Alabama is a state that offers a lot of different kinds of boating opportunities. But, regardless of where you’re boating in Alabama, you need to have your boat registered with the state, or at least with a different state if you’ll only be in Alabama a short time.
Alabama does not require you to register your boat’s trailer.
In the state of Alabama, there are three types of boats that require registration, including sailboats. You'll register boats propelled by mechanical means, sailboats, and any boats for hire.
If you don’t know if your boat qualifies, you can contact Alabama’s Marine Patrol Division’s registration line (334) 517-2950.
New boats need to be registered within 3 days of the purchase. Used boats that have an existing registration need to be registered within 15 days of purchase. Used boats without a registration must be registered before they are used, but don’t have a specific timeline from purchase.
If your boat has already been registered in another state, you don’t have to register in Alabama to visit the state. But you will need to register your boat if you intend to stay for more than 90 consecutive days.
Alabama Boat Registration Costs
There are also transfer, replacement, and transaction fees in the state of Alabama that can be added to the cost of your boat registration. You must also be at least 12 years of age to apply for a boat license and registration, and you must have completed Alabama’s boating education course before getting your boating license. Additional to having the registration, you must have and carry your boating license while boating, and the registration year decal must be placed in a visible location on your bow.
Alaska is one of the most beautiful places in the world for boaters. Like most states though, Alaska has strict and specific requirements for boating registration. Most boats, including sailboats, will need to be registered in Alaska, though there are some exemptions.
If you're visiting Alaska with your boat, but don't live there, you won't need to register your boat in Alaska. But, that boat cannot be used in Alaska for more than 90 consecutive days without registration. You can visit for up to 90 days, but then the boat needs to return to its home state.
Lifeboats, inflatable water toys, and a few other small craft are exempted from needing registration.
Depending on the boat, you'll need to provide some additional documentation to get your boat registration. These documents can include the original manufacturer's certification or statement of origin, the boat’s title and registration from its previous state, or a completed CG-1261 Builders Certification.
Alaska Boat Registration Costs
If you remove the power source from your boat, you can wait until your next normal registration to change the registration type. If you add a power source to a previously non-powered boat, you are required to change the registration immediately.
Arizona's desert landscape offers an interesting change for many boaters. But despite the arid nature of the state's landscape, there are plenty of places to put your boat on the water.
Unlike some states, Arizona has two types of registration you have to keep track of to boat on their waters. If you are a resident, you need the normal resident boater registration and licensing. But if you’re a visitor, Arizona also requires you to register via a non-resident boating safety infrastructure fee.
Regardless of whether you’re a visitor or a resident, the fee to boat in Arizona scales with the size of the craft. Whether your boat is a sailboat, a powered boat, or another type of craft doesn’t matter for Arizona.
Arizona Boat Registration Costs
For the out of state fees, we've added the cost of the non-resident boating safety infrastructure fee along with the registration fee. There are still dealer costs that we haven't added to either total since purchase through the state government is free.
Arkansas’s waters can be a joy. But, if your boat is powered by a motor or by sail, you absolutely must have it registered before taking it out onto the water.
You are required to register your boat in Arkansas within 30 days of purchase (for residents). To register, you’ll need the hull identification number off your boat. Just remembering the number is not enough. You should also plan on bringing a pencil rubbing of the number (if clearly legible) or a clear photograph.
Other documents you’ll need are either the previous registration of the boat, or it’s title. If your boat has more than 50 horsepower, you’ll also need proof of liability insurance to register it in Arkansas.
Lastly, you’ll need proof that your boat has been assessed by an Arkansas assessor, and that you’ve paid your previous year’s property taxes.
Resident registration is valid for 3 years in Arkansas. You can renew by mail up to 15 days before the previous registration expires, or in person at a state revenue office.
Arkansas Registration Costs
California may be more known for surfing than sailing, but that doesn’t mean its waters don’t present a wonderful opportunity to boaters of all stripes. Like any state, you need to be familiar with the rules and regulations behind boating in California before you hit the water. Including proper boating registration.
In California, Sailboats greater than 8ft in length must be registered. And all powered boats, regardless of length and size, are required to be registered.
If your boat was previously registered in another state, it must be registered in California within 120 days of coming to the state.
Boats that are powered by oars or paddles, and sailboats that require the operator to hold the mast upright, do not need to be registered. Neither do lifeboats for a separate vessel, though dinghies do not count as lifeboats.
Once you have your registration, the unique boater registration number is required to be painted onto, or permanently attached, to your boat's hull. It must be on both sides of the forward half of the boat. It must be colored and positioned so that it’s easily identifiable.
California Boat Registration Costs
California's boating registration doesn't depend on the type or size of the boat you're registering. Instead, it depends on the year of registration, and whether you're an in-state resident or a non-resident.
It’s also important to know that the property taxes on your registered boat will be assessed in the county your boat is moored or stored. If that is different than your home county, you may need to contact the county tax collector to make sure you’re up to date on your property taxes.
Colorado is widely known as one of the most beautiful states, right up there with California, Alaska, and Washington for its natural vistas. But if you want to boat in Colorado, you need to have the appropriate registration.
Additionally, all boats are required to pay an aquatic nuisance species fee (ANS). Those fees go toward controlling the spread of invasive species and paying the staff to perform needed boat inspections and mitigating invasive populations.
If you purchase a new boat, your Bill of Sale works as a temporary registration for 30 days following the sale.
Out of state boats can be in Colorado for up to 60 days without needing to register. But, they are still required to be registered in your home state, and you need to carry all required identification and have registration information as required on the boat itself.
Boats registered in-state are required to have the registration decal placed on both sides of the bow, on the forward half of the boat.
Colorado Boat Registration Costs
Registrations in Colorado last for the calendar year, from January 1st to December 31st. Colorado does not offer prorated boat registration fees.
Connecticut is a wonderful place to take your boat, whether you’re a resident purchasing a first vessel in the state, or someone moving to or visiting the state with a boat, you’re in for a treat. Like anywhere, though, Connecticut does require registration of your boat.
You do not need to be a resident of Connecticut to register your boat in Connecticut. If your boat is going to be in Connecticut for more than 60 consecutive you need to register the boat in state.
If you are bringing your boat in the state, and it's registered out of state, the previous state registration also needs to be submitted to Connecticut. You'll need that on hand when you go to fill out the B-148 registration form.
