Boat Registration and Licenses in Hawaii

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Hawaii Boat Registration and Licenses

The Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation is responsible for handling the registration and titling of all vessels in Hawaii.

If you're interested in registering your vessel in Hawaii, you're in the right place.

This page outlines all the steps you need to take to get your boat registered legally, how to renew your boat registration, and how to apply for a replacement boat registration certificate.

What Boats to Register in Hawaii

All commercial and recreational vessels in Hawaii must be registered, unless exempted.


  • Documented vessels.
  • Lifeboats used strictly for that purpose.
  • Recreational vessels that are manually propelled.
  • Recreational vessels 8 feet long or less that are propelled only by sail.
  • Motorboats used only for racing.
  • Vessels owned by the U.S. government.

Boat Registrations and Procedures

To obtain your boat registration certificate, boat decal, and certificate of number in Hawaii, you will need to:

  1. Locate your proof of boat ownership.
  2. Have your personal identification (driver's license or Hawaii ID card).
  3. Figure out the necessary registration payment.
  4. Go to any Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) office.
  5. While at the office, you'll be asked to complete the boat registration form.
  6. You'll receive a registration certificate, boat decal, and certificate of number. The DOBOR provides information on how to properly display your registration number.

Hawaii Boat Registration Fees

Registration fees for your boat will vary according to the length of your vessel, as follows:

  • Vessels less than 20 ft: $13.
  • Vessels longer than 20 ft: $30.
  • Amphibious vehicles: $15.

Boat Registration Renewals and Replacements

Before the expiration date of your boat registration, you should receive a renewal card reminder in the mail.

Renew in Person

To renew your HI boat registration in person, you'll need to bring your renewal card and payment to your local DOBOR office.

Renew Online

To renew your boat registration online in Hawaii, you must:

  1. Visit the renewal website.
  2. Enter your name or registration number.
  3. Then follow the instructions given to complete the renewal process.

Replace Lost Registration

You have a couple of different options for replacing your lost HI boat registration:

  1. Go to a DOBOR office and pay the $10 fee to receive a duplicate boat registration certificate.
  2. Visit the renewal website and follow the instructions provided.

Hawaii Boater's License

Hawaii doesn't issue boater's licenses, although taking a boater safety course is encouraged.

Boater Safety Courses

Due to a new law passed in 2012, after November 10th 2014 all boaters are required to show proof that they have completed a NASBLA and state-approved course. After completing the course you will be given a certificate that you are required to have with you when operating a boat. Also, anyone under 16 years old must not only have their own certificate but can only operate a boat while under the supervision of someone over 21 years old who also has a certificate.

Boater Insurance in Hawaii

Accidents can happen on the open water. If you're ever involved in a boat collision or any other type of mishap, you're going to want to be properly insured. Otherwise, you could face some hefty costs for boat repair or injuries.

A good place to start for information is our page about Boat Insurance. This page will give you a better idea about whether you should carry a boat insurance policy.

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