Process Becomes Easier To Register New Boats In Tennessee

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Until recently, the purchase of a new boat in Tennessee required the owner to take the bill of sale to the local courthouse to account for taxes. After having made that trip, another was required to complete the registration process required for new boats.

Using technology provided by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s license vendor, boat owners can now complete the second step, registering their new boat, using home computers or smart phones.

“You could always mail in your new boat registration paperwork, but so many people are anxious about getting everything done at once,“ said Susie Spriggs, TWRA License Division chief. “ Now a new boat owner can complete the process without having to visit a second office or wait for the mail.”

Once taxes have been taken care of, completing a new boat registration requires visiting www.tnwildlife.org and clicking on the “Boat Registration” menu atop the agency’s website. 

“It’s a simple process,” she said. “Just follow the application prompts and in a few minutes you will have your boat registered. A registration card and decal will be in the mail two business days following approval. Once those taxes have been taken care of, you can register a boat online for up to three years.” She also noted that boat registrations could be set up to automatically renew, further removing any time spent on the renewal process.

The TWRA is the agency that enforces boating laws in Tennessee, which includes checking that boats are properly registered when on the water. While new boat registrations have also required several steps to finalize, boat registration renewals have been easier to complete.

She did point out that registration and hull identification numbers (HINs) are important in the application procedure. The agency has been updating thousands of incorrect hull numbers, which could create an online issue for some boaters attempting to register boats. If a hull number has not been updated, the registration cannot be completed. However, the agency will receive a message to contact the boater.

“Applicants should make sure to add a telephone number and email address to the customer profile,” said Ms. Spriggs. “We will provide as much help as possible.”


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