You'll also need a state-issued ID (does not have been Connecticut ID), or a foreign driver's license and an International driving permit is required. Foreign drivers' licenses printed in English or Spanish, the international driving permit may not be necessary.
You’ll also receive an additional CT number in addition to your registration when you register in Connecticut. This number does not need to be displayed on your boat along with your registration number.
Connecticut Boat Registration Costs
Because Connecticut measures and assesses fees based on the boat’s length, and the fee is different for every foot of length, we don’t have space to include every fee. We’ll try to include enough fees to give you an idea of what registration costs look like in Connecticut.
Delaware’s waters are ripe for exploration. But before you head out, make sure you have the proper registration for your boat to avoid costly fines and other problems with the vessel.
Delaware requires that boats be registered in their state of principal use. So, if you live just over Delaware's borders, but primarily use the boat in Delaware, you'll need to register and pay taxes on your boat in Delaware.
Homemade boats are also required to be registered specifically at the office in Dover for their first registration only.
A boat that is titled in another state will need to have its title brought with to be recorded in Delaware. For boats sold in Delaware, both the bill of sale and the previous registration will need to be provided to re-register the boat under its new owner.
Registration in Delaware pays for emergency services, vessel identification, locating people in boating accidents, and more services for the boat owners. Part of the fee also goes toward resource protection, wildlife and landscape management, and education programs.
Delaware Boat Registration Costs
There are only a few places with the many kinds and diverse waterways Florida boasts at every corner. Before you go out to see what Florida has to offer, though, you want to make sure you know you have the right registration information for your boat.
Boats that are primarily used out of the state need to be registered in that state. They do not need to be registered in Florida unless they are in Florida for 90 or more consecutive days.
You also don’t need to register non-powered boats that are less than 16 ft in length.
Some amphibious vehicles that have already been registered elsewhere will not need to be additionally registered as a boat.
New boats in Florida are required to also have the manufacturer's certificate of origin to title and register the boat. Boats that have previously been registered in Florida need the previous registration to re-register under a new owner.
You’ll also need to provide the out of state registration if you’re registering your boat in Florida for the first time. A used vessel from out of state that doesn’t require a title will require a bill of sale that includes a description of the boat, manufacturer’s name, and other identifying details.
Here’s a break down of registration costs after you have all the required documentation.
Florida Boat Registration Costs
Check with your local registration office if you think you may qualify for reduced cost boat registration.
Georgia offers more than just peaches and southern vistas. Its waterways can be everything from relaxing and fun to challenging for boaters who explore the state.
All boats over 12 feet long are required to be registered in the state of Georgia. That includes boats powered with a motor, sailboats and other means of mechanized propulsion. Boats with a motor or other mechanized propulsion need to be registered regardless of length.
Non-powered boats, like kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and rafts, do not require registration.
You also don’t need to register boats that are only operated on private ponds and lakes.
Georgia does require registration of homemade boats and provides for them separately from other water vessels.
You’ll need previous registration information, the boat’s hull identification number, the boat’s length, model, and year. If you’ve just purchased the boat, you’ll also need the bill of sale, and/or the manufacturer’s certification to provide a paper trail for where the boat has been, and that it’s safe to operate.
If you’re concerned about the documentation you’ll need to register your boat in Georgia, take a look at the complete list provided by Georgia Wildlife.
Georgia Boat Registration Costs
Boat registrations in Hawaii are good for 1 year. You need to keep your boat registration current at all times. Registration is available for 90 days before your current registration expires, without any penalty.
The state also charges a $5 fee for duplicate documentation.
Foreign boats, and boats from another state, are not required to register with the State of Hawaii if they are only in Hawaii State waters for 60 or fewer consecutive days.
You are required to report within 7 days if your registration card or any other identifying information is stolen. The same $5 duplication fee applies in cases of theft.
The state of Hawaii also, like all other states, required that the hull identification number remain displayed on the boat in question. It should not be removed or obscured by paint or anything else that might interfere with boat identification.
They also provide stickers and decals that need to be displayed on your boat. These stickers require additional care and should not be painted over. Heat can be used with the sticker that needs to be moved or removed.
Paint thinner can also damage the sticker and needs to be used with care.
Hawaii Boat Registration Costs
Idaho is a popular boating destination for a few reasons, not least that their registration is a little simpler than many states.
All powered boats are required to be registered in Idaho. The length of your boat determines registration costs, starting at $20 and with an additional $2 per additional foot of your boat.
Like most states, you’re required to provide the previous state registration when you move a boat to Idaho. You’ll also need to provide the bill of sale, manufacturer certificate of origin, and other identifying documentation to register a newly purchased boat.
Sailboats may also be required to register.
Idaho also requires lifejackets for many passengers. Passengers under 16 are required to wear a lifejacket regardless of the size of the craft. Boats over 16 ft are required to carry a type VI emergency floatation device as well.
Onboard sanitation must be registered with and approved by the Coast Guard, and you may also have to pay additional fees to register with Idaho.
Idaho Boat Registration Costs
Illinois might be in the middle of the continent, but it still has plenty of lake and river boating opportunities. Illinois can satisfy even the pickiest boating enthusiast with its beautiful waterways.
But, if you don’t want to get any fines or charges, you need to make sure you’ve met all the registration requirements before you set your boat on Illinois waters.
Almost all boats on Illinois water require either an in-state or an out of state registration. Some exceptions, like for canoes and kayaks owned by non-profit organizations, do exist. If you think you might qualify for one of Illinois' exemptions, you should check on their main website.
If your boat is registered with another state, you can keep and use it in Illinois for up to 60 consecutive days. If you stay in Illinois longer than that, your boat will need to be registered in Illinois.
Boats documented with the US Coast Guard can also operate in Illinois for up to 60 consecutive days without registering in state.
Depending on whether your boat is new, or has been previously registered in another state, you’ll be asked to provide a variety of documentation when you register your boat.
Documentation can include the bill of sale, manufacturer certification, previous registration, and title, among others.
Illinois Boat Registration Costs
Indiana is home to many a boater. But if you’re getting ready to register your boat, move there for the first time, or are even just curious about boating in the state, you should know about the registration requirements.
Non-powered boats, for the most part, don’t need to be registered in Indiana. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats can all be used without a registration.
But motorized boats, sailboats, and commercial boats (regardless of type) will all need to be registered.
