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Acceptable Proof


Proof of ownership for a vessel can take quite a few different forms. We’re going to look at the most common ones that you will encounter. This is not all-inclusive please refer to the DMV Procedure Manual.



Manufacturers Statement of Origin


The first one we’re going to look at is a Manufacturers Statement of Origin or an “MSO”. The term MSO is interchangeable with “MCO” which stands for Manufacturers Certificate of Origin. There will always be an MSO associated with a vessel until it is titled (or registered if it’s a registration only). It’s proof of ownership. After it is titled, the title will become the proof of ownership. MSO’s for vessels can take a variety of formats.


Vessel MCO/MSOs are not as uniform as they are for motor vehicles.


Front View-MCO/MSO


As with all the proof of ownership you come across, try to get in the habit of starting at the top of the document and working your way down.


If we do that on this one, we will notice that the first words are, “Statement of Origin for a Boat.” Now we know what we’re dealing with.


We can also see who manufactured this vessel- G3 Boats and the date it was manufactured (5/1/10).


Next, we see where G3 assigned it to the Dealership. In this case, it was assigned to a dealership called, “Vessel Dealer.”


After the dealership name and address, vessel information is listed. There is lots of useful information in this section.

  • Can you tell me what kind of boat this is?
  • How long is it?
  • What is the hull material?
  • What kind of engine does it have?


All this information needs to be transposed onto the 82040 (application for title).


Following the vessel description, we have the manufacturer signature, printed name, and address.

Back View-MCO/MSO


This is the first dealer reassignment. There are 3 reassignments, and they are aptly called “assignments.” This vessel went from the manufacturer to the dealership to the retail customer, so only the first reassignment is completed.


Let’s take a moment and make sure it was completed correctly.

  • Who are the retail purchasers?
  • Who signed on behalf of the dealership?

Out of Station Registration


Proof of ownership from another state may be a variety of things. Some states do not title their vessels and proof of ownership is the registration. Remember to verify this information in TL-10 (Exhibit B) or various other resources.


The image below is an example of the front a Pennsylvania registration for a boat. We should check TL-10 and verify that this state doesn’t title vessels.

Below is the back view of the same registration. There is a place for Sally to transfer ownership to another person.  In this scenario, Sally Smith sold the Vessel on 05/01/2010 to Charles Brown.

Florida Titles


Probably the most common form of proof of ownership will be a Florida title. Like with the MSOs try to get into the habit of starting at the top of the document and working your way down.

The image below shows a close-up of the “Transfer of Title by Seller” section of this title.

In this example, Joe Smith traded the vessel into the dealership on 05/01/2010.  On the back of the title (see image below) we will see what the vessel dealer did next. 


The Vessel dealer sold the boat to John Doe.  Notice Sally Smith signed as “Title Clerk” on both transactions.

Documented Vessels


Vessels are documented with the US Coast Guard. All vessels five net tons or more meeting the criteria of a commercial vessel as defined by the US Coast Guard must be federally documented. Documentation must go through the US Coast Guard before we can do anything with it. Proof of


Documentation can come in 2 forms.

Documented vessels are registration only and will be issued “DO” numbers rather than “FL” numbers. If you deal with documented vessels, you should submit proof of documentation, a bill of sale, and form 87244.

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