|Yes. The Fish and Boat Commission will process the registration of a federally-documented boat used
for recreation where the owner does not remit the sales tax because he or she believes no sales/use taxes are owed.
Pennsylvania law requires that federally-documented boats used for recreation be registered when Pennsylvania
is the state of principal use. The owner must register the boat, and obtain a registration card and display a validation
decal. State registration numbers are not displayed on documented boats. The registration requirements are set
forth in Act 1996-73.
All Pennsylvania boat owners are, of course, expected to pay all applicable sales/use taxes on their
boats. A person registering a boat in Pennsylvania ordinarily pays sales/use tax at the time of purchase of
the boat. Sales/use tax on boats purchased outside the state or in a private transaction are usually paid at
the time of registration.
However, there may be a few cases where a person registering a boat does not pay Pennsylvania
state sales/use tax at the time of registration. The person registering the boat may not believe he or she owes
sales/use taxes because, for example, he or she paid them at the time of purchase some years ago. In such a
case, the registration can still be completed. The applicant should submit sales/use tax information using a form
provided by the Commission. The Fish and Boat Commission will then process the registration and issue the registration
certificate and decal.
The Commission will forward the sales/use tax information to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue,
which will review it and determine whether any sales/use taxes are due and owing. If the Department
of Revenue notifies the Fish and Boat Commission that a holder of a boat registration has not paid required sales/use
taxes, the registrant may not be able to renew his/her registration when it expires.