Lifeboats, boats moored in Lake Michigan for up to 180 days, and non-resident boats that have been in Indiana less than 60 consecutive days, also don’t need to be registered.
Depending on the type of registration your boat needs, you’ll need to provide several different documents to register it. To register your boat, you’ll need to provide valid ID as well as proof of residency in Indiana.
You'll also likely need either a bill of sale and manufacturer's certification, the previous registration of the boat, and/or its title.
Lastly, you’ll need to provide some tax information to verify that you are up to date on your property taxes, including any taxes accessed on your boat.
Indiana Boat Registration Costs
Other fees may might also apply to your situation. The replacement title fee, $15, duplicate registration fee, $9.25, and IN Department of Natural Resources fee, $5, may also be necessary.
People tend to think of Iowa as an ag state, and corn as it's main feature. The truth is that Iowa is full of parks and waterways. There's plenty to do and explore as an outdoorsman in this central state.
Before you take your boat to Iowa, let’s make sure you have the information you need to properly register your boat.
Non-state residents can bring their boat into Iowa for up to 60 consecutive days without registering the boat in Iowa. The boat is required to be registered in its state of primary use. You also need to carry your registration and continue to display all required identifying information on your boat while in Iowa.
Registrations in Iowa all expire on April 30th. You’ll need to renew your registration every three years, and there is no grace period for renewing your boat’s registration.
To register your boat in Iowa, you'll need a few documents. Either a bill of sale, the previous year's registration, the boat's title, and proof of residence are all important things to have on hand.
Registrations and renewals are sent to the county recorder in your home county.
Iowa’s boat registrations decrease in price from January-May 1st of each year. We chose to record the registration costs as if you were to register or renew early in the year at the highest cost for your vessel. That way, if you register later, you’ll be prepared for a higher price than you’ll end up paying.
Iowa Boat Registration Costs
Iowa also charges a title fee of $12.75 for all boats requiring a title. (17ft or larger)
We're back in Kansas, Toto. Kansas is one of the simpler states for boating since registration is very streamlined.
Just because the process is streamlined, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t get just as much of your care and attention as any other state.
In Kansas, all boats with either a motor or a sail are required to be registered. Boats without a motor or sail do not have to be registered. Other costs, for storage, property taxes, and similar will still apply to smaller manually powered vessels.
Boat registration in Kansas lasts for 3 years. It’s dated from the time of the registration. It is your responsibility as a boat owner to keep track of when your registration is due for renewal.
But, Kansas does send out vessel renewal reminders. You’ll receive a reminder in the mail about 6 weeks before you need to renew your boat registration.
If you want to bring a boat to Kansas from out of state, you can. That boat needs to be properly registered in your home state. It can be in Kansas for up to 60 consecutive days without needing to register in Kansas.
However, you still need to have all hull identification numbers, state decals, and other identifying information prominently displayed on your boat, regardless of its primary state of use.
Boat Registration Costs:
Kansas only has one price for boat registration, so we’re going to skip the table. If your boat doesn’t have a sail or a motor, you don’t need to register that boat. If it does, you’ll pay $42.50 to register your boat.
The replacement registration fee is: $2.50
State sales tax is 6.5% of the purchase price. Local taxes vary depending on where you live in Kansas.
Boating can be an adventure in Kentucky, but registering your boat shouldn’t have to be.
This easy guide to registering your boat will make it simple and quick to register. Just remember to make sure you have the paperwork you need before trying to register.
That paperwork can include the bill of sale, previous registrations, your proof of residence, and the manufacturer’s certification. The bill of sale and manufacturer’s certification should only be required for boats that are purchased new. The previous registration is required even for boats that have been purchased used.
Once you have your current registration you need to display the registration numbers and decals properly. The registration numbers need to be painted or otherwise displayed on the front half of the boat, on the bow. Decals should be placed near the registration number and visible.
Because decals can be damaged if you need to move or remove them, proceed with caution. Heat can help loosen the adhesive and make it easier to more and remove decals.
When you buy a boat, it is your responsibility to report the transfer of ownership, not the seller’s.
After your boat is registered you still have to follow local regulations. Follow size and power restrictions and other limits on where your boat can safely go in Kentucky waters.
All boats with mechanized power (including sailboats) are required to register in the state of Kentucky.
Kentucky Boat Registration Costs
Louisiana’s waters are one of the most exciting places to explore by boat. The state’s rich history and many cultural icons are just an added draw for the man boaters and outdoorsmen who come here.
While houseboats are also common in Louisiana, we won't be talking much about them here. Instead, we'll focus on recreational boats, sailboats, and motorized boats.
All mechanically powered boats need to be registered in Louisiana. That includes sailboats. The basic fee schedule starts at $42 for boats 18 ft or longer, below 18 ft fees are a little less regular. Above 18 ft, add $2 for every foot of boat. Fortunately, Louisiana allows whole feet in the lower price category, the increase starts at the first additional inch on every foot.
They also charge an additional fee for inspection costs on boats with no hull identification number, $28.
In addition to having your registration on you while boating, you also need to have your registration number and other identifying marks on your boat.
Louisiana Boat Registration Costs
Non-motorized Houseboats also need to be registered, and registration costs are different for them than for other boats.
Maine is known for its water. So why wouldn’t you want to go to Maine with your boat? This guide will help make your trip or move easier, by giving you the needed registration information.
Even residents will need to know this registration information if you want to buy a boat in Maine.
Registrations in Maine last from January 1st to December 31st. It’s the responsibility of the boat owner to make sure that their registration stays current.
You are also required to stay current on all of your property taxes to register and maintain your boat.
Registration and renewal for the following year starts on December 1st.
All motorboats in Maine are required to be registered. They don’t specifically mention whether sailboats are required to register. If you’re at all unsure whether your boat needs to be registered, reach out to your local Maine registration office for clarification.
When Maine says all motorboats, they mean it. Motorboats of any size require registration.
Lifeboats and other small craft may not need to register.
Racing boats, properly registered with the racing association and which are not used for anything other than racing with the racing association, do not need to be registered with the state of Maine.
Boats from out of state, or properly registered in another country, are allowed to be in and operate in Maine for up to 60 consecutive days. These boats are still required to follow all the registration and identification regulations of their primary place of use.
