Generally, replacing a lost boat or RV registration is similar to replacing a car registration.
You’ll need to:
- Complete your state’s application for a duplicate registration.
- Gather up the lost registration replacement fee.
- Deliver it all to your local DMV or motor vehicle registration agency.
Depending on your state, you also might be able to complete this process:
- Over the phone
- By mail
For example, California provides a duplicate registration application online; owners can download and complete it and then either mail it in or deliver it in person. North Carolina allows boaters and recreational vehicle owners to request duplicate registration over the phone.
Tips for Replacing a Lost Boat or RV Registration
- Don’t operate your boat or recreational vehicle without having proof of registration. Just because it’s not a traditional passenger vehicle doesn’t mean the police will treat your lack of paperwork any differently.
- If you’re out of town with your boat or RV when you lose the registration, contact your DMV or other state agency. You might be able to get a temporary registration, or have the vehicle flagged in some way, so that law enforcement will know the vehicle is legally registered if you get pulled over.
- Destroy your old registration if you find it.
- Make sure you know which agency handles the matter. Some states handle boat and RV registration through the same agency that handles vehicle registration (which could be a motor vehicle agency or a county clerk), and some leave the matter to state agencies related to parks and recreation or wildlife services.
- Don’t leave the house or begin the online replacement process without first having the applicable fee and an acceptable form of payment. Some offices accept cash, some websites don’t accept Discover cards – you get the idea.
Have you ever had to order a duplicate registration for your boat or recreational vehicle? How was the process for you?