Watercraft Information

What is titled?

The watercraft title law went into effect on January 1, 1964. This law requires boats 14 feet and longer and outboard motors of 10 horsepower or greater to be titled. Boat trailers are only titled if they weigh 4000# or more. Effective in 1973, all certificates of origin for boats must have a 12-digit serial number (hull identification number).

Effective 1/1/2000. Ohio law provides for the titling of personal watercraft (commonly called jet skis & wave runners). A title must be issued for one of these regardless of length if the motor is 10 horsepower or greater. If owned prior to 1/1/2000 a title is not required until sold, mortgaged, or disposed of.

Effective 07/04/2002, Ohio law requires all watercraft to have a 12-digit hull identification number prior to titling.

Note: Canoes and kayaks are not titled only registered.

Title Types & Fees

Original Title – $15.00*

Title issued to a new owner for the very first time and most commonly issued upon transfer of ownership.

 Replacement Title – $15.00*

A replacement title is issued when the current title needs to be updated, is in electronic format, or if the title is defaced. No transfer of ownership occurs.

Duplicate Title – $15.00*

A duplicate title is issued when the current title has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. No transfer of ownership occurs.


Ohio Residents purchasing a watercraft or outboard motor:

Note: Sales tax is due at the time of titling. The sales tax is based upon your total purchase price at the tax rate of the county you reside in.

From an Ohio dealer – the dealership will provide a title to you

From another Ohio resident – bring properly assigned Ohio title with proper ID to the title office.

From an out-of-state resident – bring a properly assigned out of state title and proper ID to the title office.

From an out of state dealership – bring the manufacturer’s statement of origin (MCO) for a new vehicle or a properly assigned title for a used vehicle to the title office along with a detailed bill of sale and proper ID.


*ORC 1548.10

Power of Attorney:

A power of attorney is a legal document giving specific authority to another person to act as an agent for the person giving this authority.

Limited Power of Attorney—providing a specific person with a specific duty such as at the purchase or sale of a motor vehicle.  To be used for one specific transaction. The original will be kept by the title office.

General Power of Attorney—General power of attorney may also be used to transfer an Ohio title.  Specifies a certain person who can sign.  Clerk of Courts office will accept a certified true and exact copy of this power of attorney that is made, signed and sealed by a notary public.

Notarizing a Title:

When selling a vehicle or watercraft, the seller must sign and print their name as it appears on the face of the title.  Both the buyer and seller’s names must be signed in front of a Notary Public or a Clerk of Courts of Common Pleas Court or their deputies.

The following needs to be completed on a title in front of the notary, Clerk of Courts or their deputies:

  • Selling price
  • Odometer reading
  • Name and address of purchaser(s)
  • The signature and printed name of all sellers

A Guidebook for Notarizing Ohio Title Documents

Minor Consent:


Any person under the age of 18 is considered a minor in the State of Ohio.  In order for a minor to sell or purchase a vehicle or watercraft in Ohio, their parent or legal guardian must sign a Minor Consent Form.  The parent or guardian will be asked to produce picture/signature type identification.

The minor’s date of birth will appear on the face to the title.

A married minor is considered emancipated. Proof of the marriage must be provided to avoid having a parent sign for the minor.

Registration Offices:

Ohio law (ORC1547.53) requires nearly all vessels to be registered through the Division of Watercraft. Watercraft registration agents are able to issue registrations to anyone that meets the legal requirements set forth by the Division of Watercraft.
Watercraft Agents are located throughout the state for convenience of the customer. Please click on the link to view agents that are closest to you

Ohio DNR

Court Ordered Titles:

One of the principal responsibilities for each Clerk of Common Pleas Court in the State of Ohio is to issue certificates of titles for all motor vehicles and watercraft in cooperation with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  Certificate of Titles are the primary evidence of ownership of the motor vehicle and or watercraft.

In certain circumstances a Judge the Court of Common Pleas Court may order the Clerk of Courts to issue a certificate of title for your motor vehicle and/or watercraft.  These circumstances most generally refer to:

Lost or Stolen Titles (4505.12)—the certificate of title is lost or stolen and a duplicate is no longer available from the Wood County Clerk of Courts, Auto Title Office

Incomplete Sale:  There is proof of a transaction (either you purchased a vehicle or it was given to you) and the previous owner has not provided to the buyer an appropriate signed over certificate of title.

Repair Garage or Place of Storage: Only when the value of the vehicle exceeds $3500.00, after the deduction of repair costs, can the court consider a request for an order. If the value of the vehicle is less than $3500.00, the owner of the repair garage or place of storage may obtain a title by completing BMV Form 4202 – Unclaimed Motor Vehicle Affidavit.

If you believe that the above remedies applies to your situation, there are certain steps that you will need to take before the Court can consider your petition for an Order directing the title office to issue a vehicle certificate of title to you.   Please note that this process is only for persons that reside in Wood County.  If you are a resident of another county, please refer to the Clerk of Courts Office in the county that you reside in.

Instructions for the Court Ordered Process

Forms for the Court Ordered Process

Case Designation Form – Court Ordered Title

Complaint for Order of Title

BMV Inspection Request Form

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle Record Request

Order of Title