For the prices here we have included the costs of the lake and river protection sticker. Even if you have the option of skipping the lake and river protection sticker, we encourage getting it, since that money goes toward protecting Maine’s waterways.
Maine Boat Registration Costs
Additional costs for taxes, registration duplication, title replacement, and other fees may also be due at the time of registration.
Maryland may be a small state, but the boating opportunities in Maryland are anything but small. If you want to take advantage of the many opportunities in this state, you need to know their boating registration requirements.
The basic requirement for registration is that your boat has any mechanical means of powering the boat. That includes motors, sails, and any other propulsion that is not entirely human-generated. Paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, and other boats with no mechanical propulsion at all do not need to be registered in Maryland.
If you modify a boat that previously did not have mechanical propulsion to have a sail or motor, it will need to be registered as soon as possible.
Maryland does make provisions for boats purchased in poor condition. These boats can be registered and taxed differently. But you are required to provide evidence that the boat is in poor condition. Clear photos of the damage, and overall impact to the boat, can serve as evidence.
Try to include identifying markers like its previous registration number and decal, and well as it’s hull identification number, in at least some of your damage photos.
You may need documentation, including but not limited to, the bill of sale, previous year’s registration, manufacturer’s certification, and tax documents proving you are up to date on all property taxes when you register your boat in Maryland.
Boat Registration Costs:
Maryland has a flat registration rate for all boats, so we’re going to skip the table. Your boat registration will cost $24. You’ll also pay a 5% excise fee on your boat at the same time.
If your boat needs to be titled, you’ll pay a $2 title fee. You may also be charged a $10 decal fee on both initial decals and replacements if you need them.
Massachusetts has a long and storied history in this nation. There are many reasons to want to visit or live in this beautiful and historic state. But, if you want to have a boat while in Massachusetts, you need to know that your boat is properly registered and following all of Massachusetts regulations.
In Massachusetts, almost all boats need to be registered. Motorized boats, as well as sailboats, canoes, and other vessels that will operate on Massachusetts waters, require registration.
Coast Guard vessels are also required to register in Massachusetts. The same goes for federally owned and operated, and state-owned and operated, boats. However, these types of boats can apply for free registration.
The reason for broad registration like this is to help protect the environment in Massachusetts. Registration also makes it easier to identify likely boat passengers. In the case of boating accidents and other incidents on the water, your registration means first responders will be better prepared to assist you.
If you purchase or bring a boat from a non-title state, you’ll need to provide the previous boat registration instead of the title to register in Massachusetts. You will also need to purchase a Massachusetts title in most cases.
Massachusetts Boat Registration Costs
All registrations are valid for 2 years. You may also be charged a title fee for new or replacement titles.
Michigan, bearing the same name as the great lake, makes perfect sense as a boating destination. It's a wonderful place to live for boating enthusiasts and a good place to visit.
Regardless of whether you live in Michigan all year, own a vacation home there, or are just bringing your boat for a visit, you need to know, and follow, all of Michigan’s registration requirements.
Boats under 16 ft in length may not be required to register if they meet several other requirements. They cannot be motorized or propelled using a sail or other mechanical means. Canoes and kayaks do not need to be registered (under 16 ft) unless they are used for commercial purposes.
All commercial vessels need to be registered in Michigan.
Recreational boats that are properly registered in other states do not need to register in Michigan if they will only be in the state temporarily. But boats that are primarily used in Michigan need to be registered and taxed in Michigan, even if you live in a different state.
There are three ways to register your boat in Michigan. You can register online, in person, or by phone.
Boats with an inboard permanently affixed engine, larger than 20 ft, cost $5 to register.
Sailboat registration is $9 unless also motorized.
The motorboat fee schedule follows:
Michigan Boat Registration Costs
These renewals are good for 3 years. All measurements are in feet.
Minnesota is a beautiful if northerly state, perfect for boaters who enjoy temperate weather and wide waterways.
When you register a boat for the first time in Minnesota you need to know its dimensions and identifying information. This includes the length and width of your boat, it’s construction material, hull identification numbers, and other identifying markings. That can include the color of your boat and it’s trim.
Registering a boat that has previously been registered in a different state will require you to bring that previous registration with you.
Non-motorized boat 10 ft or less in length do not need to be registered in Minnesota. Boats that are properly registered in another state and will be in Minnesota for less than 60 consecutive days, do not need to be registered in Minnesota. But you should still carry your out-of-state registration.
If for any reason your boat was transferred to you without a bill of sale, you should contact the local authority for transfer papers. Depending on the type of transfer, you may need to provide other documentation demonstrating that that transfer was legitimate.
Minnesota Boat Registration Costs
Mississippi, named after the largest river in the country, is a wonderful place to go boating. But, they do have several registration requirements and other rules that boaters need to pay attention to anytime you’re on Mississippi waters.
For one thing, boaters on Mississippi waters are required to have taken a boating safety course.
Boaters are also required to have at least one wearable flotation device or lifejacket on board at all times. Throwable floatation devices do not satisfy this requirement (but are also a good idea).
Mississippi also has a more extensive check system when they get a new request for boat registration. This is in response to several trends in the state and ultimately works to protect boat owners. Just be prepared for your boat registration to take a little longer to receive in Mississippi.
All sailboats and boats with any propulsion machinery, whether it’s in use or not, are required to be registered in the state of Mississippi. Registration is required before you place your boat in Mississippi waters.
Owners have 10 days to register their boats after acquiring it. A similar period should be assumed for new residents moving to Mississippi with their boats. Registration is required whether you intend to operate the boat soon or not.
Mississippi Boat Registration Costs
Missouri’s lakes and rivers can be a joy to travel, by boat or on foot. Taking a boat out on their water, however, requires permitting and meeting Missouri’s regulations.
To learn everything you need to know about Missouri’s boating regulation system, read on.
Missouri is one of the relatively few states that offer both a registration system and a temporary permitting system. The permits are usually issued as a placeholder for the full registration, often after you've purchased a new boat.
Temporary permits are non-renewable and have to expire within the 60-day grace period after the purchase of a new vehicle.
Failure to register your boat within that 60-day period will result in a fine.
In addition to the registration fees (detailed below), you may also need to pay a title and processing fee. You’ll also be responsible for a 4.225% property tax on the purchasing price of your boat.
