Chapter 20, Section G:
Titling a Vessel in the Names of Two or More Owners

Revised August 29, 2008


When an applicant for a vessel title wishes to title the vessel in the names of two or more owners:

  1. The owners' names must appear on the Original Title exactly as they do on the Assignment.

    The names listed in the assignment on the MCO, Title or Bill of Sale MUST be the same names listed when issuing the original Title. AND the words used to connect two or more names on the MCO assignment must be those used when issuing the Title.
  2. An individual may add his or her spouse’s name with Bill of Sale.

    If an owner to whom the dealer’s assignment is made on the MCO or Title wants to add the name of a spouse, he or she may do so at the time of the original title transaction. A bill of sale from the purchaser to the name of the purchaser and spouse must be completed. The bill of sale should state “adding name of spouse.” The lien holder, if any, must give written permission. There is no additional charge to add the name of spouse as long it is done before the Title is issued in only one name.
  3. Adding a name other than a spouse.

    If a purchaser to whom the dealer’s assignment is made on the MCO or Title wants to add another person’s name, he or she may do so at the time of the original title transaction. A bill of sale must be completed from the purchaser to the name of the purchaser and the other person. The bill of sale should state “adding another name to title.” The lien holder, if any, must give written permission. There is no additional charge to add the name of the other person, so long it is done before the title is issued in only one name.
  4. A lien holder’s permission is required to add names to Title.

    If a vessel is encumbered, the owner must obtain the written permission of the lien holder to add any names to the Title or to change the words used to connect the names of owners on the Title.
  5. Owners' names joined by the word “or”

    When the owners’ names on the Title are joined by the word “or,” only one signature is required to apply for, assign or encumber the vessel.
  6. Owners' names joined by the word “and”

    When the owners’ names shown on the Title are joined by the word “and,” BOTH owners must sign the Application for Title, to assign the Title or to encumber the vessel. 
  7. Do not use “and/or.”

    Do not use “and/or” in combination when preparing a vessel Title unless the names are connected that way on the MCO assignment. Use the word “and” or the word “or” alone, depending on the wishes of the owners, after you have explained the difference. Do not use any other form to connect the names of two or more registered owners.

    If an out-of-state title shows “and/or” consult the R.L. Polk publication for guidance on changing the wording to “and” or to “or.”

    Note: If the names of the registered owners shown on the assignment on the MCO are not joined by the word “and” or the word “or,” indicate joint ownership with the word “and” on the Title Application.
  8. Changing the Connective

    A bill of sale indicating the change is required to change the connective of registered owners.

    When changing the connective from “and” to “or” all signatures joined by the word “and” are required. Indicate on the bill of sale “changing connective.”

    To change the connective from “or” to “and” only one of the registered owners must sign the bill of sale; however, all signatures of owners to be joined by “and” are required on the Title Application.
  9. Out-of-State Titles

    The above guidelines may not apply to out-of-state titles due to different laws of that state (for example, if an out-of-state title shows “and/or”) Refer to the Chart Section of this manual or to the current R. L. Polk book for other states' requirements.