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  • Boat Registration and Licenses in Minnesota

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    What to Register

    • All motorized vessels.
    • All non-motorized vessels.


    • Boats/Watercraft currently registered in another state that are in Minnesota for no more than 90 consecutive days.
    • Boats/Watercraft from another country that are in Minnesota for no more than 90 consecutive days.
    • U.S. government-owned vessels, except those used for recreational purposes.
    • Documented vessels.
    • Ship's lifeboat.
    • Duck boats (used during duck hunting season).
    • Rice boats (used during the harvest season).
    • Seaplanes.

    Requirements and Procedures

    For new boat purchases, if the vessel is greater than 16 ft long, the dealer will handle the registration and titling processes for you. Kayaks and canoes you must handle yourself with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

    Consult the state's MN boating guide for details on the proper registration number and decal placement, as well as where to keep the registration card.

    New boat registrations may be done in person or by mail. Here's how:

    Register in Person

    1. Complete the Water Title & Registration Application .
    2. Find your sales tax receipt.
    3. Take the necessary fee.
    4. With your registration fee and necessary paperwork go to any deputy registrar of motor vehicles.
    5. You may also register your boat in person at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) License Center at the address listed below.

    Register by Mail

    If you prefer to handle your registration by mail, send the required documentation and fee to:

    DNR License Center

    500 Lafayette Road

    St. Paul, MN 55155

    You will be mailed your boat registration materials.


    Remember ALL vessels need to be registered in MN. Registration fees vary according to a variety of factors, including the length and type of boat. You will also be charged an issuing fee.

    Renewals and Replacements

    Boat registrations are valid for 3 years, and expire on December 31 of the final year. You should receive a renewal notice in the mail just before the expiration date.

    Make sure to replace your old decals with the new ones.

    You may renew your MN boat registration in person or online. Here's how:

    Renew in Person

    Take your boat registration renewal card and fee payment to any deputy registrar of motor vehicles location, or the DNR License Center.

    Renew Online

    Visit the renewal site and follow the instructions provided. Pay by VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express card.

    Replace Lost Registration

    Receive a duplicate boat registration by visiting the Minnesota DNR License Center or a deputy registrar of motor vehicles location, and paying the $4.50 fee.

    You may also request a duplicate boat registration by sending a letter with your name, registration number, and hull identification number (HIN) to:

    • DNR License Center
    • 500 Lafayette Road
    • St. Paul, MN 55155

    Boater's Licenses

    To operate a boat/vessel with more than 25 horsepower unsupervised, you must obtain a watercraft operator’s permit/license if you're between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. If you're younger than 12 years old, you do not qualify to get a permit/license and may not operate a boat or watercraft, regardless of whether you are properly supervised.

    Receive your operator permit/license by successfully completing a state-approved safety course.

    Boater Safety Courses

    The Minnesota DNR provides information on what you will need to do to obtain your boat permit/license.

    Order your boat safety package by:

    • Calling (888) 646-6367 or (800) 657-3929 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf).
    • E-mailing (include your name and address).
    • Writing letter to the Minnesota DNR Center (address below) that includes your name and address.
    • Minnesota DNR
    • Boat and Water Safety Section
    • 500 Lafayette Road
    • St. Paul, MN 55155

    Even if you're not required to take the course to get your boater's license, doing so allows you to become a safer boater, while possibly reducing your insurance costs.

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