Boat Registration Renewal

After taking ownership of a boat, you are required to register your boat and ensure that your registration paperwork is renewed annually. Learn in this section the boat registration renewal options that you have.

These boat registration renewal fees help to support boat safety education, and fund additional resources that are associated with our nation's public waterways.

Remember, you are required by law to have current registration paperwork on board your boat at all times, and to clearly display your boat registration numbers on your vessel. Check your registration paperwork and note the expiration date. Be sure to set up a reminder in your calendar 60 to 90 days in advance of the expiration date so that you have your renewal paperwork processed before your registration expires. While most states do not require you to register or renew a non-motorized watercraft, always be sure to check the boating laws that apply specifically to your state.

Boat Registration Renewal Options

Many states make it convenient for you to renew your vessel registration by offering a variety of registration renewal options. You can use these alternate options to renew your boat registration so that you don't have to make a trip to your state's department of motor vehicles or mail in a form to your state's fish and wildlife agency.

These are just a few examples of how many states help to make the boat renewal registration process easy:

  • Renew boat registration online using an online state licensing system.
  • Renew boat registration by phone.
  • Renew boat registration for longer periods of up to three years.

Check with your state agency or department of motor vehicles to find out which of these renewal options are available in your state.

What to Have Ready When Renewing

You can make the registration renewal process go much smoother if you take a few minutes to make sure that you have the required information ready in advance. This information may also vary by state, so check your state's registration requirements.

  • Existing registration information
  • Vessel information (including serial number and registration number)
  • Credit or debit card
  • Printer (if you wish to print a receipt or copy of your temporary registration)

Keep these tips in mind to save yourself time when your registration is due for renewal. You can check with your state to get more information on how to register a boat, read the requirements, and find updated boating regulations.