Register a Boat in Maryland

From lakes and rivers to the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland offers great places for boating. But before you head out on the water, make sure you’re compliant with Maryland’s vessel registration requirements. Learn how.

Register Your Boat
Boat Registration

How do I Register a Boat in Maryland?

In Maryland, you’ll need to register your boat whether you use it for commercial or recreational purposes and it:

To register your boat, you’ll need to complete and submit several documents. The primary one is the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Form B-240. This form can be used for registering a boat in Maryland only or to apply for both your registration and title.

You may also need other documents depending on whether your boat is new or used. For example, if you are registering a boat in Maryland that’s new, you’ll also need the original manufacturers’ certificate of origin and certified/notarized bill of sale if the certificate of origin doesn’t include the purchase price and date of sale and the signatures of all owners.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources' website has a complete list of documents you will need depending on your specific situation.

Once you have gathered and completed all necessary paperwork, you can either present it in person at one of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Service Centers or you can mail them in.

To renew your Maryland boat registration, you can either do it in person or via mail, or you also have the option to complete the process online or at a Motor Vehicle Administration Kiosk.

How do I Register an Out-of-State Boat in Maryland? If you purchased a new or used vessel outside of Maryland, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the rules for registering an out-of-state boat in Maryland.

  • New Vessel: You’ll need to present Form B-240 along with the manufacturer’s certificate of origin. If it’s 12 feet or smaller, you’ll also have to have a pencil tracing or photo of the hull identification number and evidence of payment. For vessels longer than 12 feet, you’ll have to have an original certified/notarized bill of sale if the certificate of origin doesn’t contain the purchaser, purchase price and date of sale, and signature of all owners.
  • Used Vessel: If you’re registering a boat in Maryland that is coming from a title state, then you’ll need your Form B-240, original title, original certified/notarized bill of sale if the purchaser’s name, sell date, or price is missing from the assignment of title, bill of sale, and original lien release if the seller’s title shows a recorded lien. If you’re registering a boat in Maryland with no title, you’ll need Form B-240, a copy of the out-of-state registration card, original certified/notarized bill of sale with the names of the buyer and seller, date of sale, seller’s signature, amount of sale, and vessel description. You’ll also need the original lien relies on if there’s a recorded lien.

Do I Need to Register a Boat Trailer?

Unlike boats, Maryland boat trailer registration isn’t governed by the Department of Natural Resources. Instead, all boat trailers are subject to the same motor vehicle laws as passenger vehicles. That means they must be titled and registered if you plan to tow them on state roads. If you plan to register a used trailer, you’ll need to have it pass a safety inspection first.

To register your boat trailer, you’ll go through the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration.

How Much Does Maryland Boat Registration Cost?

The cost to register a boat in Maryland is $24. However, if your vessel is less than 16 feet long and/or propelled by a motor of 7.5 hp or less, you must have a two-year registration decal but you don’t need to pay the fee.

You may be required to pay additional fees as well. For instance, if a lien is to be recorded, you’ll be responsible for paying a $15 security interest filing fee.

The Department of Natural Resources only takes checks or money orders.