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Nevada Boating Requirements


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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 Nevada. The data is maintained as an open wiki forum where readers are encouraged to participate by sharing knowledge and experiences with this particular jurisdiction. Simply click on the above WikiShare link to contribute further details or suggest a revision.

Registration and Titling

Nevada issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered through the Department of Wildlife in Reno. This state does not title or register outboard motors. Boat trailer titles and registrations are required in Nevada.

Unless otherwise exempted, boat registration is required in Nevada on all motorized boats, including sailboats with motors. Coast Guard documented vessels are also subject to registration. A complete list of exemptions may be found by visiting the Department of Wildlife website link in WikiTags.

There are approximately 41,627 boats registered in the State of Nevada. This accounts for 0.4% of all nationwide registrations.

Numbering and Marking

Nevada boat registration numbers begin with an "NV" 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 vessels 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 "NVZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. The boat must be inspected by a Nevada law enforcement official if it is pre-owned and was not previously titled or if there is a hull number discrepancy.

Recording Methods

Nevada issues titles on all registered boats except for those which are Coast Guard Documented. Nevada does not have provisions for bonded titles or conditional registrations where sufficient proof of ownership can not be otherwise provided. In these cases, it will be necessary to obtain an award of ownership from a court of proper jurisdiction.

Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Department 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

Boat title and registration records in Nevada are maintained in a database which is administered by the Department of Wildlife (NDOW). Access to such data is made available to boat owners and the general public. Insights on how to search for registration and title data and where obtain record copies can be found in WikiTags.

Uniform Commercial Code searches are no longer available online in Nevada. It will be necessary to submit a UCC11 Information Request form with the Secretary of State. There are also many public record vendors that can provide UCC recording information. The assistance of such vendors may be advisable for any suspected tax liens as they have a much broader access to these types of filings.

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.

Taxes and Insurance

Sales tax is required on dealer boat sales, but not on private party transactions directly between a buyer and seller. Visit the Department of Taxation website link in WikiTags for more information.

Liability insurance is not required for boats operating on Nevada waters.

Operating and Safety

Boat operator licensing is required in Nevada. All motorized boat and PWC operators born after January 1, 1983, who will be operating a vessel over 15 hp must pass a boater safety course and carry a boater education card.

Boats which have been transferred, abandoned, stolen, or destroyed must be reported to the Department of Wildlife within 10 days.


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.

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3/29/2022 - Page initiated by Team BoatWiki.



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