Vehicle Taxability - Watercraft

Watercraft and Outboard Motors

Watercraft and outboard motor sales are generally treated the same as motor vehicles.

  • Leases (PDF) —  This memo explains how to apply sales and use tax to a lease.
  • Motor vehicle sales to nonresidents (PDF) — Tax is due on motor vehicle sales to residents of other states if the other state charges sales tax to Ohio residents. Learn more here.


Frequently Asked Questions Tool

The Ohio Department of Taxation has compiled a list of frequently asked questions covering many different categories.

To view the questions, click on the "Select Category" bar and then click on  the category in which you are interested.  A list of questions will appear pertaining to that category. Then click on the question you are inquiring about and the answer will appear.

Can a motor vehicle dealer obtain title to a watercraft under a "resale" exemption?

Yes. A motor vehicle dealer may claim “Resale – watercraft” (RV) when the dealer acquires a watercraft, if it is acquired for purposes of resale. The dealer need only provide a valid vendor’s license for the dealership’s location (do not use the motor vehicle dealer’s permit number to support exemption). If the dealer uses the watercraft for personal use, a resale exemption should not be claimed and tax must be paid on either the price paid or the value given in trade for the watercraft.

When the dealer, who is not a licensed watercraft dealer, sells a watercraft, title must be obtained in the customer’s name. Sales tax must be collected. If the sale is to an Ohio resident, tax is collected at the rate in effect in the customer’s county of residence. The tax is paid to the Clerk of Courts when title is obtained. If the sale is to a nonresident of Ohio, tax is collected at the rate which is the lower between the Ohio rate in the dealer’s county, or the rate in the state of the customer. The customer must complete form ST WC AFF. The tax is submitted directly to the Department of Taxation on form ST WC NR, along with the completed ST WC AFF. A nonresident title may still be obtained from the Clerk of Courts.