Boat Registration and Licenses in Alaska
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The State of Alaska requires owners of the following types of vessels to register them through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if the boats are intended for use on state water*:
- Powered boats.
- Non-powered boats with auxiliary power units.
- Powered and non-powered boats used by sport fishing guides.
*State water includes (regardless of size) all rivers, streams and lakes as well as salt water within 3 miles of land.
What Not to Register
- Lifeboats (of a ship)
- Inspected passenger vessels
- Single air mattresses or inner tubes
- Water toys
- Non-powered boats, although you can register them if you choose
If you do not use the boat primarily in Alaska waters―and that goes for members of the military and college students living outside the state―you cannot register the boat here. The following are exempt from registration:
- Documented boats.
- Boats owned by any government agency (federal, state, local level).
- Boats with valid registration from another state/country (not operated more than 90 consecutive days in Alaska).
If your vessel requires registration:
- Complete the Boat Registration Application (841).
- Bring the necessary fees (see below).
- Locate one of the following ownership documents:
- Manufacture Statement of Origin (MOS).
- Carpenter’s Certificate.
- Bill of Sale (from the previous owner/dealer).
- Title/registration (from a previous state).
- Affidavit of Boat Ownership(Form 848)
- Submit paperwork and fees at any DMV office (this must be done in person if you are registering your boat for the first time, or if there has been a transfer of ownership).
- Be sure to keep your certificate of number (received at the DMV) on board whenever the boat is in operation.
- The registration is valid for 3 years.
Alaska does not require you to have boat insurance in order to register your boat. Keep in mind, however, that having boat insurance can help protect you against the risks of owning and operating a boat.
Visit our page on boat insurance to learn more.
- Powered boats: $24.
- Non-powered boats: $10.
- Replacement of Certificate of Number or Validation Sticker: $5.
You must renew your registration by the end of the month in which you first registered the boat. As long as the DMV has your current address, you should receive a renewal notice before the registration is set to expire.
If you can pay by Visa or MasterCard and you have the Registration Renewal Number (RRN) found on your renewal notice, you can use the DMV’s online renewal option.
If your address has changed, you must update it with the DMV before renewing. You can conveniently do this online.
Renew By Mail
- Division of Motor Vehicles
- ATTN: CORRESPONDENCE
- 1300 W. Benson Blvd
- Anchorage, AK 99503
Renew In Person
Find the nearest DMV office and renew your registration in person.
Replace Lost Registration
If you lose your Certificate of Number or your Validation Sticker, you can request a replacement by mail. Enclose the $5 replacement fee. Complete another Boat Registration Application (841) if any info has changed.
If there are no changes, send the following to the same address listed above:
- A photocopy of the last registration.
- A completed Boat Transaction Application(841S).
- Check for $5 duplicate fee.
At this time, the state does not require boaters to obtain a boating license. But there is a trend in other states toward formal licensing. For the latest on boater safety requirements consult the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
Boating education is not yet required by law, but it’s never a bad idea to learn as much as you can about safe boating practices. For info on boater’s education, check out BoaterExam, or download a copy of the state’s Boater’s Handbook.Other Topics in This Section