Registering a Homemade Boat in Wisconsin
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I just completed Registering my Homemade SCAMP wooden sailboat in the state of Wisconsin USA. The process is likely different in other states, but here’s how it’s done in Wisconsin:
- The SCAMP is short enough that it does not need to be titled or registered in Wisconsin, but with the addition of a motor I think it should be registered.....this is coming from someone who got pulled over in high school on a local Lake for operating a canoe with an electric trolling motor because the canoe was not registered......so my advice is go ahead and register your boat.
- Keep all your receipts and make sure you pay sales or use tax on all the purchases. Many online, out of state companies do not collect sales tax on purchases; in Wisconsin we can pay this unpaid tax on our annual income tax return or by filling out a Wisconsin Form UT-5. https://www.revenue.wi.gov/DORForms/su-050f.pdf When you title or register your boat, the state wants to ensure that sales tax has been paid, so I paid sales/use tax on everything and brought the receipts with me when I registered the boat.
- Small Craft Advisor provides a printed form which indicates the specific Hull Identification Number (HIN) for your SCAMP. I brought that form with me and they wanted a copy of it.
- Bring your drivers license also, they took a copy of that.
- Fill the Wisconsin Boat Registration and Titling Application. https://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/forms/9400/9400-193.pdf
- In Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources issues boat titles and registrations.
- I filled out the form: make: Homemade, model: SCAMP, for the year I put in 2017, note that the year of manufacture should match the last two numbers of your Hull Identification Number. My HIN ends in “17” so I entered 2017 as the date of manufacture which does correspond with when the boat was substantially completed. Boat material: wood. Power with aux sail (if you have the option to mount a motor, do not register it at a sail-only boat), propulsion type: propeller, fuel:gas,
- The state wants to make sure sales tax is collected, so if you want to be exempted from paying sales tax again on the price you list the boat for in the form, you need to check a box stating why. I checked the Code 7 box where you can write reason why you don’t need to pay sales tax , and I wrote “I built the boat myself and paid sales tax already on all the materials.
- The form asks for name and address of who you bought the boat from, I wrote “I built the boat myself” in this space
- I then took the application, all my receipts, the HIN paperwork from Small Craft Advisor, my drivers license, a picture of my boat, and checkbook to the closest DNR office.
- In Wisconsin , the state does not issue a Title for a boat as small as a SCAMP, but they do Register the boat. At the DNR office they took my forms and I paid, and they issued me a temporary registration card right there. This has my registration number on it, the actual registration and sticker are sent in the mail.
- I bought a package of registration stickers to apply to both sides of the boat up near the bow. The registration sticker showing the year that the boat is registered through also goes up there, aft of the registration number stickers. The state will specify dimensions of the letters and also the distances between letters and the registration sticker.
- I then called in an insured the boat