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View Full Version : do I need a title to register a trailer in MA?


Nelly
04-29-2008, 07:26 AM
Buying boat/trailer which is registered out of state. Need to register the trailer in MA, but don't have a title from the sale. Does the RMV require this? Figured it's easier to ask here than at the registry.....

Also, trailer is not mentioned on the bill of sale, and now I'm wondering if that's going to be a problem.

The sale was done with a family friend, so it's not a big deal to go back to seller for more info, but wondering if I can register with what I've got.

nsvencer
04-29-2008, 08:09 AM
Trailer with GVW of <3000 lbs, then no title is needed.
Over 3000lbs, you do need proof of previous registration (copy of old registration is fine) or a title.

You will also need a Bill of Sale.

I just went through all of this with an out of state (NY) trailer...they don't title there.

G-Man
04-29-2008, 09:04 AM
nsvencer covered the trailer well.

Here's some info on registering the boat:
(I'm assuming you have a boat requiring MA title & registration)
Boat registration is done is done in a diff building in Worcester .. not sure about Boston.

http://www.dmv.org/ma-massachusetts/boat-registration.php#How_to_Register_and_Title_a_Boat_ in_Massachusetts

Bring the old boat registration too. I went thru that with a non-title state boat as well ... They asked for old reg even tho it's not listed on their website. Also be ready for 5% tax on boat, which I paid at the trailer registry and they gave me proof of payment to bring to boat registry office. Oh and note the requirement of a pencil tracing of serial # .... that sends many folks back home... frustrated.
Good luck

Nelly
04-29-2008, 09:15 AM
do I need title for the boat?

I've got bill of sale, and hull #s, but no title.

G-Man
04-29-2008, 09:19 AM
You don't have a title to bring .... so bring the old registration & tell them that state does not issue boat titles. Make sure that is the case tho ... what state was it? ;)

Nelly
04-29-2008, 09:21 AM
I have the hull #, but not an actual pencil tracing - they really hold you to that? yikes.

I have a copy of the FL registration renewal notice from the owner, which indicates a title # for the boat. I do not have that title, however, or the actual registration. I'm wondering if I need it.

The boat was bought for $1 from a family friend, so the sales tax won't be too big a hit....;)

G-Man
04-29-2008, 09:28 AM
Uho .... I may be wrong again, but I thought Florida is a boat title state.
You may need to get that sorted first.

Not every boat has to be titled and registered ... what kinda boat we talking and is it powered?

Here's more "food for thought" ;) .... If you're driving this boat and trailer up from Florida ... you may want to check with your insurance agent. I drove one up from GA, and I wanted to know that if anything terrible happened on the drive up I was covered.

Famous quote
"I'm not sure I can afford that free boat." ;)

Nelly
04-29-2008, 09:50 AM
Famous quote
"I'm not sure I can afford that free boat." ;)

I'm not sure I can even afford the gas - which is why I'm not giving up my kayak just yet!!!

It's a older 17' Key West w/ 70hp Merc. boat is 1991, motor 1988.

It's registed in FL, but was used seasonally on Webster Lake and is there now by the owner, who resides full-time in FL. So at least I don't have to worry abou the long haul...

sgiunach
04-29-2008, 09:53 AM
Nelly,
is title/reg in the same name as the person selling it to you. If a title exists you should get it regardless if its required...what if there is a note out on this etc

Nelly
04-29-2008, 10:04 AM
Reg./title is in the same name as the person selling the boat. And I know there is no outstanding note on the boat, but I agree that if these are outstanding I should get them....

nsvencer
04-29-2008, 10:10 AM
I have the hull #, but not an actual pencil tracing - they really hold you to that? yikes.

I have a copy of the FL registration renewal notice from the owner, which indicates a title # for the boat. I do not have that title, however, or the actual registration. I'm wondering if I need it.

The boat was bought for $1 from a family friend, so the sales tax won't be too big a hit....;)


I had a pretty bad pencil tracing...and a photo of it as well. Just to make sure I was covered.

tbn43
04-29-2008, 10:21 AM
This is a very common problem that I have had to deal with twice.

