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Time to go Boating

I bought a boat--now what?

What boats need to be registered? 
Do you use a motor?   

Yes I use a motor:
Any  motorized boat, even a trolling motor, must be registered in order to  use the boat in Pennsylvania. 

No I don't use any motor:
The  boat does not need to be registered if you do not use a motor.   However, if you use State waters or State access areas, you need a  launch permit or an  unpowered registration on the boat. 

Launch permits are  only recognized in Pennsylvania for PA waters and access areas.      

Boats may or may not be titled depending upon the State, year of the boat, length of the boat.

In  Pennsylvania, you will know if the boat is titled if you look at the  registration card.  There is a section on the registration card for a  title number; if that section has all asterisks then the boat is not  titled and only registered.  In this case the registration card is used  to transfer ownership. 

If there are numbers in that section, then the  boat is titled and must remain titled. 

In order to change ownership on a  titled boat, the title must be notarized and transferred properly to  the new owner--just like a motor vehicle.
As for other State's, please check with that State directly for what proof of ownership is needed for the sale of the boat.      

Launch  Permits are only to be used for Pennsylvania waters.  They are for  unpowered boats that use Pennsylvania waters or access areas.

What State do I register my Boat in?

 Boats get registered and/or  titled in the State that you use them the most--not where you live. 

So  if you use your boat in PA more than your home or any other State, then  you must register it in Pennsylvania.