Maui News

New Vessel Titling Changes Being Implemented

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Boats anchored off of Ka’anapali Beach. File photo by JD Pells.

Approved amendments to Hawai’i Administrative Rules Chapter 13-241 by Governor David Ige will result in implementation for new vessel titles by the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.

Vessel titling supersedes the previous registered owner system with the following highlights:

  • Vessel ownership is proven with a vessel title, which does not need to be renewed once issued.  A certificate of number no longer shows ownership of a vessel.
  • Vessel owners who wish to operate their vessels on state waters will be required to maintain the registration of their vessel with a valid certificate of number. A certificate of number is in addition to a vessel title and must be renewed annually.
  • A vessel owner will no longer use a bill of sale to transfer ownership of their vessel.  Transfers of ownership must be handled through fields provided on a vessel title.  Persons who purchase or receive a vessel will be issued a new title after all transfer requirements are met.
  • Please be aware that paperwork requirements for a first-time vessel title may be different from requirements for registering a vessel.

Please be aware that late fees have been increased. DOBOR strongly advises owners to complete titling and registration tasks before designated deadlines to avoid late charges.


New vessel titling policies and procedures go into effect immediately. Owners of undocumented vessels principally operated in Hawaii waters will be required to obtain a Hawaii vessel title. 

Wait times may be longer due to the combination of COVID-19 safety measures and the volume of vessel owners that will need to obtain a first-time vessel title. It is recommended that vessel owners come in to obtain a first-time vessel title in advance of their certificate of the number expiration date if further paperwork is required. DOBOR requests that owners come in no more than one month in advance to obtain a vessel title to better manage customer volume.

For more information, contact DOBOR Vessel Registration: 808-587-1970 or


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