Register a Boat in California

California's 840 miles of coastal shoreline and over 200 major lakes make it one of the top places in the United States to boat and fish. Once you decide to purchase a boat and take advantage of the state’s scenic waterways, you will need to apply for your California boat registration.

Get Registered

CALIFORNIA BOATING LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Aside from having the proper California boat registration documentation, you will also need to know and understand the state boating laws and regulations before you take your first boat trip. California has its own set of boating rules to protect the waterways and keep everyone who uses them safe.

IT’S NOT A FEE, IT’S A CONTRIBUTION

Your boat registration serves as documentation to prove that you are the rightful owner of a vessel. There are registration fees that you will need to pay when you register your boat; however, these fees are used by the state to help sustain our natural resources and promote responsible boating.

Marina at sunset in California

CALIFORNIA BOAT REGISTRATION INFORMATION

  • Vessels previously registered in other states must be registered in California within 120 days of being brought into the state.
  • Any vessel that is used or moored on California waterways, including private lakes, must be registered.
  • The documents required to register your vessel includes Application for Vessel Certificate of Number, proof of ownership or the original or certified copy of a conditional sales contract.