Does my boat require a registration?

The law requires you to register any boat that is motor-driven and is operated on public waterways in NYS. The boat requires a registration even if the motor is not the primary source of propulsion.

If you operate the boat in NYS, you must register the boat with the DMV. After you register your boat, you receive a registration certificate that indicates the registration number assigned to your boat and a set of registration stickers. You must paint or attach waterproof numbers of the registration to each side of the bow of the boat.

The characters must be:

· block letters not less than three inches high,
· a color different from the hull and easy to see,
· legible from 100 ft. away during the daylight hours,
· the only number on the front half of your boat.

You cannot transfer the registration number to another boat.

The registration sticker shows the month and the year that the registration expires.

Attach each sticker in line with the registration numbers on each side of the hull, and three inches toward the stern of the boat.


Do boats require title certificates?

The DMV issues title certificates for boats that are:

· model year 1987 and newer,
· at least 14 ft. long, and
· registered in New York State.

The title certificate is used for proof of ownership for these boats instead of the registration. Title certificates are not issued for boats that do not match the description above or for boats registered with the Coast Guard. For a boat that does not receive a title certificate, the transferable registration is proof of ownership.