Register a Boat in Arkansas

Enjoy boating and fishing on one of Arkansas’ 2,000 freshwater lakes. Before visiting one of the state’s top spots, be sure you know the requirements for Arkansas boat registration.

Register Your Boat
Boat Registration


Arkansas has around 2,000 freshwater lakes for boating.

All boat operators need to know the safe boating basics and must abide by the boating rules of the road set forth by the state. Boaters can learn more about safe boating basics, filing a float plan, what to do during times of inclement weather, environmental considerations and personal flotation devices by taking a boating education or safe boating class.


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.

Arkansas boat registration

In Arkansas, all boats that are propelled by a motor or by sails must be registered to operate on public waters. Boaters must have an Arkansas Certificate of Number, the registrations, and validation decals. Vessels not propelled by an engine or sails do not need to be registered.

Boat registrations must be applied for within 30 days of purchasing a new vessel. Applicants must provide the hull identification number, proof of ownership such as a current registration or bill of sale, the year, make, model, and horsepower of the boat, and the amount of sale. Buyer and seller must sign a bill of sale.

If using a trailer, that must be itemized on the bill of sale. Proof of paid property taxes is required, and proof of liability insurance of at least $50,000 is required for all motorboats with engines of more than 50 horsepower and all personal watercraft.

Arkansas boat registration can be completed at any State Revenue Office. Registrations are valid for three years. Registration numbers and valid decals must be displayed on the forward half of each motorboat and on each side.

Registration fees:

Motorboat less than 16 ft. long $ 7.50
Motorboat 16 ft. to less than 26 ft. long $ 15.00
Motorboat 26 ft. to less than 40 ft. long $ 51.00
Motorboat 40 ft. and over $105.00
Replacement registration $1

Renewal fees:
Motorboat less than 16 ft. long $ 7.50
Motorboat 16 ft. to less than 26 ft. long $ 15.00
Motorboat 26 ft. to less than 40 ft. long $ 51.00
Motorboat 40 ft. and over $105.00

Renewals can be completed by mail and must be sent no later than 15 days before expiration and paid by check or money order.

Department of Finance and Administration Office of Motor Vehicle
P O Box 3153
Little Rock, AR 72203-3153

Boating Education

Anyone born after January 1, 1986, and of legal age must complete an approved AGFC Boating Education Course to operate a boat on Arkansas waters.

Boaters 12 and older can operate a motorboat with a 10-horsepower engine or more when under supervision by an adult 18 and older.

For personal watercraft operation, children ages 12 to 15 must be directly supervised by an adult 18 or older. Children under 12 must be directly supervised by an adult 21 and older.

Boater Education Courses are offered in-person or online. Instructor-led courses are six hours long. There are two options for the online course. The original Arkansas Boating Education Course costs $29.95, and the new interactive Arkansas Boating Safety Course ilearntoboat is $49.50. Call (501) 223-6377 for assistance in locating a course.