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Utah 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 Utah. 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

Utah registers and titles all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the Division of Motor Vehicles in Salt Lake City. Outboard motors 1985 or newer with 25 or more horsepower are titled but registration certificates are not issued. Titling and registration are required for boat trailers unless it is a single axle less than 750 lbs. unladed weight. They are optional for those weighing less.

Utah registers all boats powered by a motor or sail, unless otherwise exempt. Coast Guard documented vessels are also subject to registration. A complete list of exemptions and requirements may be found on the DMV website.

Utah has provisions for bonded boat registrations and titles when there is insufficient proof of ownership.

There are approximately 68,559 boats registered in the State of Utah. This accounts for 0.6% of all nationwide registrations.

Numbering and Marking

Utah boat registration numbers begin with a "UT" 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 "UTZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. A boat hull number inspection is required on all boats registering in this state for the first time.

Recording Methods

Utah issues titles on all registered boats except for those which are Coast Guard documented. This state also has provisions for establishing boat titles without sufficient evidence of ownership and a process for titling 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

Boat registration, title and outboard motor records in Utah are maintained in a database which is administered by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Access to the system is available to owners, owner authorized and certain other qualified parties. Insights on how to lookup boat or outboard motor data and obtain current, historical and bulk records 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.

Taxes and Insurance

Sales tax is levied on boat transfers in Utah. Visit the State Tax Commission website link in WikiTags for more information.

Utah requires bodily injury/death and property damage insurance are required for all boats powered by engines of 50 horsepower or more. You must have at least $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury/death coverage and $15,000 for property damage or a $65,000 combined minimum per accident. Proof of insurance must be carried onboard the boat whenever it is in operation.

Operating and Safety

The Utah Boating Safety Certificate, also knows as a boating license, is required for all persons 12 and 17 years of age who operate motorboats.

Transfers and abandonments must be reported within 15 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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