Registering Your Boat

Registering Your Boat

A common question prospective boat owners lose some sleep over is about the paperwork involved with using your boat, as part of our ongoing series of blogs relating to boating tips and safety we will shed some light on this topic.

All states have specific boating laws and regulations. Most require titling. In addition, most boats are required to be registered in the states where they will be used. Both titling and registration are important when you first go to buy your pontoon, fishboat, or deck boat; lenders as well as buyers will want to confirm that the boat has appropriate, clean paperwork. And proper registration is critical before you cast off the docklines — you’ll want to make sure that you have placed the registration numbers and validation sticker in a prominent location and have stored the appropriate documents safely in a waterproof bag on board.

For new boaters,The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is an excellent resource. If you’re interested in state-specific information, with phone numbers, mailing addresses and email addresses — as well as your state’s Department of Natural Resources Web site click here.

Another great resource for documents, laws and regulations specific to your state is the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s “Take Me Fishing” Web site (many states are allowing online boat registration). This site also provides important information about fishing licenses.