Homemade boats must also be registered with the state, to get identification numbers. This is not only important from a state regulation standpoint, but also for your safety. Registration numbers help to identify people who may need help in case of a boating accident.
Missouri Boat Registration Costs
Montana may not be the first place you think of when you think of boating. But it’s lakes can be a beautiful place to spend a day out on the water.
Montana is also a little different when it comes to vessel registration. Your boats need to be registered, but instead of registering annually or every third year, you’ll only need to register the boat once. This permanent registration lasts as long as the boat has the same owner.
The sale or transfer of a boat is possible, but the new owner will need to register the boat.
Because registration is permanent, the registration number, decal, and other identifying information about your boat should not be changed. (contact the registration offices if you need to make a change to the paint color or other maintenance type work that could affect your boat’s identifying features.)
Adding a motor to a previously non-motorized boat may also require registering the boat again since motorized vessels more tightly regulated.
Boats under 12 ft don’t need to be registered unless they are motorized. That means that sailboats under 12 ft don’t require registration. Manually powered boats, like canoes and paddleboats, are also exempt from registration requirements.
Lifeboats and government boats are also exempt.
All other boats must register.
In this table, we'll mostly be talking about motorboats. Sailboats over 12 ft long also require registration, and the costs are the same as for motorboats of a similar length.
Montana Boat Registration Costs
Ready to go out boating in Nebraska? Wait just a moment. Let’s make sure you know everything you need to about Nebraska boating registration requirements so you can be sure you have it right.
In Nebraska, all motorized and mechanically propelled boats are required to be registered. The exception are boats that are registered in another state, with all proper documentation. These boats don’t need to be registered if they will be in Nebraska for 60 days or less.
Government boats are also exempt, as are lifeboats (even motorized lifeboats)
You also don’t need to register boats that are in Nebraska specifically to race in a racing association competition. That extends for 48 hours before and after the event. But boats that are in Nebraska longer will need to be registered.
Boats are registered for 3 years at a time in Nebraska. Registration expires on December 31st, 3 years after the registration was issued.
It is your responsibility as a boat owner to make sure your boat registration is renewed on time.
Nebraska also requires that all boats have a $15 invasive species stamp to help fight the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species that commonly hitch a ride on boats.
Nebraska Boat Registration Costs
Nevada may be better known for being a desert state. Well, that and Las Vegas of course. But, Nevada has plenty of boating opportunities, many on large and scenic reservoirs. Before you head out though, let's look at the registration requirements.
Basically, all boats need to be registered in Nevada. Registration is based on the length of the boat entirely, rather than based on motorized or mechanized boating. That means that canoes, kayaks, and other boats that may be exempt in other states should at least check their registration status in Nevada.
Renewing your registration and getting a new registration on a boat that was previously registered out-of-state, are similar processes. In both cases, you'll need proof of ownership and previous registration information. You may also be asked to provide proof of residence.
Registering a new boat is a little more complicated. You need to provide the bill of sale, proof of ownership, and manufacturer’s statement of origin. Additional documents may also be requested, so you may want to call ahead and find out what documents are required before going to register.
Tax information, when required, can be requested from the office of taxation.
Nevada Boat Registration Costs
If you’re looking to take a boat out in New Hampshire, you need to know what kind of regulations and registration your boat needs.
That information is especially important in New Hampshire, since all boats, sailboats, motorboats, and even boats with oars and paddles, potentially need to be registered in New Hampshire.
If you’re unsure whether your boat needs registration, it’s a good idea to check with your local officials, or just go ahead and register the boat to be on the safe side.
New Hampshire also levies a variety of surcharges on all the boat registrations in the state. These fees go to pay for a wide variety of services from the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles. In addition to registration fees based on the size of your boat, you should also expect to pay approximately $22.50 in additional fees.
A portion of these fees go to tasks like wildlife and environmental preservation and restoration, search and rescue services, and maintenance like harbor dredging and pier maintenance and repair.
Duplicate registrations are also available for $15.
New Hampshire is one of the few states that has clear procedures for adding a second owner to your boat. This costs $15 and requires the same basic information for the additional owner that you needed to provide for the initial registration.
New Hampshire Boat Registration Costs
You might not think of Jersey first thing when you think of a state for boating. But it’s very much a state with boating opportunity in rivers, lakes, and along the coast.
Before you go out boating in New Jersey, look here to see the registration requirements. We’ll help you get set up so you can avoid issues while you’re on the water.
Boats that are registered in another state and have all the appropriate registration and identification information on the hull, do not have to re-register for visits in New Jersey. They are allowed in New Jersey waters for up to 60 consecutive days.
New boats need to be registered and titled within 10 days of purchase. The same period applies to boats that are purchased used.
Boats under 12 ft long, and that is un-motorized, are exempt from registration requirements. All motorized boats, regardless of size, must be registered in New Jersey.
Inflatables, canoes, kayaks, and other flotation devices like surfboards do not need to be registered.
Foreign vessels, vessels owned by the US government, and ship’s lifeboats do not need to be registered in New Jersey.
If you make your own boat, you’ll need to provide a variety of information for registration and tax purposes. Keep all the receipts from materials, you’ll also need a notarized statement of all construction details. You’ll also need to get your homemade boat inspected.
New Jersey Boat Registration Costs
New Mexico is a desert state with a surprising variety of boating opportunities. Like anywhere, however, you need to be familiar with the registration and titling requirements in New Mexico.
New Mexico requires that in addition to a regular registration, boats over 10ft in size also need a title. It's recommended by the state that smaller boats also be titled, including canoes and kayaks. But titling those vessels isn’t required.
However, if you add a motor or a sail to these types of vehicles, they are then required to have proper title and registration.
Paddleboats and other vessels that aren’t required to have title or registration in New Mexico do have the option of being titled or registered so that they can be taken out of state more easily. That way you can take the boat with you to states that require registration.
Sailboats are, for the most part, treated like motorboats in New Mexico.
New Mexico also required separate registration and titling of your boat trailer. All registrations and titles (for boats) last three years in New Mexico. The same goes for registration renewals.
New Mexico Boat Registration Costs
New York is known for the Big Apple. But, the rest of the state is simply gorgeous, with lots of boating opportunities. Not only do you have long stretches of coast, but many of the state’s lakes are also open to boating.
Registration requirements in New York are fairly simple. All motorized boats are required to be registered. Registration costs are based on the size of the boat. Non-motorized boats do not need to be registered in New York.
