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Feb 28, 2024 - Ohio maintains a database for boat and outboard motor titles which is administered by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). These are integrated into the same system established for vehicles. Boat registration records are on the other hand, administered separately by the Department of Natural Resources through its Division of Parks and Watercraft (DPW). This makes it rather confusing when it comes to the acquisition of both title and registration information. The following guidelines offer various insights and options for obtaining such data.

Online Access

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles offers an online boat title search portal (WikiLinks) which is accessible to the general public. It allows for searches by title number, hull identification number, and outboard motor serial number. There are no login requirements or fees and it is very easy to navigate. The results are, however, quite limited. It will produce a basic description of the boat or outboard motor, the title status, owner's county of residence, purchase price and an indication of any secured interests. Owner names and addresses are redacted and there is no registration data.

An online boat owner registration portal in Ohio is also available from the Division Parks and Watercraft (WikiLinks). This will allow access to boat registration information, changes, and renewals.

Telephone Access

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Division of Parks and Watercraft or respective county clerk's offices may confirm the presence of a hull identification number in their system and verify a title or registration certificate in hand by telephone. However, they not likely provide any further details, especially as related to ownership data. Their contact information is available in WikiLinks.

Boat Record Request

The Ohio Division of Parks and Watercraft provides a boat records request form (WikiLinks) that can be submitted by regular mail. Its address and contact information are shown on the form.

Historical Records

Historical boat registration data in Ohio may be obtained by submitting a boat record request form (WikiLinks) to the Division of Parks and Watercraft. Such data is not, however, maintained indefinitely.

Bulk Records

Ohio boat registration records in bulk may be available to certain commercial enterprises. Contact the Division of Parks and Watercraft (WikiLInks) for more information in this regard.

Nationwide System

Ohio subscribes to the Vessel Identification System (WikiTags) which is administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. This is a nationwide database wherein most states contribute boat registration data in real-time. Access is only available, however, to law enforcement agencies and other governmental institutions. Anyone concerned about a boat that may have been stolen, abandoned, involved in an incident or is being utilized for illicit activities in state jurisdictional areas should contact a local enforcement agency or boat registration office.


The information provided herein has been obtained from various sources and may be subject to change without notice. Any such concerns should be addressed directly with the respective government agency.

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Feb 28, 2024 - Page revised..

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