Register a boat

Do I need to register my boat?

In New York, watercraft without a motor do not need to be registered.  If you use a motor (electric or fuel-driven), no matter how small the craft or the motor, you must register your boat.

Your boat is exempt from NYS registration if it is 

  • a lifeboat
  • registered in another state and not kept in New York for more than 90 consecutive days
  • a commercial boat with either U.S. or foreign documentation
  • a boat racing in competition.

How do I register my boat?

Read the instructions, Registering / Titling a Boat in New York State (MV-82.1B), and bring these items to a DMV office 

Click to check/uncheck the box.a completed Boat Registration / Title Application (MV-82B)

Click to check/uncheck the box.proof of ownership (see the list of acceptable proof in New York State DMV – Boat / Vessel Registration Information)

Click to check/uncheck the box.proof of identity 1

Click to check/uncheck the box.the bill of sale if purchased from a licensed NYS boat dealer (this can also serve as proof of sales tax payment)

Click to check/uncheck the, check, money order, or credit/debit card for payment of fees and sales tax (or proof of sales tax payment or exemption)

Print the checklist

For quicker service, make a reservation online before visiting offices in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Onondaga or Albany Counties. See offices where this service is available.

When boating, be sure to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species.

How long are the registrations?

Boat registrations are issued for three years. 


What are the boat registration fees?

There is a registration fee and a surcharge for boating safety.  The fees and surcharges are calculated from the length of the boat

Boat Registration Fees
LengthRegistration feeSurchargeTotal
Less than 16 feet$22.50$3.75$26.25
16 feet to less than 26 feet$45.00$12.50$57.50
26 feet or longer$75.00$18.75$93.75


Will I be issued a title for my boat?

It depends.  The DMV issues title certificates for boats that are

  • model year 1987 and newer
  • at least 14 feet long
  • registered in New York State

The title certificate is used for proof of ownership for these boats instead of the registration. Title certificates aren’t issued for boats that don’t match the description above or for boats registered with the Coast Guard.  For a boat that doesn’t receive a title certificate, the transferable registration is proof of ownership, unless the boat is documented by the US Coast Guard. 2


Do I need to take a boater education course?

Effective May 1, 2014, all individuals born on or after May 1, 1996 are now required to successfully complete an approved course in boater education in order to operate a motorboat.  For more information, go to the NYS PARKS website.


Is there an age requirement to register a boat?

No. There is no age requirement to own or register a boat in New York. However, there are restrictions according to age for legal operation. These restrictions are outlined in the pamphlet, "New York State Boater's Guide", issued by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. 


Where do I the registration sticker on my boat?

Put your registration stickers 18 inches from the bow on both sides of the boat. This is approximately the same position that the stickers are located when a boat is also required to have registration numbers on the hull.

  • 1. A NYS Driver License, Learner Permit, or Non-Driver ID card that is current or not expired for more than 2 years can serve as proof. If you don’t have one of these documents, you must provide other kinds of proof.

    Note: If you were born in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island or Queens, you can order a copy of your birth certificate from the New York City website: 

  • 2. If your boat was documented by US Coast Guard, you do not receive a NYS registration number. You received NYS registration stickers only. Attach the stickers in the position where the registration numbers are normally located.

Do it at the DMV

Bring your completed registration application, additional documents and payment for fees to a local DMV office.

Make a reservation online before visiting DMV offices in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Onondaga or Albany Counties.

Make A Reservation

For your convenience, many DMV PDF forms can be filled in online and then printed.