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  • Boat Registration and Licenses in Montana

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    Boat Registration and Licenses in Montana

    If you just recently purchased a boat or relocated to Montana with your boat, chances are you will need to register and title it with the Title and Registration Bureau of the Department of Justice. If you can obtain your validation decals from your local Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks office.

    Continue reading this page for information on the process of registering your boat, renewing your MT boat registration, and applying for a duplicate copy of your boat registration.

    Boats You Must Register in MT

    • Motorboats (including motorized canoes and rubber rafts).
    • Sailboats 12 ft long and longer.

    What Not to Register

    • Canoes.
    • Kayaks.
    • Rowboats.
    • Non-motorized sailboat less than12 ft in length.

    Exemptions

    • Lifeboats.
    • Government-owned boats.
    • Registered boats from another state or country that are not kept in Montana for more than 90 consecutive days.

    Boat Requirements and Procedures

    To register and title your boat in MT, you will need to:

    1. Complete the application form available at any Fish, Wildlife and Parks or county treasure's office.
      • Pay the $5 application fee.
    2. Have your vessel inspected by any peace officer using Vehicle Identification Number Inspection Certificate (Form MV20).
    3. Obtain your validation decals from any Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks office, any county treasurer's office or by ordering online. Boat validation decals are free.

    Montana Boat Registration Fees

    • Certificate of Ownership, or Title: $10.
    • Application fee: $5.

    Permanent registration fees in MT are based on the length of your boat:

    • Less than 16 ft: $65.50.
    • 16 ft to 19 ft: $125.50.
    • 19 ft and longer: $295.50.

    Renewals and Replacements (For Boat Registration)

    All boat registrations are permanent in Montana. You must, however, renew your boat's free validation decals upon expiration. These can be obtained from any Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks office or by ordering online.

    Renew Online

    Your boat validation decals can be renewed online. The decals are valid for 3 years.

    Renew in Person

    You can renew your boat validation decals by visiting a Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional or area office or any county treasurer's office.

    Replace Lost Registration

    If you need a replacement copy of your MT boat registration, you will need to take your boat's registration number to the county treasurer.

    Boater License in Montana

    Teenagers 13 to 14 years old need a valid Montana motorboat operator's safety certificate to operate a boat without adult supervision.

    Montana Boater Safety Courses

    Taking a boater safety course could also save you money on your boat insurance policy. See below for more information about boat insurance, especially if you are not currently insured or would like to try to get a lower a rate on your boat insurance.

    Boat Insurance Requirements in Montana

    Although you're not required to carry an insurance policy for your boat in Montana, having adequate boat insurance coverage could definitely protect you from the potential costs associated with repairing your boat after a collision.

    For more information about this topic, you can read our page about boat insurance and determine whether getting a boat insurance policy is right for you.

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