Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

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Halen
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Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by Halen »

What are the rules for registering a kayak in the state of Texas?
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impulse
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by impulse »

Kayaks and canoes of any length are exempt from registration requirements unless you power them, even with an electric motor. If you power them, they need TX numbers. None of mine are registered.

It's not a vehicle registration that you get at the courthouse, it's done through TPWD. Make sure you get a title or a manufacturer's certificate of origin if you plan to power and register your kayak. The process for getting a bonded title can be onerous if you decide later to register one without the title or MCO.

You may also consider registering yours as insurance against theft and resale. I'm not aware of any database of hull ID numbers for unregistered kayaks. Many of us have lost a kayak which has disappeared into the ethos because there's no way to track them. Hopefully, someone will chime in with info about how to report a stolen kayak and how to check the hull ID of one that you're considering buying.
SWFinatic
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by SWFinatic »

Impulse makes a great point on insurance. At one point we had 3 Hobies with just south of $8K invested (I bought used). I had an insurance policy on all 3 Hobies plus a galvanized kayak trailer for $80/year. Cheap peace of mind.
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Halen
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by Halen »

impulse wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:33 am Kayaks and canoes of any length are exempt from registration requirements unless you power them, even with an electric motor. If you power them, they need TX numbers. None of mine are registered.

It's not a vehicle registration that you get at the courthouse, it's done through TPWD. Make sure you get a title or a manufacturer's certificate of origin if you plan to power and register your kayak. The process for getting a bonded title can be onerous if you decide later to register one without the title or MCO.

You may also consider registering yours as insurance against theft and resale. I'm not aware of any database of hull ID numbers for unregistered kayaks. Many of us have lost a kayak which has disappeared into the ethos because there's no way to track them. Hopefully, someone will chime in with info about how to report a stolen kayak and how to check the hull ID of one that you're considering buying.
Thank you very much for the information, I'll be adding a trolling motor in the future and this is what I needed to know. I'll talk with my insurance agent today and get that in place.
SWFinatic wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:36 am Impulse makes a great point on insurance. At one point we had 3 Hobies with just south of $8K invested (I bought used). I had an insurance policy on all 3 Hobies plus a galvanized kayak trailer for $80/year. Cheap peace of mind.
Totally agree that insurance is a must have on the kayaks and trailers, you're right it is in inexpensive expense to know that you're covered.
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impulse
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by impulse »

Keep in mind the trailer is registered at the courthouse.

If you bought your kayak new, you've already paid sales tax on it. Keep the receipt and you won't have to pay it again when you register it at TPWD. If you bought it 2nd hand, you'll need to report the price you paid and pay state sales tax on that amount to get it registered in your name.

Same with the trailer... Keep your sales tax receipt or they may double dip you when you go to transfer it to your name and register it. Small trailers don't require a title (but it's not a bad idea to get one anyway), but all trailers must be registered to be on the roads legally in Texas.

Word is that they've cracked down on people registering trailers as "home-made" because of how many stolen trailers have changed hands. Used to be, it was easy to steal a trailer and put it in your name as a home-made. Apparently, not any more. It's something to keep in mind if you're contemplating a used trailer and the seller is telling you to register it as a home-made. At the very least, get his latest registration paperwork and a bill of sale, or you're in for some frustration when it's time to get it registered. Getting your small trailer titled reduces the risk of losing it forever to theft and makes it easier to sell if that time comes.
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Halen
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by Halen »

impulse wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 2:03 pm Keep in mind the trailer is registered at the courthouse.

If you bought your kayak new, you've already paid sales tax on it. Keep the receipt and you won't have to pay it again when you register it at TPWD. If you bought it 2nd hand, you'll need to report the price you paid and pay state sales tax on that amount to get it registered in your name.

Same with the trailer... Keep your sales tax receipt or they may double dip you when you go to transfer it to your name and register it. Small trailers don't require a title (but it's not a bad idea to get one anyway), but all trailers must be registered to be on the roads legally in Texas.

