How to Register a Boat Trailer in Massachusetts

by Teo Spengler

If you keep a boat trailer in Massachusetts, you'll need to register it and, in some cases, title it. For boat trailer registration and titling, fill out an application at the Registry of Motor Vehicles office, submitting the necessary documentation.

Boat Trailer Registration Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, you not only have to register your boat, you also have to concern yourself with boat trailer registration. Not every boat trailer must be titled, but all must be registered. The procedure is similar to registering an automobile or truck in the state. Initial registration is slightly more complicated than renewal registration.

Procedure for Initial Boat Trailer Registration

When you first buy a boat trailer, you need to register it with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles before you use it in the state. The process begins with Form RMV-1, an application for registration of a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. Form RMV-1 is available online as a fillable form and in paper form at any Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

You'll need to insure your boat trailer. In the process, ask your insurance agent for a completed Form RMV-2. Your insurer must sign and stamp the form to prove to the state that you have obtained insurance. If you're filling in the form yourself and intend to take it to your insurer to sign, be sure to include your identifying information as well as information about the boat trailer, including make, model, color and gross weight.

You can locate the gross weight of the trailer from the trailer's certificate of origin. If your boat trailer's gross weight is over 3,000 pounds, you will also have to title it. Check either the "registration only" or "registration and title" box at the top of the form, depending on which applies.

It's also necessary to provide information about any liens on the trailer's title. Give full identifying information about all lien holders. This is to ensure that liens get paid or transferred if you decide to sell the trailer.

Proof of Ownership for Boat Trailer Registration

For initial registration of a boat trailer in Massachusetts, you'll also need proof of ownership. If you bought the trailer new from a dealer, the dealer will provide you with the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin. This document establishes proof of ownership for boat trailer registration. If you purchased a used trailer, bring in the title of the previous owner with that person's signature transferring it to you. If the transfer was made by a bill of sale, bring the original of that document.

Take Form RMV-1, correctly completed, and proof of ownership to an office of the Massachusetts Registry of Vehicles. Once you get them filed and pay a filing fee, you are good to go. The fee is a 6.25 percent sales/use tax imposed on the amount you paid for the trailer.

Renewal Trailer Registration

Renewing your trailer registration in Massachusetts is easier. The MRV mails a renewal application, form RMV-2. Fill it out and send it in.

About the Author

Living in France and Northern California, Teo Spengler is an attorney, novelist and writer and has published thousands of articles about travel, gardening, business and law. Spengler holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from San Francisco State University and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley. She is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in fiction.