Register a Boat in New York

With plentiful boating opportunities to enjoy in New York, make sure you get your New York boat registration to take advantage of them all.

Register Your Boat
Boat Registration

How to Register a Boat in New York

If you’re planning on boating in the Empire State, it’s important to know that in New York, all motorboats must be registered. That’s true whether no matter what size boat or motor you have – or your age. Any boats without a motor don’t need to be registered. In addition, there are several exemptions from the New York boat registration rule. These include:

  • Lifeboats
  • Boats registered in another state and not kept in New York for over 90 consecutive days
  • Commercial boats with U.S. or foreign documentation
  • A boat racing in competition

If your boat doesn’t fall within one of these exceptions, you’ll need to register your boat. To start this process, you’ll have to gather the necessary documentation. That includes originals of:

  • A completed Boat Registration/Title Application
  • Proof of ownership. For boats that New York issues titles for, the title certificate is used for proof of ownership. If you’re registering a boat in New York with no title, the transferable registration is proof of ownership. If you’re registering an out-of-state boat in New York, proof of ownership could be a title from another state.
  • Bill of Sale if purchased from an individual, store, broker or dealer
  • Sales tax clearance form
  • Proof of identity

You’ll also need a Hull Identification Number if your boat is the model year 1973 or newer before it can be registered. If you don’t have one, you must apply with the New York State Parks, Recreations and Historic Preservation.

After you have the application(s) and supporting documentation together, you have two options to get your New York boat registration:

  • In-person at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. You can make a reservation online at the DMV website.
  • By mail. Be sure to include a copy of your proof of identity but not the original and make copies of all other documents before mailing your materials.

Once you get your registration, it will be good for three years. When it’s due to expire, you will receive a renewal reminder. To renew it you can complete the transaction online or in person at the DMV.

Do I Need to Register a Boat Trailer in New York?

If you plan to transport your vessel with a boat trailer, you’ll need to get a New York boat trailer registration. You’ll do this with the DMV much the same way you would when registering a vehicle. After you register your boat trailer, the registration will be good for one year and will have a fixed expiration date of December 31st.

New York Boat Registration Costs

The cost to register a boat in Texas depends on the length of your vessel. You’ll also pay a surcharge for boating safety that’s also based on your boat’s size. The current costs are as follows:

  • Less than 16 feet: Registration fee is $22.50; surcharge is $3.75.
  • 16 feet but less than 26 feet: The registration fee is $45.00 and the surcharge is $12.50.
  • 26 feet or longer: Registration fee is $75.00; surcharge is $18.75.