How to Title a Boat Trailer in Pennsylvania

by Virginia Watson
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In Pennsylvania, boat trailers are considered separate vehicles and require their own license plates, titles and registrations. The process for titling boat trailers is similar to that of titling cars in the state, and involves a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). As with all Pennsylvania vehicle titles, an authorized representative of the state, which can include DMV employees, car dealers and notary publics, must fill out the MV-1 "Application for Certificate of Title" form.


Step 1

Get proof of insurance. You must have Pennsylvania insurance for your boat trailer in order to qualify for titling. New residents of the state should transfer their insurance. Take proof of insurance with you to the DMV.

Step 2

Have the trailer inspected. If the Pennsylvania safety inspection sticker is still valid, you may skip this step. Otherwise, an inspection should be done within 10 days of buying the trailer. Out of state trailers will need an inspection in Pennsylvania prior to titling.

Step 3

Find the title of the vehicle. If you are purchasing the trailer used, you must have the seller of the trailer fill in their information on the back of the title. A notary public should witness the transfer of the title prior to going to the DMV. Take this title to the DMV and the clerk will issue you a new title in your name. If you are purchasing the trailer new, the dealer should take care of this step.

Step 4

New Pennsylvania residents have 20 days to register their vehicles with the DMV after moving to the state. If you are a new resident, you must first get a Pennsylvania driver's license and then register your boat trailer. You must give the DMV your out-of-state title at the time of registration. The DMV will then issue you a new Pennsylvania title. New residents must also obtain the tracing of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Prior to titling the vehicle, you must have a tracing report on your trailer's VIN, or have it reviewed by an inspection mechanic, dealer or notary.

Step 5

Pay the titling fees. The DMV charges a titling and a registration fee, both of which are due at the time of signing for the new title. After you have turned in the paperwork and paid the fees, the DMV will mail you a new title.

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