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Alaska Boating Requirements


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Aug 10, 2022 - This summary is designed to inform the boating public about title options, registration requirements, recording methods, record searches, tax rules, and operational guidelines for the State of Alaska. The data is maintained as an open wiki forum where readers are encouraged to participate by sharing knowledge and experiences with this particular state. Simply click on the above "Wiki-Share" link to contribute further details or suggest a revision.

Registration and Titling

Alaska issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Non-exempt boats including barges, sport fishing guide boats, and tenders. Coast Guard documented vessels are also subject to registration. Exemptions may include boats visiting from another state for less than 90 days, foreign registered yachts, non-powered boats and ship's lifeboats. A complete list of requirements and exemptions may be found by visiting their boat registration website shown in the above WikiTags.

Boat title branding for salvage and damages is not available in Alaska.

Outboard boat motors are not titled or registered in Alaska.

Boat trailer registrations are  handled through the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles.

There are approximately 48,011 recreational boats registered in the State of Alaska which account for 0.4% of all nationwide boat registrations.

Numbering and Marking

Alaska boat registration numbers begin with an "AK" designation which is followed by four numbers and then two letters. These must be displayed on all non-documented boats along with registration sticker tabs. Coast Guard documented vessels may not display the state registration numbers. However they must display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. An official documentation number must also be affixed to a visible interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.

All boats manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with the letters "AKZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations.

Recording Methods

Alaska issues titles on all registered boats except for those which are Coast Guard documented. However they are optional on boats 24' or less in length. Alaska also has provisions for establishing boat titles without sufficient evidence of ownership when the registration remains uncontested after three years and there are no undisclosed security interests. This state has procedures for acquiring titles on abandoned boats.

Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Division of Motor vehicles. These will be shown on both the registration and title certificates when applicable. All titles with active security interests are sent directly to the secured party. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or USCG documented are recorded with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings.

Tax liens may be flagged on boat registration records, recorded as UCC filings, shown on state revenue records, or filed with a county clerk's office. There are no provisions for recording mechanic's liens or other non-secured claims against state titled boats.

If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender's security interest must be perfected by filing a preferred vessel mortgage. These are recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center and priority is attained according to the date filed. Other maritime liens can be filed in the same manner although they function as notifications only. All mortgage and lien filings are indexed on the vessel's underlying abstract of title.

Record Searches

Alaska boat title, registration, and lien records are maintained in a database administered by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Insights on how to go about conducting searches and obtaining record copies can be found in WikiTags.

Uniform Commercial Code searches are available online from the Secretary of State. If there are any suspected state or federal tax liens however, it may be advisable to use a public record vendor as they have a much broader access to such filings nationwide.

Ownership, mortgage, and lien search recordings for USCG documented vessels can be obtained by ordering an abstract of title and a copy of the certificate of documentation from the National Vessel Documentation Center. However, these are encoded and can be difficult to interpret, especially on older vessels with numerous recordings. It may be worthwhile to contact a professional boat title company for assistance in this regard.

Taxes and Insurance

Statewide sales and use taxes on boat transactions do not apply in Alaska, although some municipalities may levy assessments.

Liability Insurance is not required for boats operating in Alaska.

Operating and Safety

Alaska does not require a boating operators license or mandatory education.


The information contained herein is subject to change without notice and may contain errors or omissions. Be sure to check with the respective government agency before taking action on any such data. More detailed information about all of these topics can be found in the above WikiTags.

Credits and References

3/29/2022 - Page initiated by Team BoatWiki. 8/10/2022 - Page Revised



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