandoned vessel" means a vessel that has been relinquished, left, or given up by the lawful owner without the intention to later resume any right or interest in the vessel. The term does not include a vessel that is left by an owner or agent of the owner with any person or business for the purpose of storage, maintenance, or repair and that is not subsequently reclaimed.
A person finding an abandoned vessel can become the registered and titled owner of the vessel, provided that the previous owner(s) cannot be located and that they have not reported the vessel missing or stolen.
The finder of an abandoned vessel should call (833-950-0575) or write to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Transaction Management, 1709 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1709 to request a “Vessel Owner Information Request Form.” This form must be submitted prior to WRC releasing vessel owner information. Once the applicant has obtained the last registered owner information, that individual must perform the following steps:
WRC will consider the evidence presented and will consult all available records. If WRC deems the vessel has been abandoned, WRC will register and/or title the vessel into the ownership of the applicant.
For more information regarding abandoned vessels, call 833-950-0575.
Proof of ownership is not required of an applicant when the vessel has been built by the applicant. However, if a vessel is homemade and it is sold, the buyer must present a notarized bill of sale from the seller when applying for a vessel registration. The homemade vessel will be assigned a HIN at the time of registration.
Note: Homemade vessels can only be registered via mail or in person through our office. Wildlife Service Agents do not offer this service.
New Registration Requirements for Homemade Vessel:
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is legally responsible for Vessel Registration in North Carolina. Vessel Registration is a system of record-keeping and identification for all motorized vessels and large sailboats operated on North Carolina public waters. Registration helps the Commission's Enforcement Division protect vessel owners against theft and against irresponsible actions by other vessel operators.
All motorized vessels used on public waters including vessels which use an electric trolling motor must be registered. This requirement also includes jet skis.
All US Coast Guard Documented Vessels operating in North Carolina for over 90 consecutive days must be registered.
All sailboats used on public waters must be registered if longer than 14 feet at the load waterline.
If a vessel registered in another state is brought in to North Carolina for over 90 consecutive days, the registration must be transferred to North Carolina. Active duty military, temporarily stationed in North Carolina, who have a valid out of state registration for their vessel are exempt from this requirement.
All titled vessels must be registered.
Cost varies depending on the size of the vessel and the services requested. Refer to the VL-1 Form for a list of vessel registration and titling fees.
Vessels can be registered for a period of 1 or 3 years and any vessel 14ft in length or greater or a personal watercraft (i.e. jet ski) is required to be titled. You may register and title your vessel online at gooutdoorsnorthcarolina.com, by mail, or in person at a local wildlifeWildlife Service Agent.
Complete the VL-1 Form (Registration & Titling Application) and mail to NCWRC along with the appropriate fee.
Yes, however you must comply with the procedures outlined in the Taking Ownership of an Abandoned Vessel document.
If your vessel is titled, you must provide the buyer with the Certificate of Title, signed and notarized by all owners listed on the title.
If your vessel is not titled, you must provide the buyer with a Bill of Sale, signed and notarized by all owners listed on the registration.
The buyer cannot register the vessel without one of these notarized documents.
You need to notify NCWRC in writing as soon as possible to ensure your vessel record reflects a “sold”, "out of state", or "junked" status. This step is important because it will show you are no longer the registered owner or that you no longer live in North Carolina .
You may notify our office using one of the below methods. It is important to include the following information on your request:
Contact customer service at 833-950-0575. Customer service is available Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.