August 3

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Do jet skis have titles ?

By Steve

August 3, 2022


There is a lot of excitement that comes with owning a jet ski. However, you should also ensure that you have all the required paperwork. Considering that the U.S Coast Guard considers jet skis as boats, there are a few legal requirements required before being considered approved as a jet ski owner. 

First time buyers often ask do jet skis have titles ?

Most jet skis have titles as they are a legal document for proof of ownership. In some states it is mandatory to have a title for a Jet ski you own. It is advisable to first check with your state regulator on title regulation’s since these regulations vary by state.

Read more to know about jet ski titles and registration and why they are important.

Why a Jet Ski Title is Important

While many states require that you get a title for your jet ski, there are those where a jet ski title is not a legal requirement. However, having a title goes beyond the normal registration of a jet ski as proof of ownership. 

A title will also come in handy when you are looking for financing or when selling your jet ski. 

Since there are states where a jet ski title is not required, some people often find themselves buying jet skis without titles. However, this is not recommended depending on the individual state regulations on jet ski titles. Having the title is a proof of ownership for the current owner. 

If you intend to buy your jet ski from the current owner, ask them to order a title first before any transfer can take place. They should then transfer the title to you as the subsequent owner after you make the purchase. 

How to get a Jet Ski Title

Your first point of contact should be the local state boating department. The department will issue guidelines on how to get a title for your boat ski. Again, the process of getting a title could differ by state. 

In a nutshell, all you need to do is fill in some paperwork and also pay between $10- and $20. After this, you should get your jet ski title by mail. 

How strict the title regulations are depends on the state. In Wisconsin for example, you might not be required to have a title for your jet ski but you need to register it. In Pennsylvania however, the law states that any inboard motor must have a title. Similar laws on jet skis having a title apply in Ohio, Michigan and Connecticut.

Do Jet Skis Need to be Registered ?

Jet skis are considered as Class-A boats which means that their registration is necessary similarly to other motorized vessels operated in public waterways. It is also a requirement that their registration numbers be visible on the vessel. 

Another requirement is that jet ski owners should have all their registration papers on board. However, these regulations are very different in different states. Always check the regulations surrounding registration of jet skis in your state before commencing the registration process. 

Registering a Jet Ski

Jet skis are required to be registered the same way you do a motorized boat. However, the registration requirements differ by state which is why you should always confirm with the local state regulator on issues to do with the registration requirements, cost and any other relevant information. 

However, you should be ready to provide certain information about your jet ski such as the manufacturer, fuel type, engine and much more. Jet skis are generally classified as Class-A inboard boats. If you fail to see the individual category of PWCs when registering your jet ski, then you are supposed to enter the same under Class-A category. 

Registration Fees 

You also need to pay the registration fees that also vary by state. The good news is that in many states, you are allowed to make payments conveniently online. You can also transfer the registration to a new owner or in the event that you are buying a new jet ski, ask the distributor to transfer the registration after purchase before using the motor-craft.

Riding in different States

So what happens when you want to ride your jet ski in a different state from where it is registered? As long as your jet ski is duly registered, other states will allow you to ride on their water for a designated period of time. 

This means that if you intend to be riding your jet ski in a different state from where it is registered, then you would have to transfer the registration to the new state. This is going by the fact that a jet ski has to be registered in the state where it’s primarily used. 

What is Meant by a Jet Ski Registration Sticker ?

A jet ski registration number is the number that allows authorities to identify your jet ski soon after it is registered. This means that the number has to be fully visible on your jet ski. Since the registration numbers have to be fully visible, you can confirm with your state where the registration number should be displayed on your jet ski. 

Most jet skis have their registration numbers on the side of the bow. However, the design of these numbers means that they can be displayed somewhere else on the jet ski where they are fully visible. Some of the factors that might influence where to display a jet ski registration number include the font size, colour and numbers.

Final Thoughts

When getting a new jet ski or transferring work, having the necessary paperwork is crucial during the transfer. Do not ignore even the small details such as whether the jet ski has a title. There is also the issue of registering the jet ski. 

Since both titles and registration are transferable, it won’t cost you much doing due diligence and undertaking these important legal procedures. Not only are you in compliance as a jet ski owner but you also avoid being on the wrong side of the law. 

There is however no standard process on how to get a jet ski title which is why you should always check with your state first before getting the title.

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