There are a few exceptions to those registration requirements. Lifeboats do not need to be registered, even if they are motorized. Boats that have been registered in another state, and that will be in New York for less than 90 consecutive days, don’t need to be registered. Boats racing in a competition also don’t need to be registered (but should be able to provide proof of race participation).
New York also provides a document guide to help make sure you have all the necessary documentation with you when you try to register your boat.
The basics of what you'll need to include your boat registration application, proof of ID, and a means of payments. You'll also need previous registration information, a bill of sale, and/or the manufacturer’s certificate of origin depending on whether you’ve recently purchased your boat.
New York Boat Registration Costs
North Carolina is a beautiful southern state, full of boating opportunities and much more. Whether you want to take your boat out for a relaxing day, a fishing trip, or just to see the sights, you need to have it properly registered in the state of North Carolina before the boat touches North Carolina’s waters.
North Carolina requires that all motorized vehicles, including jet-skies, be registered. That includes Coast Guard vehicles that are going to be in North Carolina for more than 90 consecutive days.
Sailboats are also required to be registered if they are longer than 14ft at the load waterline.
Boats that are registered in another state can be in North Carolina for up to 90 consecutive days without needing to register in North Carolina. However, as soon as the boat has stayed in North Carolina for 90 or more consecutive days, the registration for that boat needs to be transferred to a North Caroline registration.
Titling is optional for many vessels in North Carolina. If you choose to get a title for your boat, you will also need to register that boat.
Boats that are only used on private ponds do not need to be registered in North Carolina. Neither do canoes, kayaks, or other boats primarily powered by oars or other manual means. Emergency lifeboats also do not require registration.
Lastly, boats that are kept on land and are not in active use at any time do not need to be registered.
North Carolina Boat Registration Costs
North Dakota’s waters aren’t a sight to be missed. You want to see the beauties of this state from the gently swaying bow of your watercraft. Or, the high-powered speed of your jet-ski.
North Dakota’s boat registration process is relatively simple. They require that all motorized boats, regardless of size, be registered with the state. Exceptions for lifeboats are included in the regulations.
There are also exceptions for out of state boats. So long as your boat is properly registered in your primary state of use, you should not need to re-register that boat or transfer your registration, to North Dakota.
If your boat is in North Dakota for 90 or more consecutive days, it’s no longer exempts from registration. Your existing registration must, at that point, be transferred to North Dakota.
Registrations in North Dakota last for 3 years at a time.
The state of North Dakota also charges a $15 ANS fee on top of normal registration costs. That fee is required for all boat registrations in the state. You will receive an additional sticker to indicate that you’ve paid the ANS fee, and that sticker needs to remain on your boat for the full 3 year registration period.
North Dakota Boat Registration Costs
The Buckeye state is many wonderful things. One of those isa boating destination. Ohio's wild lands are a sight to be seen, and it's waterways often offer some of the best vistas.
Just like anywhere, you need to make sure you’re meeting all of Ohio’s requirements before taking your boat out onto the water.
Unlike many states, Ohio required that all boats be registered in the state. This includes sailboats, along with motorized boats, canoes, and all other boats. That said, other flotation devices, pool toys, lifeboats, and other secondary floating devices do not require registration.
Registration for boats in Ohio is not just about producing more revenue for the state. Think of your boat registrations as a way to contribute to emergency services and rescue efforts if something happens while you're on the water.
Registration also goes toward maintenance and other services that keep Ohio’s waterways available for boating.
Lastly, boating registration helps pay for issues like ZebraMussels and other invasive species that spread through boating recreation. It can also help to preserve fisheries and other critical environments and natural species.
Registration is based on the length of your boat since all boats are required to be registered. You’ll need information about the boat, including its previous registration or bill of sale, as well as it’s description and identifying information. You’ll also need valid ID, and the means to pay for registration.
Ohio Boat Registration Costs
Hand Powered boats have two different registration costs, regardless of length. A traditional registration with 2 decals costs $20, an alternative registration with fewer identification marks costs $25.
Oklahoma is one of those states that are very much worth your time and energy for boating. It's beautiful and with lots of boating locations available. But, they differ from a lot of other states when it comes to registering your boat for use in their waters.
Even if you’re experienced at taking your boat from state to state, you’ll need to pay special attention to Oklahoma’s registration process. Instead of needing information about the length and other identifying information regarding your boat and value information for tax purposes, Oklahoma's entire system is based on the value of your boat.
Specifically, registration information is based on the purchase price of your boat. All boats need to be registered except for paddleboats and canoes. The definition of a canoe is broad enough to include kayaks and similar vessels under the same umbrella.
Oklahoma Boat Registration Costs
Because Oklahoma's registration costs are based on the purchase price of your boat, it's not an easy schedule to put in a table.
If your boat was purchased for $150 or less, registration costs are $1.
If your boat was purchased for $150 or more, it’s $1 + $1 for every additional $100 in the purchase price.
Renewing registration from the 2nd – 10th year of registration is $1 = 90% of the previous year’s cost.
From the 11th year of registration on, our cost of registration will be $1 + 90% of the cost of the 10th year of registration.
So, the first year your register will be the most expensive year. The price will go down slightly every year until the 11th year, at which point your registration for that boat becomes stable.
The price schedule remains the same for all boats you register in the state of Oklahoma.
Oregon is a state well known for its natural beauty. That can be experienced from a boat just as well (or better) than on your own two feet.
Like most places, you need to be aware of the state’s regulations and registration requirements. But, Oregon, in addition to needing valid boat registration, also has several other requirements and restrictions on boats that you need to be familiar with.
The first is that there are permits required to take your boat out onto the state’s non-motorized waterways. These permits pay for habitat and species preservation since those waterways require a higher level of maintenance. The price for these permits varies depending on how long you need access and can be found on their state website.
Out of state boats don’t need to register in Oregon. But motorized boats are required to purchase a permit to use Oregon state waters.Sailboats over 12 ft in length are also required to have this permit in Oregon.Out of state permits for boats cost $20.
This is a flat fee; additional length does not add to the cost for out of state boats.
Residents are required to register all motorized boats inOregon, as well as all sailboats over 12 ft in length.
Because Oregon’s fees are based on the length of the boat, on a foot by foot basis, we can’t include the full fee schedule. But we’ve chosen fees at intervals to show roughly what to expect.
