Boat Registration

Know the facts about Boat Registrations

Any boat used in Louisiana waters must be registered with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LWF). An invoice or bill of sale, showing state and local taxes as part of the total price, needs to be provided on purchases from a dealer. However, additional documentation from the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) may be required if payment of state and local taxes is not evident on purchases from dealers.

It is a violation of federal and state law to knowingly possess any boat or motor from which the Hull Identification or Serial Number has been removed or altered.

If a boat is purchased from a boat dealer in Louisiana, the dealer must collect state and local sales taxes on the price of the boat, motor, and its accessories. Usually, the dealer provides the buyer with a sales invoice or bill of sale which proves taxes have been paid. The buyer should present this, along with a completed State of Louisiana Boat Registration Application, directly to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Additional information may be required in order to verify payment of the state and local taxes if not evident on invoice when purchasing from a dealer.

The sale of boats and vessels by Individual owners are generally excluded from sales tax under R.S. 47:301(10)(c)(ii) (bb) as an isolated or occasional sale of tangible personal property. However, due to Act 25 of the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2016, these transactions were subject to 4% state sales tax for purchases made during the period of April 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016. LDR requires a copy of a bill of sale and a copy of the previous owner's registration with the US Coast Guard, and/or title registration with the state in which the boat was used. This documentation, along with a completed Boat Registration Tax Payment Certification (R-1331) should be forwarded to LDR (see Contact Options listed below). Once this has been done, the owner can proceed to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to complete the boat registration process.

If a boat is purchased from a dealer located outside Louisiana, and no state and local tax is charged, additional documentation is necessary before the boat can be registered. The buyer must submit a completed Boat Registration Tax Payment Certification, along with the sales invoice or copy of a bill of sale from the out-of-state dealer to the Department of Revenue (see Contact Options listed below). LDR will collect the state sales tax and provide documentation that payment has been made. The buyer must also obtain certification from the parish in which he resides that local sales taxes have been paid. After a Boat Registration Tax Payment Certification has been completed by the Department of Revenue and local taxing authorities, the boat owner may send Form R-1331, a sales invoice or bill of sale, and a completed Boat Registration Application, to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to process the boat registration application. LDR will allow credit for taxes paid to other states against Louisiana state sales tax due based on a tax rate basis.

Homemade boats without a Hull Identification Number must be inspected by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Receipts for building materials, which indicate taxes paid, must be provided at the time of inspection.

If a boat has been awarded as a contest prize, it is the responsibility of the new owner to provide Louisiana Department of Revenue with a bill of sale and a completed Form R-1331. If the organization awarding the boat as a prize did not pay tax on the boat when it was received, the new owner must pay state and local sales tax on the value of the boat.

Under Louisiana law, a boat trailer must be registered to operate on public highways. Therefore, boat trailer registrations are treated similar to motor vehicle registrations, and issued by the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV), which will collect state and local sales tax. The new owner of a trailer should bring a notarized bill of sale to an OMV office.

Contact Options

Email:Boat.registrations@la.gov

Fax: (225)952-2502

Mail: Louisiana Department of Revenue Boat Registrations

P.O Box 3278 Baton Rouge, La 70821-0201

Or call 855- 307-3893, press 2 (Business), then press 3 (all other business questions)

For more information visit Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries at www.wlf.louisiana.gov

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