Boating Registration Frequently Asked Questions

Water splashes on your shoulders and the cool breeze of the air coming off of the water offsets the heat of the sun.  Your boat is whizzing past other boaters.  This sounds like a great afternoon for a boater.  However, before you can enjoy such an afternoon, you must register your boat.

Where do I find information on registering my boat?  – Many states have information on boating registration in various places online.  First, you might try the official state website.  You can also find boating registration information on state motor vehicle sites, state wildlife sites, and state tourism sites.

If my boat is registered in one state, can I use it in another state without registering it? – Basically, it depends on the state.  For example, Oklahoma allows you to remain under your current state registration unless you are on the water in Oklahoma for over 60 days.  Maryland has a similar requirement of 90 days, unless you can prove principal use in another sate.

Are there any exceptions? – Again it depends on the state.  For example, Oklahoma allows an exception for boats that are used exclusively for racing purposes.  Alabama does not require registration of life boats belonging to an already registered ship.  To find out if your boat is exempt you will have to contact your state.

After I purchase a boat, how long do I have to get it registered?  – As with the above answers, it depends on the state.  For instance, Alabama has a 72 hour grace period. Oklahoma gives you a whole 30 days from the time of purchase.

As you can see, find information on boating registration isn’t hard.  However, the information will different for each state.  If you are traveling out of state with your vessel, you should definitely check the boating laws in the state you are traveling through.