Register a Boat in Michigan

With over 1,300 public boating access locations, Michigan offers plenty of opportunities for boating adventures throughout the state. Once you have purchased a boat, however, you will need to apply for your vessel registration and learn the boating rules of the road before taking to the Michigan waterways.

Register Your Boat

MICHIGAN BOATING LAWS AND REGULATIONS

All boaters need to abide by the boating rules of the road set forth by the state since they are important for the safety of everyone who uses the waterways. Learn more about boating basics, filing a float plan, what to do during times of inclement weather, environmental considerations and personal floatation devices.

IT’S NOT A FEE, IT’S A CONTRIBUTION

We can help make the registration or renewal process easier by providing you with this list of Michigan boat registration requirements, fees and an online renewal system. Boat registration fees are important since they contribute to the conservation and maintenance of state waterways.

MICHIGAN BOAT REGISTRATION INFORMATION

  • All vessels, unless exempt, must be registered with the Department of State and display a registration decal. Once a registration number has been assigned, it cannot be transferred to another vessel.
  •  For most vessels, the registration fee is based on length. All registrations expire on March 31 in the third year of issuance.
  • Boating laws vary by state and are subject to change, so be sure to check the online Michigan boat laws for updates and safety course information.