I live in South Carolina. I bought a boat from some guy in North Carolina. The seller’s name isn’t on the title. In fact, I don’t know the person whose name is on the title. Should I buy the boat anyway?
Don’t Buy a boat with a bad title.
Never buy a boat unless the seller’s name is on the title. Did you hear me?
First, look at the title. Next, look at the seller’s driver’s license or similar ID. Do they match?
If the seller’s name isn’t on the boat title or the outboard motor’s title, the seller isn’t legally qualified to sell you the boat.
It’s illegal to buy a boat with a bad title
S.C. law prohibits the sale or purchase of watercraft without a valid title issued in the seller’s name to assign over to the purchaser at the time of sale.South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
S.C. law prohibits the sale or purchase of an outboard motor without a valid title issued in the seller’s name to assign over to the purchaser at the time of sale.South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
I got a good deal on this boat!
It’s a fantastic deal, so I bought the boat anyway. Can you help me?
No. We can’t. You should never buy a boat from someone who’s not legally qualified to sell it.
What are you going to do, after getting a “good deal” on a boat, when you get caught with stolen property?
How are you going to handle things when someone seizes “your” boat, claiming the person who sold the boat wasn’t authorized?
You’re not. One way or another, you’re going to lose if you buy a boat or boat motor from someone who doesn’t have a legal title.
Does this apply to out of state boats only?
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), you cannot legally buy a boat from someone whose name isn’t on the boat title. This applies to both in-state and out-of-state boats.
Some states don’t title boats
Some states do not require boat titles and outboard motor titles. If you buy a boat from one of those states, you’ll need to have a written bill of sale.
You’ll also need either a photo or pencil tracing of the boat’s hull identification number (HIN) and the outboard motor’s serial number.
This information will help you pay property tax to your county.
You must pay your boat and/motor’s property tax before you can access SCDNR’s boat title services.
Help me get my boat title!
Boat title services may seem confusing, especially in South Carolina.
To help you, we’ve published a book entitles, “Boat Title Service for South Carolina.” In this book, you’ll find step by step instructions for getting your boat titled and registered.
You can instantly download this book via our payment processor, Gumroad.com.
Boat Title Service Reminders
As a courtesy, we’d like to remind you of several important reminders that can save you a lot of trouble while trying to access the SCDNR boat title service:
• If you purchase or take for trade-in a watercraft or outboard motor and the title is lost, verify with Boat Titling & Registration or the state where the watercraft/outboard motor was last titled: 1) that the title is in the seller’s name, and 2) that no liens are active on the title and property taxes are paid up-to-date in the county in which the seller resides.
• If you purchase or take for trade-in a watercraft from out-of-state and the registration card is lost, verify with the state where the watercraft was last registered that the registration card is in the seller’s name.
• If you purchase a watercraft or outboard motor, verify that the hull identification number, the registration number, and the serial number match the paperwork on the watercraft and/or outboard motor.
Do you want to know more about how to get a title for your boat or outboard motor? Buy the book.