boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling,
registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the
State of South Carolina. More detailed information, forms, guidelines,
and other resources are obtainable by downloading a
Boat Registration Kit
for this state. You will also find an extensive listing of general
purpose boat and trailer registration forms on our
page. Please visit our
State page for additional
articles and information about registering or titling boats and
The information presented here is subject to change and should be
confirmed with the respective state agency.
Boat Registration Statistics
approximately 447,745 boats registered in South
Carolina. This state ranks 8th among nationwide boat
registration prefix for this state is "SC".
Carolina Department of Natural Resources
All motorized boats must be registered except
windsurfers, watercraft (canoes, kayak, etc.) propelled only by
human power with oars, paddles or similar devices.
Coast Guard documented vessels are exempt from registration.
issued on registered boats in South Carolina except those which are Coast Guard
Carolina does not have provisions for bonded boat titles or
conditional boat registrations when there is insufficient proof
of ownership. However, they do have procedures for such cases
where the boat was previously registered in South Carolina.
Additional information on this subject can be found in our
kit for this state.
Boat Registration Records
||Boat records are maintained indefinitely.
Detailed information on how to obtain verbal and written reports
can be found in our
kit for this state.
||Sales or use
tax applies to first time registrations and transfers of
ownership. Boats are also subject to property tax.
interests on non-documented boats which are state titled must be
recorded on the state title records. On
Coast Guard documented vessels, a preferred mortgage must be
recorded on the vessel's abstract of title. A UCC financing
statement must be filed if the boat is neither titled or
ownership is designated by an "and" or "or" on South Carolina
may register a boat in South Carolina if this is the state of
||The hull must
be inspected by a South Carolina law enforcement official if
there is a discrepancy with the hull identification number.
ownership must be reported within 15 days.
Carolina issues titles and
registrations certificates on outboard motors of 5hp
registration and titling are required for those weighing over
2,500 lbs. They are optional for those weighing less.
are not required if the notary states the commission date of
period of 60 days is allowed for boats that are registered in another state,
Coast Guard documented, or registered in a foreign country.