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Boat Registration and Licenses in Arkansas

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Boat Registration and Licenses in Arkansas

All boat registrations and titles in Arkansas are processed through the Department of Finance and Administration. If you're looking to register your boat in Arkansas, you will be working directly with the AR state revenue offices. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission enforces all boat regulations to ensure boater safety and reduce the number of accidents on the open water.

Continue reading this page to find out all about how to register your boat in Arkansas, renew your AR boat registration, and apply for a duplicate boat registration card.

Arkansas Boats Requiring Registration

  • Motor boats used on the state's public waterways.
  • Sail boats for use on the state's public waterways.

Exemptions

  • Boats registered in another state that are going to be used on Arkansas waterways for fewer than 90 days.
  • Vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard are exempt.
  • Any vessel not propelled by motor or sail.

Boat Registration Requirements and Procedures

You must apply for your boat registration within 30 days of your purchase. Visit any Arkansas State Revenue Office with:

  • Either a bill of sale or current registration.
  • Proof of your liability insurance (if your vessel has an engine of 50 horsepower). Coverage must meet the state's $50,000 requirement and be with an insurance provider authorized to operate in Arkansas.
  • Proof that your boat has been assessed (or is listed for assessment in the current year).
  • Proof that you've paid your personal property taxes (county tax collector receipt or payment stamp on your assessment papers).

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission provides information on how to exhibit the registration number and validation decals.

Be sure to keep your certificate of number card on board; it must be readily available for inspection whenever the boat is in operation.

Arkansas Boat Registration Fees

Registration fees vary with the size of the boat:

  • Less than 16 ft: $ 7.50.
  • 16 ft to 26 ft: $15.
  • 26 ft to 40 ft: $ 51.
  • 40 ft and longer: $105.

Boat Registration Renewals

The registration for your AR vessel is valid for 3 years. When it's time to renew, you may renew in person or by mail.

Renew in Person

To renew your AR boat registration in person, you'll need to follow the application instructions outlined in " Boat Registration Requirements and Procedures" above.

However, you will need your renewal notice or current registration certificate instead of the bill of sale.

NOTE: The fees are the same as the initial boat registration fees. See "Arkansas Boat Registration Fees" above.

Renew by Mail

You can also renew your boat registration by mail. All you have to do is send photocopies of the required application documents (mentioned above) along with a check or money order for the renewal fee to:

Department of Finance and Administration
Office of Motor Vehicle
P.O. Box 3153
Little Rock, AR 72203

Allow 15 days to process your request. Make your check payable to the Department of Finance and Administration.

Replace a Lost Boat Registration

Replace a damaged or lost registration by following the original application instructions outlined in " Boat Registration Requirements and Procedures" above. Cost: $1.

Boater Insurance in Arkansas

If you want to operate your boat legally, you're going to need to purchase a boat insurance policy in Arkansas.

You must carry a minimum of liability insurance ( $50,000) as required by the Department of Finance and Administration.

You can find out how to get a low boat insurance rate at our page dedicated to Boat Insurance.

Boater Safety in Arkansas

If you were born on or after January 1, 1986, you will need to take a Boating Education Course that is approved by the Game and Fish Commission. You need to carry this certificate with you. This includes sailboats. Boat operators must also follow some age restrictions:

  • 12 years old or older or under the supervision of someone at least 18 years old, if operating a boat which is 10 horsepower or more
  • To operate a personal watercraft
    • Be 16 years old or older
    • 12 to 15 years old and supervised by an adult at least 18 years old.
    • Under 12 years old and supervised by an adult at least 21 years old.

    The state offers 2 ways to get your certification from a Boating Education Course.

    • Take an online course for a fee of $24.50, and take the test at a testing site.
    • Take a free Instructor led class in your area.

    Students under 18 years old will be required to have a signed permission slip before attending an instructor led class.

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