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.

This stunning new SL 52 went to a longtime performance-boat owner in New Jersey. Photo by Tim Sharkey.

For a list of the documentation you'll need to complete the sale, read Close the Deal: Registrations, Insurance, and More. Or scroll down to see what agency is responsible for boat registrations in your state.

















































































































































































































































































































































































StateResponsible AgencyHow to ApplyCredit CardURL
AlabamaAlabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Police Division
334-242-3673
In person/by mailNohttp://www.dcnr.state.al.us/boating/
AlaskaU.S. Coast Guard
907-463-2294
Printable online formYeshttp://www.uscg.mil/d17/uscgd17.html
ArizonaDept. Fish and Wildlife
602-942-3000
In person/by mail
Registration form not yet available online.
Nohttp://www.azgfd.gov/
ArkansasFish and Game Comm.
501-223-6378
In person/by mailNohttp://www.agfc.com//
CaliforniaDept. 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
Nohttp://www.dmv.ca.gov/boatsinfo/boat.htm
ColoradoDiv. of Parks and Recreation
303-791-1920
Printable online formNohttp://parks.state.co.us/
ConnecticutDept. of Motor Vehicles
860-263-5700
Request form onlineNohttp://dmvct.org/boatdocs.htm
DelawareDept. of Natural Resources
302-739-3498
In person/by mailNohttp://www.dnrec.state.de.us/fw/fwwel.htm
FloridaDept. 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.
Nohttp://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/dmv/vslfacts.html
GeorgiaDept. of Natural Resources
770-414-3337
Online formYeshttp://www.gadnr.org/
HawaiiDept.of Land & Natural Resources
808-587-1970
In person/by mail
Refer to website for additional regional contact information.
Nohttp://www.hawaii.gov./dlnr/dbor/dbor.html
IdahoDept. of Parks & Recreation
208-334-4197
In person/by mailNo.http://www.idahoparks.org/rec/boating.html
IllinoisDept. of Natural Resources
217-782-2138
Printable online form
Only renewals allowed online.
Yeshttp://dnr.state.il.us
IndianaBureau of Motor Vehicles
317-232-2859
In person/by mailNohttp://www.state.in.us/bmv/watercraft/
IowaDept. of Natural Resources
515-281-5918
In person/by mail
Must register with local county recorder.
Yeshttp://www.iowadnr.com
KansasDept. of Wildlife & Parks
316-672-5911
Printable online form
Only renewals allowed online.
Yeshttp://www.kdwp.state.ks.us
KentuckyDept. of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing
502-564-5301
In person/by mail
Must register at local county clerks office.
Yeshttp://mvl.ky.gov/MVLWeb/
LouisianaDept. of Wildlife & Fisheries
225-765-2898
Printable online formNohttp://www.wlf.state.la.us
MaineDept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
207-287-2766
In person/by mailYeshttp://www.maine.gov/ifw/atv_snowmobile_watercraft/registration.htm
MarylandDept. of Natural Resources
877-620-8367
Printable online formNohttp://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/registration/
MassachusettsDept. of Fisheries & Wildlife
617-727-3900
Printable online formNohttp://www.state.ma.us/dfwele/
MichiganDept. 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.
Yeshttp://www.sos.state.mi.us/renew.html
MinnesotaDept. 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.
Nohttp://www.dnr.state.mn.us
MississippiDept. of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks
601-432-2065
By mailNohttp://www.mdwfp.com/
MissouriDept. of Motor VehiclesBy mail
Visit website for local DMV phone numbers and addresses.
Nohttp://www.dor.state.mo.us
MontanaDept. 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.
Nohttp://fwp.mt.gov/doingBusiness/licenses/boatRegistration.html
NebraskaGame 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.
Nohttp://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/boating/guides/boating/BGregister.asp
NevadaDivision of Wildlife
775-688-1511
In personNohttp://www.state.nv.us/cnr/nvwildlife/license/how2.htm
New HampshireDivision of Safety Services, Bureau of Marine Patrol
603-293-2037
In personNohttp://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/ss/index.html
New JerseyMotor 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.
Nohttp://www.state.nj.us/mvs/boats.htm
New MexicoState Parks Division
505-827-7173
In person/by mailNohttp://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/main/index.htm
New YorkDept. of Motor Vehicles
518-486-4714
In person/by mail
Call 1-800-CALL-DMV for locations of DMVs in New York state.
Nohttp://www.nysparks.state.ny.us/boats/regfaq/
North CarolinaWildlife Resources Comm.
1-800-628-3773
In person/by mailNohttp://www.ncwildlife.org/License/Vessels_Registration_Titling_Info.htm
North DakotaGame and Fish Dept.
701-328-6335
In person/by mail
Application forms available from county auditors and Game & Fish Dept. personnel.
Nohttp://gf.nd.gov/licenses/
OhioDept. of Natural Resources
614-267-5255
In person/by mailNohttp://www.dnr.state.oh.us/watercraft/registration/tabid/2774/default.aspx
OklahomaOklahoma Tax Commission, Motor Vehicle Division
405-521-3221
In person/by mailNohttp://www.tax.ok.gov/motveh.html
OregonState Marine Board
503-378-8587
Printable online formNohttp://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/BoatReg/index.shtml
PennsylvaniaFish & Boat Comm.
717-705-7940
Printable online formNohttp://www.state.pa.us/Fish/boatinf.htm
Rhode IslandDept. of Environmental Mgmt.
401-222-6647, ext. 2102
Printable online formYeshttp://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bpoladm/manserv/hfb/boating/boating.htm
South CarolinaDept. of Natural Resources
1-800-277-4301
Printable online formNohttp://www.dnr.sc.gov/boating/registration.html
South DakotaDepartment of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles
605-773-3311
Printable online formNohttp://www.sdgfp.info/Wildlife/Boating/Index.htm
TennesseeWildlife Resources Agency
615-781-6522
In person/by mail
Register at local county court clerk's office or from any office of the TWRA.
Nohttp://www.state.tn.us/twra/boatregistrations.html
TexasParks & Wildlife Dept.Printable online form
Visit this page for phone numbers of local boat registration office information.
Nohttp://www.tpwd.state.tx.us
UtahDept. 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.
Nohttp://dmv.utah.gov/
VermontDept. of Motor Vehicles
802-828-2000
In person/by mail
Forms are available at any DMV or State Police station.
Nohttp://dmv.vermont.gov/registrations
VirginiaDept. of Game & Inland Fisheries
804-367-6135
Printable online formNohttp://www.dgif.state.va.us/boating/index.cfm
WashingtonState Dept. of Licensing
360-902-3770
Printable online formNohttp://www.wa.gov/dol/
West VirginiaDept. of Natural Resources
304-558-5349
In person/by mailNohttp://www.dnr.state.wv.us/
WisconsinDept. of Natural Resources
608-267-7799
Printable online formNohttp://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/cs/registrations/boatingregis.htm
WyomingGame and Fish Dept.
307-777-4575
Printable online formNohttp://gf.state.wy.us/HTML/fish/boating.htm

 

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