How To Register A Homemade Boat In Texas in Easy, Simple Steps!

how to register a homemade boat in texas

There are several people who wonder about how to register a homemade boat in Texas.

If you want to make sure that everything works out perfectly, it helps to know the steps and get them done.

So, if this is the kind of situation you are in, or you’re planning on building a boat for yourself in this part of the country…

You need to keep reading to know what registering a homemade boat requires – the simple way.

Spare yourself from expensive mistakes and check out this guide. This is all you need to know to accomplish this task from start to finish.

The Basics on How to Register a Homemade Boat in Texas

Boat registration is mandatory in the state of Texas.

You need to present your proof of owning the boat and furnish your application form.

Even if you build the boat yourself, you need to register it. This is why knowing how to register a homemade boat in Texas is very important to avoid any problems in the future.

The offices responsible for boat trailer registrations in Texas are the County Tax Office and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You need to head over to these offices and follow certain steps to ensure the correct and required processes.

So how do you do it? The next section explains it further.

Steps on How to Register a Homemade Boat in Texas

Before you go ahead and register your boat, let’s cover important details.

If your boat trailer is over 4000 pounds in weight, you need to title it. On the other hand, lighter trailers do not require any title. There are also varied procedures to follow depending on whether you have a homemade or manufactured trailer.

Here are some steps to get you through the entire process.

1. Inspection

Before you register your boat, inspection needs to be done first.

This is carried out by the Texas Auto Theft enforcement. You can inquire at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state to learn more about the nearest inspection center that offers this service.

You will need to bring your trailer for inspection. Fill out the Form VTR-68-A, receive the assigned number, and have the form die-stamped right on your trailer.

Afterward, you will take this form, the Form 130-U, your trailer’s photo, and the assigned number to the office of the tax assessor.

Additionally, you need to fill out the Form 305-A. This is the document showing your ownership of the vehicle, as well as the inspection report.

2. Pay the Sales Tax

The next step is the payment process.

When you head over to the assessor’s office, you need to bring your MCO or the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin. This is essentially the “birth certificate” of your boat. This document includes the unique identification details of your boat.

If you are buying or selling a boat, an MCO is a required document for those manufacturing the boat trailer.

Now about the sales tax, it is essentially 6.25 percent of your trailer’s sales price. There is no need for you to present proof of insurance. In Texas, this is not a requirement, so you do not have to worry about securing one.

3. Renew Your Registration

After paying your taxes, you are good to go!

Just keep in mind that you will need to renew your registration each year.

You should be able to receive in the mail a copy of your renewal notice. Once again, an inspection may be necessary with heavier boats, according to the inspection laws.

When renewing, you can do so by mail or even online, depending on what is available in your specific county.

Moreover, it is possible to designate another person to renew the boat on your behalf. This is allowed for those who are unable to head to the office themselves.

If you decide to do it this way, you need to provide a letter of authorization. Your representative will also have to present a government-issued valid ID as proof of identification.

For online renewals, you can do so on the TPWD. The office will mail the ID card and decal, and you have to print your receipt and bring it with you when you use your boat.

This receipt is valid to a maximum of 45 days upon receipt.

Read More: 9 Professional Tips on How To Strip Paint From Aluminum Boat

Are you buying a boat in Texas that does not have a title? Check out this video to know what you need to do.

Additional Information on How to Register a Homemade Boat in Texas

The TPWD mandates all motorboats that measure 14 feet or larger to undergo the registration process.

However, smaller vehicles such as kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and others that are under 14 feet do not need to be registered. The same holds true with vessels that are out-of-country and using the Texas waterways temporarily.

Vessels documented by the US Coast Guard do not need a title. But these boats need to be registered in the state of Texas.

Each year, the registration must be renewed. Boats must be renewed before the expiration date.

If you are a new resident in Texas, you are given a maximum of 90 days for you to register your boat. It is also important to apply for a title, which you need to file within 20 business days from the date of purchase. This way, you can prevent interest and tax penalties.

Bottom LIne

It is important to know how to register a homemade boat in Texas to avoid penalties and issues along the way.

I hope this post has been helpful for you to understand how to carry out this simple, yet often overlooked process.

Now, you can go ahead and register your boat in Texas the right way and make sure you have all the documents required for a hassle-free boating experience in this part of the country!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here