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Boat Excise Tax

The state imposes the Boat Excise Tax at 5% upon the sale of every boat required to be registered in the state. A boat requiring registration is any powerboat or sailboat (other than a sailboard or windsurf board) that is 10 feet in length or more. The basis for the tax is the price at the time of sale less any trade-in credit.

If a boat is legitimately transferred by gift, there is no sale, and no excise tax is due. Any applicant for a boat title who claims that the boat was a gift must submit a notarized Affidavit of Gift of Motor Vehicle or Boat (MVD-10018) in which both donor and recipient affirm under oath and under penalty of perjury that the vehicle or boat was in fact transferred as a gift.

This tax applies to all boats purchased or brought into New Mexico except those owned by:

  • Persons domiciled outside this state while on active duty in the military service of the United States or on active duty as officers of the Public Health Service who are detailed for duty with any branch of the military service;
  • Persons who acquire a boat out of state 30 or more days before establishing a domicile in this state if the boat was acquired for personal use;
  • Persons applying for a certificate of title for a boat registered in another state if they have previously registered and titled the boat in New Mexico and have owned the boat continuously since that time, and
  • The State of New Mexico or any of its political subdivisions.

A boat with a Certificate of Ownership issued by the United States Coast Guard need not be registered or titled in New Mexico and is exempt from the boat excise tax.

Pay the Boat Excise Tax through the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division when you apply for boat title. You must pay the tax within 30 days of taking ownership of the boat.

We deposit the tax with the state treasurer for credit to the Boat Suspense Fund. At the end of each month, 50% is transferred to the State Parks Division of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. The balance goes to the General Fund. 

Contact Information 

To Contact the Department


New Mexico MVD Instructions for Vehicle Titles
New Mexico Application for Vessel Title and Registration
Affidavit of Gift of Motor Vehicle or Boat
Statutory Reference: Look for Section 66-12-6.1 NMSA 1978 in the New Mexico State Statutes.

Boat Excise Tax Forms and Documents