So you’ve finally purchased the boat of your dreams. Now, what’s the next step? A good place to start is with boat registration. Registering a boat bought from the best Canadian boat manufacturers is required by law—much like with a car—and the rules and guidelines for how this process is done and what kind of watercraft must be registered are dictated by the state in which the vessel will regularly operate (long-term).
Here are the basic steps to follow when registering a boat:
Research the boat registration requirements in your state.
Complete a registration form—either online, through the mail, or in person.
Provide proof of ownership—including a title and/or bill of sale.
Pay the registration fee, which varies by state and the size of the vessel.
Be conscious of the expiration date and apply for renewal.
What Kind of Boat Must Be Registered?
Generally, boats must be registered in their state if they have a gasoline, diesel or electric motor, including a trolling motor. Personal Watercrafts (PWCs) are considered motorized crafts and need to be registered in most states. Sailboats without auxiliary power must be registered if over a certain size like eight feet, but that differs by state. The registration requirements for kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, rowboats and other human-powered craft also differ by state but most don’t need to be registered.