Learn How to Register Your New Boat

boat registration
Source: JohnKwan/Shutterstock

Boat registrations are much like any other vehicle registration. In some states the local DMV handles administering boat registrations but not always.

The parks and recreation departments or even city halls can be your boat registration points. If you plan on a trailer to move your boat, that is considered a DMV registration.

The type of vessel, size of vessel and if the vessel is motor powered, paddled or propelled any other way, factor into the pricing.

Where you intend to enjoy your that new boat will also be a question. Many states have restrictions on types of boats used on public lakes and rivers.

Documentation, fees and other procedures may apply. Refer to the sections below to get into more depth:

  • Boat Registration Methods
  • Boat Registration Requirements
  • Fees for Boat Registration

Boat Registration Methods

Be sure to make your boating experience enjoyable by following all the state laws regarding your vessel. Your boat registration can be done in person, by mail and often online at your state’s designated boat registration department. Depending on what state you are registering in, often City Hall or the DMV administrates the boating registrations. State parks and recreation offices are often registration office. Contacting your state is best to find out what your state requires.

Find Out About the Boat Registration Requirements

To complete your boat registration, your state may have a set of requirements ahead of the process. There are forms to fill out, proof of ownership, title, and personal documentation for the boat owner required. If the boat is a new boat much of that documentation will have already been provided to you upon purchase by the dealer.

When registering a used vessel, bill of sale, new owner documentation, seller and buyer signatures on the title will be required. Proof of essential safety equipment. Keep in mind, if you are trailering the boat, the trailer will need registration as well complete with the same documentation. Confirming needed documents in a checklist:

  • Title of the boat. If purchasing used showing signatures of buyer and seller
  • Bill of sale, certificate of origin or federal marine document
  • Boat registration application filled out completely
  • Safety devices required for vessel
  • Fees Required
  • If needed, proof of insurance

Fees for Boat Registration

One last thing to cover for registration of your boat. Costs of boat registrations do vary by size, type and class of your vessel. Motorboating causes some pollution, there may be a surcharge applied for that reason. This all depends on your state laws in force at the time you register your boat. Here are some fees in Florida that apply to new boat owners:

  • Title change fees
  • Relocating a boat into Florida from another state incurs a fee
  • Title original fee per lien recorded on the vessel if more than one
  • Safety and essential equipment checklist proof
  • Service fees

Remember: This is just estimated Florida fees noted.