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How to Obtain a Boat Salvage Title

by Jerry Garner

There are a number of circumstances in which you may need to obtain a salvage title for a boat. Sunken boats that are reclaimed, abandoned boats that are found on your property and damaged boats that are bought for scrap are all examples of salvaged boats. Often, these boats do not have an existing title, so a salvage title is issued to show ownership of the vessel. Knowing how to obtain a salvage title is important for anyone who deals in inoperable boats.

Take the existing boat title, if present, to the clerk of courts. The clerk will cancel the title, ruling it useless in terms of selling the boat as an operable vehicle. Skip this step if no title is present.

Determine which government department controls boat title matters in your state. It is often the Department of Motor Vehicles, but in some states it is the Department of Revenue. In some states, such as Texas, boat registration falls under the authority of the state wildlife office. Go to the relevant location to apply for the boat salvage title.

Take a number and wait your turn. When your number is called, explain to the clerk that you have an inoperable boat and need to obtain a salvage title. You will be asked to complete a form.

Complete the form. You will need your personal information, such as your name, address and your date of birth. You will also need information about the boat, such as its type, its length and color. If there are any serial numbers or other markings on the boat, you must also submit that information.

Return the form to the clerk. If you have a canceled title, hand in the canceled title with the form. Likewise, if you purchased the boat as scrap, surrender a copy of the bill of sale as well. You will be asked to provide a valid driver's license or another other form of photo ID to verify your identity. This is usually another government-issued ID. The clerk will input the necessary information, then will submit the application for a boat salvage title.

Pay the title fee, then wait for the title to arrive by mail. The amount will vary from state to state. It may even vary from county to county within the same state. After the information is submitted and the fee has been paid, the title will arrive by mail in four to six weeks.

Tip

  • If your boat becomes restored to working condition, the salvage title can be upgraded to a regular ownership title.

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About the Author

Jerry Garner has been writing semi-professionally for more than 15 years. The body of Garner's work includes informative articles, news and current events and historical essays. He is an avid sports fan and frequently writes about outdoor activities online.

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