Word is that they've cracked down on people registering trailers as "home-made" because of how many stolen trailers have changed hands. Used to be, it was easy to steal a trailer and put it in your name as a home-made. Apparently, not any more. It's something to keep in mind if you're contemplating a used trailer and the seller is telling you to register it as a home-made. At the very least, get his latest registration paperwork and a bill of sale, or you're in for some frustration when it's time to get it registered. Getting your small trailer titled reduces the risk of losing it forever to theft and makes it easier to sell if that time comes.
That is good info regarding the sales tax, I will make sure to take my receipt with me. The trailer I bought has a title so I'll be getting that changed into my name.
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by TexasJim »

Having a trailer title is a real plus. I did the "homemade trailer" scenario a year ago. It used to be easy. A picture of your trailer and parts. Tell them it's homemade, out the door in ten minutes with a plate. Now, you have to have two pictures of your trailer, a certificate of weight from a commercial scale operation, an inspection by a DMV Anti-Theft Unit(to try and find a VIN Number), an application for an assigned number, stamp or drill the assigned number into the frame, a picture, then take all that to the Tax Office, where you have to apply for a title(even if it's not 4000 pounds), pay any sales tax they believe you owe, and an annual registration. Then, they will give you a plate and mail you a title! Three road trips and $144.00 before you're out the door! If your previous owner has a registration, you only have to pay sales tax and a transfer fee. Why a title for a 600 pound trailer? "The Feds give us a lot of money, and they want everything to have a VIN number and a title". Same story I got from TPWD about titles and registration for kayaks required for trolling motors. Truth: $$$$$$$$$$$$ TexasJim
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impulse
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by impulse »

I don't have an opinion one way or the other about the title issue, but I'm glad they're cracking down on the "home-made trailer" route. I had a utility trailer stolen out of a storage shed while I was living overseas. Came back after a year, opened the door and... nothing... I had no clue how long it was missing. I kept a few hundred sample fishing rods in crates on the trailer and they were as gone as the trailer. Adding insult to injury, I'd been paying storage for an empty space for who knows how long.

I'm sure it's still running up and down the highway, registered as someone's "home-made" trailer.
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Halen
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by Halen »

Back in the 2000s I had a small cargo trailer for my remodeling business stolen from a storage facility on the north 610 loop in Houston. The facility was useless in helping me with the situation, thankfully I was well insured but the hassle of replacing everything was zero fun.

That's interesting to read the changes in how the state is dealing with "homemade" trailers, it's a shame it's become so difficult.
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impulse
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by impulse »

Halen wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:36 pm That's interesting to read the changes in how the state is dealing with "homemade" trailers, it's a shame it's become so difficult.
The cautionary note here is that the process of first registering trailer as home-made are very different than a lot of people remember from years back. It's okay if you have the previous owner's registration and a bill of sale. But a lot of sellers advertise that they have no paperwork and you'll need to register the trailer as a home-made. They may remember it as easy, but that's no longer the case.
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Halen
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by Halen »

impulse wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:55 pm The cautionary note here is that the process of first registering trailer as home-made are very different than a lot of people remember from years back. It's okay if you have the previous owner's registration and a bill of sale. But a lot of sellers advertise that they have no paperwork and you'll need to register the trailer as a home-made. They may remember it as easy, but that's no longer the case.
Now after reading this thread and looking back on my search for a used trailer on Craigslist, all of the "homemade" trailers had similar comments about getting a title. I think you are right in that many of them don't realize how difficult it has become. The other question that now crosses my mind is what percentage of the listings were stolen.
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by SWFinatic »

Late last summer I bought a used Ironton jetski trailer that was originally bought at Northern Tool. I had the manufacture statement or origin (I believe it was called) and the trailer also had the VIN stamped on the tongue. The level of run around I had to go through was unbelievable. I had a bill of sale, the MSO, the trailer and they told me it needed to be inspected then weighed on a certified scale. So I made an appointment and drove 54 miles round trip to get it inspected. The went to a certified scale and had it weighed (all 230 pounds of it). Went back to the registration office and they told me I need to have 6 photos of the trailer from different angles. I did that went back and they said I had to get another document and have the seller sign it. After I was unable to get the seller to cooperate I ended up pretty much giving the trailer away.

I use the word never cautiously because never is a long time but I will never buy another trailer that doesn't have a current valid registration in the state of Texas.
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Halen
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Re: Texas vehicle registration for a kayak

Post by Halen »

SWFinatic wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:57 am I use the word never cautiously because never is a long time but I will never buy another trailer that doesn't have a current valid registration in the state of Texas.
I am right there with you regarding the word "never" - with that said I'll never sell the trailer that I bought. It will now become a family heirloom and be passed down to my son once I am unable to use it.
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