Governor David Ige has approved amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) Chapter 13-241, implementing vessel titling for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR).

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 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 are planned to go into effect July 1, 2021. Owners of undocumented vessels principally operated in Hawaii waters will be required to obtain a certificate of title from DOBOR.

Wait times may be longer due to the volume of vessel owners that will need to obtain a first-time vessel title.

DOBOR recommends that vessel owners come in to obtain a first-time vessel title in advance of their vessel registration expiration date in the event that further paperwork is required. However, to better manage customer volume, DOBOR requests that owners come in no more than one month in advance of their registration expiration date to obtain a vessel title.

An electronic version of HAR Chapter 13-241 can be found here:

For more information, please contact DOBOR Vessel Registration at:
(808) 587-1970 or [email protected]


Published 5/18/21, updated 3/27/22