BoatWiki - Definitions
A paperless title can be defined in boating terms as one that is maintained on record only without the issuance of an actual certificate. This applies when a lender has secured the boat as collateral for a loan. This kind of arrangement is also known as an Electronic Lien and Title (ELT).
A marine lender may as a matter of convenience, opt to have a secured title maintained electronically with the state issuing agency rather than holding it in their possession. When the loan is retired, the lender simply files a notification of release with the respective agency.
Paperless titles are only available in those states that also offer them for vehicles and where boat titles are maintained in the same data system.
Paperless titles are great for lenders and state agencies as they reduce processing overheads. However, this can be problematic for boat owners who are trying to finalize a purchase and sale transactions. This is because an actual title certificate is not immediately available upon paying off a loan. Although delays can vary among different jurisdictions, some offer expedited options..
Credits and References
5/12/2022 - Page initiated by Team BoatWiki.