For boats under 4ft in length or over 60 ft in length, you'll need to contact the registration authority for pricing information.
Oregon Boat Registration Costs
Pennsylvania is more than just a historical and incredibly important state. It’s also one of the most beautiful places you can go boating. But there is a multi-step process that you need to follow to get your boating registration in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania also requires that registration happens by mail. So, the first step is to send your boating registration application to the Commission office. You’ll need to include all supporting information and documentation, as well as your registration payment.
From there, the Commission will investigate your registration request, mostly checking to make sure that the boat is not registered under another name without a bill of sale or boat transfer. They’ll then mail back your registration.
You can also request a temporary registration that will allow you to use the boat in Pennsylvania waters until the full registration comes through.
Registration in Pennsylvania works on a 2-year cycle. All boating registrations expire on March 31st of the 2nd year after registration. Registrations in Pennsylvania are usually not prorated. You can renew your registration online if you plan to pay with a credit card.
Pennsylvania Boat Registration Costs
Rhode Island has all the charms of most East-Coast states. It’s beautiful, historic, and filled with water. Naturally, it’s an attractive place for boaters of all stripes.
Rhode Island is also a state that allows non-state residents to register their boat in-state. That means that you can have a boat registered in Rhode Island as it's the primary place of use. Any boat used or moored in Rhode Island for more than 90 consecutive days in any given year must be registered in-state. Homemade boats can also be registered in Rhode Island, assuming you have receipts of the costs of all the building materials and sales tax applied to the materials used.
Rhode Island required that some documents, like a bill of sale or transfer, be notarized in order to get a registration for the boat. You can register new and used boats in Rhode Island, but every type of purchase, sale, transfer, or relocation of your boat’s existing registration required different paperwork. We highly recommend contacting your local registration office to see exactly what paperwork you’ll need to provide under your specific circumstances.
Boat registration in Rhode Island works on a 2-year basis for most boats. Boats over 30 ft in length can be registered and renewed annually instead, for exactly half the cost of a 2-year registration. All prices listed in this table are for the standard 2-year registration in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Boat Registration Costs
Like North Carolina, South Carolina is a simply beautiful state to visit as a boater. Its waterways are many and varied, and South Carolina has one of the more affordable registration structures for many boaters and boat types.
South Carolina being an affordable state is the rule, but boaters who struggle to keep their registration current may find themselves paying more. That’s because South Carolina does also charge late fees for late registration. The cost of late registration increases the longer you go without registering your boat, up to 60 days late. So, you want to stay on top of registration if you live in South Carolina and own a boat!
Most boats in South Carolina need to be registered to be legal on its waterways. Sailboats and motorboats are listed separately for some fees in South Carolina, like the transfer fees. But, for the most part, registering, transferring, and all other legal boating requirements in South Carolina are similar for both types of boat. Late registration fees in South Carolina are $15 for 31-60 days after registration was due. The fee increases to $30 for the $61st day on.
South Carolina Boat Registration Costs
Because South Carolina’s registration and title schedule is based on a fixed price, we've listed the different costs here without a table.
New Registration and Title: $40.00
Registration Renewal: $30.00
Transfer Boat Registration and Title: $16.00
Watercraft Title (sailboat): $10.00
Transfer Motor Title: $10.00
Duplicate Titles: $5.00
Duplicate Card or Decals: $5.00 each
Have you gone boating in the Mount Rushmore state? No? Well, it should be on your list. Whether you want to visit in South Dakota, or live there and plan on bringing your boat, just want to visit with your boat in tow, you need to know the state’s registration requirements.
The first requirement is pretty standard. All motorized boats operating in South Dakota need to be registered. Sailboats over 12 ft in length also need to be fully registered. Electric trolling motors count as motorized boats in South Dakota.
Boat registration, transfer, and almost all other registration requirements will be taken care of at the local county treasurer’s office.
Any boat over 18 ft in length must be registered, regardless of the type. Even hand-powered boats must be registered.
After registration, the registration numbers must be printed on your boat in clear bold print. The numbers and letters must be at least 3 inches tall, painted or printed on both sides of the bow of your boat. Decals can also be used in place of painting.
Boats that are properly registered out of state can be operated in South Dakota waters, and moored in South Dakota, for up to 60 consecutive days without being registered in South Dakota. But they must have and display all registration information from their state of primary use.
South Dakota Boat Registration Costs
There are only three base registration costs in South Dakota.
Non-Motorized Boats over 12 ft long and boats with electric trolling motors cost $15 to register.
Motorized boats less than 19 ft in length cost $25 to register.
Motorized boats 19 ft in length or longer cost $45 to register.
Tennessee is the energy capital of the world. But if that isn’t enough to get you to consider Tennessee for home or a boating vacation, it’s many waterways and boating opportunities are another attraction.
Boating in Tennessee can be interesting and fun for boats of all sizes, and boaters of all experience levels. But, before you get ready to buy your first boat, or bring your boat along for a vacation, you need to know Tennessee’s rules and regulations for all boaters.
Tennessee requires that all mechanically powered boats need to be registered with the state. All sailboats are also required to be registered in Tennessee.
In Tennessee, mechanically powered includes electric trolling motors but does not include oars or paddles and other means of hand-powering your boat. So, canoes, kayaks, and other boats with no motors or electric power at all do not need to be registered.
Boats that are required to be registered, but that are only visiting in Tennessee do not need to be registered unless Tennessee becomes the state of principal use. If Tennessee needs to become the state of principal use, you need to register within 60 days of the change. The same 60-day period applies for boats that are purchased new in Tennessee.
You’ll need to provide a complete bill of sale and some other supporting documents before registering a new boat in Tennessee.
Tennessee Boat Registration Costs
Texas has a big reputation. It’s a varied and huge state, second only to Alaska in all the nation. But people tend to forget, in the middle of all the big reputation, that Texas is a coastal state with plenty of ocean and in-land boating opportunities of all kinds.
Texas requires that all motorized boats, regardless of size, have both title and registration. Sailboats larger than 14 ft are also required to have a title and registration. But non-powered boats have slightly different rules and regulations.
Canoes, kayaks, rubber rafts, and other exclusively hand-powered boats, regardless of size, do not need to be titled. These boats still need to be registered if they are 14 ft or longer.