What you do is register the trailer as a "home made trailer", then you do not need the title.

G-Man
04-29-2008, 10:36 AM
This trailer is under the weight requirements ... title will not be an issue.
You can register it as a boat trailer with 1k gvw.

Boat title will be the issue, which Nelly is aware of now.

Nelly
04-29-2008, 11:35 AM
appreciate the input - thanks everybody.

Best to have your sh*t together before getting in line at the DMV!

Gadabout Guinea
04-29-2008, 03:28 PM
...Boat registration is done is done in a diff building in Worcester .. not sure about Boston...

The registry in Boston is on Causeway street, on the opposite side of the street from the Garden and east a block or so. Real friendly crowd there so make sure you have as much information as you can bring!

Nelly
04-30-2008, 08:15 PM
ok - so let's say I am able to get the trailer registered and pick up the boat this weekend - what kind of insurance do I need to take the boat/trailer setup on the road??? any ideas?

spitfisher
04-30-2008, 10:22 PM
short term answer- call your insurance company for your car, home etc, Tell them whats going on and they'll quote you a price, make sure it's for a full calender year ( theft, vandalism, noreaster in january....etc)

Buy the insurance or even better see if they will bill you, ask them to fax or or email something that states what they're are covering and how much.

Next shop it over the internet- or pull the trigger and buy the insurance.

if you are a new boat owner, you need to take a safe boating course. if you have already sometimes you can get a further reduction off the price.

Nelly
05-01-2008, 11:39 AM
Well, for anyone in a similar predicament, it turns out that a "RMV-1" form from your auto insurer is also needed to register a trailer in MA, as well as bill of sale.

Score - RMV 1, Nelly 0

Eddy Merckx
05-01-2008, 02:33 PM
Damn, I wish I saw your question earlier, I just went through the process last week at the Leominster registry (pretty well run branch).

Too late to help Nelly, but for anyone else, here are the guidelines I used from the MA RMV site, walked out with a plate in just a few minutes.

3. How do I register my newly purchased trailer?

You’ll need a signed and completed RMV1 form from your insurance agent, proof of ownership* from the seller, and the applicable fees.

Along with the completed RMV1 application, you must submit one of the following documents:


A Certificate of Origin (new trailers only), or
The previous owner's title, if a titled trailer, or
A bill of sale, if a non-titled trailer


*An old registration or excise bill in the name of the seller may be used as proof of ownership or a Certificate of Title for the trailer may be used.

An acceptable Bill of Sale for a trailer must list the following information:


Name and address of buyer,
Name and address of seller,
Date of purchase,
Purchase price, and
Identification information (VIN, make, model, and year)


If the total gross weight of a trailer - the combined weight of the trailer and its cargo - is 3,000 lbs. or less, no title is required. If the total gross weight of a trailer is 3,001 lbs. or more, a title is required. The gross weight of a trailer is determined by the manufacturer and will appear on the trailer's Certificate of Origin and on the trailer itself.

Mike M.
05-04-2008, 11:03 AM
Make sure you have an old copy of the previous owners registration as well. The registry will not register the trailer without that as that shows proof of ownership from the seller. The one dollar sale may not work as the registry assesses the value of the trailer based on the make and model and year. Unless the seller is a family member the RMV is going to assess the trailer at market value and charge you sales tax on that not the selling price of a dollar. The RMV1 form is about the easiest part, you can get that from your insurance company in just a few minutes.

Good luck.

Nelly
05-04-2008, 02:21 PM
The RMV1 form is about the easiest part

except when the insurance co. puts your wife's name on the RMV1, and your name is on the bill of sale.

RMV 2, Nelly 0

I eventually got it straight, and got a plate for the trailer, and was able to pick up the boat today. Thanks everyone for your input.

Now to get the boat registered....the seller is going to have to go back to FL and get a dup. title to sign over to me. Never easy...

neileaque
11-11-2010, 04:17 AM
If you buy boat then it is necessary to insured it.As like home and life insurance you take insurance on boat.
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