Register a Boat in Arizona

With so many opportunities for boating and water sports in Arizona, you’ll want to make sure your vessel is registered so you can enjoy all the state has to offer. Learn what steps to take to register your boat.

Register Your Boat
Boat Registration

How to Register a Boat in Arizona

In Arizona, all motorboat owners need to get a registration number for their watercraft before putting it on the water. This rule applies to vessels of all sizes and with any type of motor, and even includes rafts, sailboats, and canoes with motors. The only exception to this Arizona boat registration requirement is for watercraft that are used only as lifeboats and those documented by the US Coast Guard.

To register a boat, you need to file a Watercraft Registration Application with the Arizona Game & Fish Department. This form must be completed for a new Arizona boat registration and a transfer of ownership. Besides the application, registering a boat in Arizona also requires you to provide evidence of ownership. Keep in mind that Arizona is a registration-only state, so you don’t have to worry about registering a boat in Arizona with no title. Lastly, you’ll need to pay the appropriate registration fee, which we’ll discuss in a bit. These materials can be submitted by mail or in person at a department office.

If you’re registering an out-of-state boat in Arizona, you’ll also need the original title (if coming from a title state) or original registration (if coming from a registration state), that’s signed by the previous owner or a bill of sale if you bought the boat from a dealer.

Once you complete the steps, you’ll be issued the following if you’re registering a boat in Arizona for the first time:

  1. Certificate of number, a document that you must always have with you on your watercraft it’s being used
  2. AZ number that must be painted or otherwise affixed to the forward half of the boat on each side
  3. Set of decals, which must be affixed to both sides of the boat in front of the AZ number and will be issued annually when you renew your registration

Do I Need to Register a Boat Trailer in Arizona?

The Arizona Department of Transportation handles Arizona boat trailer registration. The Department issues two types of trailer registrations: regular, which lasts for one, two or five years, or permanent. You can qualify for permanent Arizona boat trailer registration in most cases unless your trailer is a travel trailer, a commercial trailer with a declared gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less, or a historic trailer that is designed for commercial use but not used for commercial purposes.

Arizona Boat Registration Costs

The cost to register a boat in Arizona depends on the length of your boat and if you are a resident.


  • 0 – 12 feet: $20
  • 12 feet, 1 inch – 16 feet: $22
  • 16 feet, 1 inch – 20 feet: $30
  • 20 feet, 1 inch – 26 feet: $35
  • 26 feet, 1 inch – 39 feet: $39
  • 39 feet, 1 inch – 64 feet: $44
  • 64 feet, 1 inch and over: $66

Nonresidents must pay an additional nonresident boater safety infrastructure fee (NBSIF) in addition to the registration costs as follows:

  • 0 – 12 feet: $20 + $80 NBSIF fee
  • 12 feet, 1 inch – 16 feet: $22 + $88 NBSIF fee
  • 16 feet, 1 inch – 20 feet: $30 + $192 NBSIF fee
  • 20 feet, 1 inch – 26 feet: $35 + $224 NBSIF fee
  • 26 feet, 1 inch – 39 feet: $39 + $253 NBSIF fee
  • 39 feet, 1 inch – 64 feet: $44 + $286 NBSIF fee
  • 64 feet, 1 inch and over: $66 $429 NBSIF fee