Boat Registration and Licenses in Louisiana
What to Register
- All vessels with a motor operating on the state's waterways (including electric trolling motors).
Requirements and Procedures
- Complete the Boat Registration Application (Form 55).
- Gather proof of ownership in the form of a dealer's receipt or Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO).
- Show proof that the appropriate taxes have been paid.
- Write out your check or money order for the fee payment.
- Send everything to:
- Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
- P.O. Box 14796
- Baton Rouge, LA 70898
If you purchased your boat outside of Louisiana or have recently moved here, consult the instructions on the application form to learn how to complete your registration process.
Allow 8 weeks to receive your registration materials. Keep your registration safely tucked away on your boat in a waterproof container.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) offers information on how to properly display your registration numbers and decals.
Call (225) 765-2898 for additional boat registration information.
Special Requirement for Homemade Boats
If your boat is homemade and doesn't have a Hull Identification Number(HIN), submit a completed Application for Boat Inspection along with your registration application. Inspections cost $28.
At the time of your inspection, you will need to provide all receipts for parts used to build the boat.
Registration fees vary greatly depending on the length of the boat. Consult the fee schedule provided on the registration application to determine your cost.
Renewals and Replacements
Registrations are valid for 3 years. You should receive a renewal notice about 15 days before your renewal month. If you fail to renew your registration within 60 days of the expiration date, your registration numbers will need to be reinstated.
Renew by Mail
Complete the registration application, being sure to fill in your current registration number. Then, send the application along with your fee payment to the address listed on the application.
Visit the renewal site and enter your registration number and name. Complete the process by following the instructions provided.
Replacing a Lost Registration
Lost registrations must be reported in writing to the LDWF within 15 days.
Replace your registration by completing a registration application, and sending it along with payment for the $8 fee to the address listed on the form. If you need to replace both the decal and the registration certificate it is $13.
If you were born after January 1, 1984, you'll need to obtain a boater education card in order to operate a motorboat that is over10 horsepower. Otherwise, you must have with you either someone who is 18 years old or older and has completed the course, or someone who is exempt from the requirement.
It is unlawful for anyone under 16 years old to operate a personal watercraft.
Obtain the safety education card by successfully completing a boater safety course.
Boater Safety Courses
Fulfill your education requirement by completing a safety class offered through any of the following:
- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
- U.S. Coast Guard.
- U.S. Power Squadron.
- New Orleans Power Squadron.
- Lake Charles Power Squadron.
Course times, hours, and fees vary with the provider.
Even if you're not required to take these classes, they still represent a good way to make you a safer boat, while possibly reducing your insurance costs in the process.
Boat Insurance in Louisiana
Boat insurance is not required Louisiana. With all the risks involved with owning and operating a boat you should strongly consider purchasing a boat insurance policy.
To learn more visit our Boat Insurance page.
Additional Louisiana Boating Resources
Nationwide Boating Resources