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How to Transfer a Boat Title in PA

If you are a boat owner in Pennsylvania and you are looking to sell or purchase a boat, it is essential to understand the process of transferring a boat title. Transferring a boat title ensures that the ownership of the vessel is legally transferred to the new owner. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a boat title in Pennsylvania.

Step 1: Gather Required Documents

Before initiating the boat title transfer process, make sure you have the necessary documents. These documents include:

1. Boat Title: The current boat title must be provided by the seller. If the boat is financed, a lien release from the lender is required.

2. Bill of Sale: A notarized bill of sale is necessary to document the transfer of ownership. It should include the buyer and seller’s information, boat details, purchase price, and date of sale.

3. Valid Identification: Both the buyer and seller must provide a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

4. Pennsylvania Sales Tax Form: If applicable, a Pennsylvania Sales Tax Form must be completed and submitted.

Step 2: Complete the Application for Pennsylvania Certificate of Title

To transfer a boat title, you need to complete the Application for Pennsylvania Certificate of Title (Form MV-82B-TR). This form is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) website or can be obtained from a local PennDOT office.

The application requires information about the boat, including the hull identification number (HIN), make, model, year, and length. Both the buyer and seller must sign the application.

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Step 3: Submit the Application and Supporting Documents

Once the application is completed, along with the required documents mentioned above, you can submit them to your local PennDOT office. It is advisable to make copies of all documents for your records.

Step 4: Pay the Transfer Fee

A transfer fee is required to transfer a boat title in Pennsylvania. The fee varies depending on the length of the boat. Check the PennDOT website or contact your local PennDOT office for the current fee schedule. Payment can be made by cash, check, money order, or credit card.

Step 5: Receive the New Boat Title

After the application and payment are processed, you will receive a new boat title with the new owner’s name. The title will be mailed to the address provided on the application form.


Q: Can I transfer a boat title without a notarized bill of sale?
A: No, a notarized bill of sale is mandatory in Pennsylvania to transfer a boat title. It serves as evidence of the sale and protects both the buyer and seller.

Q: Do I need a boat license to transfer a boat title in PA?
A: No, Pennsylvania does not currently require a license for recreational boating. However, if you plan to operate the boat, you must obtain a boating safety education certificate.

Q: How long does it take to receive a new boat title?
A: The processing time may vary, but it typically takes around four to six weeks to receive the new boat title after submitting the application.

Q: Can I transfer a boat title if the boat is financed?
A: Yes, you can transfer a boat title if the boat is financed. However, you must provide a lien release from the lender, indicating that all financial obligations have been fulfilled.

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Q: What if I lost the boat title?
A: If you have lost the boat title, you can apply for a duplicate title by completing Form MV-38O, which is available on the PennDOT website or at a local PennDOT office. A fee is required for the duplicate title.


Transferring a boat title in Pennsylvania is a straightforward process that involves gathering the required documents, completing the application, submitting the application and supporting documents, paying the transfer fee, and receiving the new boat title. Following these steps ensures a smooth transfer of ownership and legal compliance. If you have any specific questions or concerns, it is recommended to contact your local PennDOT office for assistance.