Boat Registrations in USA

How and where to register your boat varies greatly by state. In general, dealers will usually deal with registering a new boat, while it will be up to you to register a boat you have purchased from a previous owner. And unlike cars, not every state’s DMV handles boats. It may be states park, tax commission, natural resources, fisheries and wildlife department that oversees boat registration.

State Responsible Agency How to Apply Credit Card URL
Alabama Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Police Division
334-242-3673
In person/by mail No http://www.dcnr.state.al.us/boating/
Alaska U.S. Coast Guard
907-463-2294
Printable online form Yes http://www.uscg.mil/d17/uscgd17.html
Arizona Dept. Fish and Wildlife
602-942-3000
In person/by mail
Registration form not yet available online.
No http://www.azgfd.gov/
Arkansas Fish and Game Comm.
501-223-6378
In person/by mail No http://www.agfc.com//
California Dept. of Motor Vehicles
916-657-8013
In person/by mail
You can renew registration in person or by mail if change of title. If bringing a boat in from out of state, you’ll need to bring the boat to your local DMV. Visit here for a listing of DMV offices by city
No http://www.dmv.ca.gov/boatsinfo/boat.htm
Colorado Div. of Parks and Recreation
303-791-1920
Printable online form No http://parks.state.co.us/
Connecticut Dept. of Motor Vehicles
860-263-5700
Request form online No http://dmvct.org/boatdocs.htm
Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources
302-739-3498
In person/by mail No http://www.dnrec.state.de.us/fw/fwwel.htm
Florida Dept. of Motor Vehicles
850-488-1195
Printable online form
Online form available only for new title/registration. Otherwise register by mail or in person at county tax collector’s.
No http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/dmv/vslfacts.html
Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources
770-414-3337
Online form Yes http://www.gadnr.org/
Hawaii Dept.of Land & Natural Resources
808-587-1970
In person/by mail
Refer to website for additional regional contact information.
No http://www.hawaii.gov./dlnr/dbor/dbor.html
Idaho Dept. of Parks & Recreation
208-334-4197
In person/by mail No. http://www.idahoparks.org/rec/boating.html
Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources
217-782-2138
Printable online form
Only renewals allowed online.
Yes http://dnr.state.il.us
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
317-232-2859
In person/by mail No http://www.state.in.us/bmv/watercraft/
Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources
515-281-5918
In person/by mail
Must register with local county recorder.
Yes http://www.iowadnr.com
Kansas Dept. of Wildlife & Parks
316-672-5911
Printable online form
Only renewals allowed online.
Yes http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us
Kentucky Dept. of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing
502-564-5301
In person/by mail
Must register at local county clerks office.
Yes http://mvl.ky.gov/MVLWeb/
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries
225-765-2898
Printable online form No http://www.wlf.state.la.us
Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
207-287-2766
In person/by mail Yes http://www.maine.gov/ifw/atv_snowmobile_watercraft/registration.htm
Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources
877-620-8367
Printable online form No http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/registration/
Massachusetts Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife
617-727-3900
Printable online form No http://www.state.ma.us/dfwele/
Michigan Dept. of State
517-334-8305
In person
Online, fax and phone registration renewals available. Apply in person at a local Secretary of State office for new registrations.
Yes http://www.sos.state.mi.us/renew.html
Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources
651-296-2316
In person
Register at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles or at the DNR License Bureau in St. Paul.
No http://www.dnr.state.mn.us
Mississippi Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks
601-432-2065
By mail No http://www.mdwfp.com/
Missouri Dept. of Motor Vehicles By mail
Visit website for local DMV phone numbers and addresses.
No http://www.dor.state.mo.us
Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Parks
406-444-2535
In person
Boats must be registered at the County Treasurer’s office in the county where the owner resides.
No http://fwp.mt.gov/doingBusiness/licenses/boatRegistration.html
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
402-471-0641
In person
Applications available from dealers, Game & Fish offices, and county clerks and treasurers. Completed applications should be submitted to the County Treasurer of your county of residence.
No http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/boating/guides/boating/BGregister.asp
Nevada Division of Wildlife
775-688-1511
In person No http://www.state.nv.us/cnr/nvwildlife/license/how2.htm
New Hampshire Division of Safety Services, Bureau of Marine Patrol
603-293-2037
In person No http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/ss/index.html
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
609-292-6500
In person
Application must be done in person at a motor vehicle agency. Click here for regional phone numbers and addresses.
No http://www.state.nj.us/mvs/boats.htm
New Mexico State Parks Division
505-827-7173
In person/by mail No http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/main/index.htm
New York Dept. of Motor Vehicles
518-486-4714
In person/by mail
Call 1-800-CALL-DMV for locations of DMVs in New York state.
No http://www.nysparks.state.ny.us/boats/regfaq/
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Comm.
1-800-628-3773
In person/by mail No http://www.ncwildlife.org/License/Vessels_Registration_Titling_Info.htm
North Dakota Game and Fish Dept.
701-328-6335
In person/by mail
Application forms available from county auditors and Game & Fish Dept. personnel.
No http://gf.nd.gov/licenses/
Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources
614-267-5255
In person/by mail No http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/watercraft/registration/tabid/2774/default.aspx
Oklahoma Oklahoma Tax Commission, Motor Vehicle Division
405-521-3221
In person/by mail No http://www.tax.ok.gov/motveh.html
Oregon State Marine Board
503-378-8587
Printable online form No http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/BoatReg/index.shtml
Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Comm.
717-705-7940
Printable online form No http://www.state.pa.us/Fish/boatinf.htm
Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Mgmt.
401-222-6647, ext. 2102
Printable online form Yes http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bpoladm/manserv/hfb/boating/boating.htm
South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources
1-800-277-4301
Printable online form No http://www.dnr.sc.gov/boating/registration.html
South Dakota Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles
605-773-3311
Printable online form No http://www.sdgfp.info/Wildlife/Boating/Index.htm
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
615-781-6522
In person/by mail
Register at local county court clerk’s office or from any office of the TWRA.
No http://www.state.tn.us/twra/boatregistrations.html
Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. Printable online form
Visit this page for phone numbers of local boat registration office information.
No http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us  
Utah Dept. of Motor Vehicles
801-297-7780
In person/by mail
Registration is handled by the Motor Vehicle Division of the Utah State Tax Commission. To obtain a certificate of registration, submit a signed application to the Motor Vehicle office in the county in which you reside, either in person or by mail. Application must be accompanied be a validated tax certificate from the county assessor.
No http://dmv.utah.gov/
Vermont Dept. of Motor Vehicles
802-828-2000
In person/by mail
Forms are available at any DMV or State Police station.
No http://dmv.vermont.gov/registrations
Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries
804-367-6135
Printable online form No http://www.dgif.state.va.us/boating/index.cfm
Washington State Dept. of Licensing
360-902-3770
Printable online form No http://www.wa.gov/dol/
West Virginia Dept. of Natural Resources
304-558-5349
In person/by mail No http://www.dnr.state.wv.us/
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
608-267-7799
Printable online form No http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/cs/registrations/boatingregis.htm
Wyoming Game and Fish Dept.
307-777-4575
Printable online form No http://gf.state.wy.us/HTML/fish/boating.htm

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