GALVESTON COUNTY — Beginning July 5, the Galveston County Tax office will partner with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to provide boat titling and registration services to both visitors and residents of Galveston County. Previously, the only title and registration office in the county was the TPWD office in La Marque, about 20 minutes from the city of Galveston.
TPWD requires title and registration for all motorized boats, including boats with outboard motors, and sailboats 14 feet or longer. Exemptions include rafts, kayaks, rowboats, and any other boats less than 14 feet that are paddled, windblown, oared or poled.
Galveston is a popular boating destination, and although residents of Galveston County own more than 15,000 water vessels, the title and registration services offered at the tax office will not be limited to people who live in the county. That means Texans from all over the state can register their boat in Galveston while they are visiting.
Titling and registration services will initially be provided only at the Galveston Island Branch Office, but will be available at all locations — including annexes in Texas City and north and west Galveston County, as well as satellite offices in Friendswood and Crystal Beach — by the end of July.
“There are many complexities associated with water vessel ownership and registration, and it may take us several months to become fully proficient,” said Galveston County tax assessor and collector Cheryl Johnson in a statement. “I encourage anyone with complex questions to call TPWD headquarters.”
The Galveston tax office employees will be trained according to TPWD’s guidelines for boat registration and titling, and the additional locations throughout Galveston County will lighten the load on the La Marque TPWD office and allow Galveston residents to register their vessels closer to home.
“It will be helpful to the residents of Galveston County to have this service available locally,” said Julie Aronow, manager of TPWD’s Boat Titling & Registration department. “We are excited to work with Galveston County for the mutual benefit of our customers.”
Titling and registration services are currently available at 29 TPWD offices in cities across Texas and at county tax offices in 76 counties including Galveston. A complete list can be found here. Texas boat registration must be renewed every two years.