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Abandoned Vessels

What is an Abandoned Vessel?

A vessel that has remained moored, grounded, docked, or otherwise attached or fastened to any public land or waterway or any private property without consent for more than 30 days. 
You may be able to identify a vessel as abandoned if:

  • A boat marina or storage facility has a customer who has not made a storage or maintenance payment in over 30 days without an alternate arrangement having been made with the storage facility.
  • An owner of private property who has found a vessel on his/her land without the property owner’s consent, for more than 30 days.
  • A municipality locates a vessel partially or completely submerged or grounded on its beaches, roads or waterways.

How to obtain an Abandoned Vessel title

A landowner on whose property an abandoned vessel is located, or a municipality, harbor commission, or other entity having jurisdiction over the area in which an abandoned vessel is located, may institute proceedings to acquire title to an abandoned vessel. 
To obtain all the required forms:

All original paperwork and required fees (checks or money orders) must be submitted by mail to:

Special Titles - Abandoned Title Unit
P.O. Box 017
Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0017

If the vessel is less than 12 feet long, upon acceptance of a properly completed application, the Motor Vehicle Commission, will issue a non-titled proof of ownership receipt in the applicant’s name, which will allow the vessel to be registered.

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New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
P.O. Box 160
Trenton, NJ 08666
(609) 292-6500
TTY (609) 292-5120

Last Updated: March 17, 2016