Boat Registration and Licenses in North Carolina
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- All motorized boats.
- Any sailboat longer than 14 feet.
- Any titled boat (titling is optional).
What Not to Register
- Non-motorized rowboats.
- Non-motorized canoes.
- Non-motorized rafts.
- Boats documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Ships' lifeboats, if only used for emergency purposes.
- Any type of boat used only on a private pond.
- Any boat registered in another state and not kept in North Carolina for more than 90 consecutive days.
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission registers boats. You can register it for either one or three years. Registering it for three is cheaper per year.
Registering a New Vessel
- Complete Form VL-1. Specify if you're only registering or registering and titling, and whether for one year or three years.
- Submit along with proof of ownership (title or bill of sale).
- Pay all applicable fees.
You can do this in person at any Wildlife Service Agent location, or through the mail.
Registering a Used Vessel
Click on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission link for instructions.
- One-year registration only: $15
- One-year registration and title: $35
- Three-year registration only: $40
- Three-year registration and title: $60
A Renewal Notification form will be mailed to you approximately 60 days before your boat registration expires.
Renew online using either Visa or MasterCard.
Renew by Phone
Complete a vessel registration renewal over the phone by calling: (800) 628-3773, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Renew by Mail
Send Renewal Notification form to:
- North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
- Transaction Management
- 1709 Mail Service Center
- Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1709
Renew in Person
Visit any Wildlife Service Agent location.
Replace Lost Registration
You can also request a duplicate registration over the phone by calling: (800) 628-3773, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Or, order a duplicate online.
Any boat operator younger than 26 must carry proof of completing a state-approved boater safety course in order to operate any vessel propelled by an engine with a horsepower of 10 or greater on public waters.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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