If you add an outboard or trolling motor to a hand-powered boat, you’ll need to register and title the boat.
It’s also critical in Texas that you do not purchase a boat that doesn’t have a legitimate title and a complete bill of sale. All sales and transfers of boats in Texas are required to have a legitimate title.
Texas Boat Registration Costs
Utah is a desert state, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of fantastic boating opportunities throughout the state. Not to mention, Utah has one of the simplest boating registration processes in the country. It’s incredibly easy to register to boat in this state. Still, it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re familiar with boating rules and regulations if you want to go boating in Utah.
All motorboats and sailboats are required to be registered in the state of Utah. That also means that kayaks, canoes, and other boats entirely powered by hand do not need to be registered in Utah.
Out of state residents are also exempt from registration requirements in Utah. But only if the boat is properly registered in its state of primary use.
It’s also required to have the registration and identifying information properly displayed for its state of primary use at all times while in Utah. Decals and registration numbers in Utah are required to be displayed on the front half of the bow on both sides of the boat.
Utah also requires that all boat operators carry insurance while operating in state waters. That’s an additional requirement on top of registration and titling requirements.
Registering a boat in Utah is a series of flat fees, that doesn't change regardless of the size and type of boat that needs to be registered.
Utah Boat Registration Costs
Vermont isn’t necessarily the first state you think of for a stellar boating experience. The home state of Ben and Jerry’s might be better known for its fantastic ice cream, but that doesn't mean that it's not a fantastic place to own a boat. Or a good place to visit with one. Before you buy a boat in Vermont or bring one from out of state, you need to be familiar with the state's boating requirements and registration process. The only boats that need to be registered in Vermont are boats with a motor. That means that sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and other types of boats do not need to be registered. But, those same boats will require registration if they have a backup motor or a motor for additional propulsion. Even if those motors aren’t used, registrations are required if they are present at all. Registration and titling services are all available through the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. Registrations are available on an annual and a 2-year basis. 2-year registrations are cheaper than the cost of 2 annual registrations.
Vermont Boat Registration Costs
If you haven’t considered Virginia a boating haven, you should. The home-base of the United States Atlantic Navy, Virginia has a wide variety of boating opportunities of all stripes. Not to mention being a historically important state, and a hub of Southern American culture.
Virginia requires that all motorboats are registered in the state. While registration costs have been stable for a couple of years, Virginia did recently change registration costs. The change was to redistribute costs in a way that ultimately benefited boaters, while also providing for increased boating demand and environmental maintenance costs.
Your application for registration, especially the first registration of any boat, needs to include detailed information about the boat. That includes hull identification numbers, as well as physical details about the boat, it’s materials, colors, and size. Other supporting documents may be required for boats that have been newly purchased, or that have not been registered in Virginia before.
Online boat renewals are available in Virginia. But you will need to know the PIN number to access your registration information. The registration office in Virginia can be contacted over the phone if you’ve forgotten your PIN.
Virginia Boat Registration Costs
The northernmost west coast state has more than enough water, greenery, and interesting vistas to attract any boater. Not to mention the coastal opportunities or boating in mountain lakes. If you're looking for variety, Washington is the place to get it.
Washington requires that most of the boats operated in the state be registered. Hand-powered boats, like canoes and kayaks, are generally exempted. If you modify these boats to include a sail or motor, they do need to be registered.
Boats that are registered in other states do not need to be registered in Washington. They can only be guest boats in Washington for up to 60 consecutive days. There are some additional exemptions. If you think you may qualify for an exemption, you should contact the department of licensing information.
Washington state also requires an additional carbon monoxide warning sticker. Watercraft that are not registered in Washington state are required to have an invasive aquatic species sticker to operate in Washington waters.
Washington Boat Registration Costs
Washington state does not make their boating registration fees publicly available. But the state fee’s calculator can be found here.
West Virginia is an appealing place for boaters of all stripes. But it’s important to make sure that you have all the required information long before you put a boat on the water.
We’ll provide all the information you need for registration. Make sure you’ve met all the requirements before you bring a boat to West Virginia.
All motorboats are required to be registered in West Virginia. Sailboats and other non-powered watercraft are also required to be registered.
Out of state boats do not require registration. But, they have to be properly registered in their home state.
Decals, registration numbers, and registration information also has to be properly applied to the boat for its state of primary use, and you have to carry your registration information with you while in West Virginia.
There is no fee in West Virginia to register a motorboat with less than 3 horsepower. Motorboats above three horsepower do have fees, as displayed below.
West Virginia Boat Registration Costs
Wisconsin might be better known for rolling hills and cheese than it is for its waterways. Still, it’s a wonderful place to go boating, with a wide variety of different boating opportunities.
Wyoming does have more substantial boating registration requirements than many states. Instead of just requiring motorboats to register, or motorboats and sailboats above a certain size, almost all boats need to be registered in Wyoming.
To count as a watercraft all a boat needs to be able to do is act as a viable transport for people or goods. That includes hand-powered boats like canoes and kayaks. Canoes and kayaks can be exempt, but only when they do not have an additional motor or a sail included.
Even modifications made after purchasing the boat need to be registered, and your registration changes as soon as you modify it.
Boats that are properly registered out of state do not need to be registered in Wisconsin. These boats are allowed in Wisconsin for up to 60 consecutive days without needing their registration changed. Longer than that and Wisconsin will be considered the boat's primary state of use, and the boat will need its registration transferred.
Wisconsin Boat Registration Costs
Wyoming might be best known for having to use cows to boost it’s initial population counts and become a state, but that doesn’t mean that this state doesn’t have a huge variety of boating opportunities.
One of the states with a huge amount of natural and pristine natural environments, the boating opportunities here are many and varied.
In Wyoming, the only boats that need to be registered are motorized boats. That means that sailboats, sailboards, and hand-powered boats and rafts don't need to be registered to legally operate in Wyoming waters.
Motorboats from out of state don't need to be registered in-state unless they are there for more than 60 consecutive days. To register your boat, you need at minimum, a valid form of ID and the boat's Hull Identification number.
Other documents, like a bill of sale, previous registration information, bill of transfer, or manufacturer's certification of origin may also be required.
Wyoming Boat Registration Costs
All boats that require registration in Wyoming have a flat registration fee. You have the choice between an annual registration, and registering your boat for 3 years at a time.
1-year registration costs: $40
3-year registration costs: $110.