Boat Registration and Licenses in North CarolinaGet Free Boat & Watercraft Insurance Quotes
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- All motorized boats.
- Any sailboat longer than 14 feet.
- Any titled boat (titling is optional).
- 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.
What Not to Register
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 Vessel Registration & Title Application (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.
Fees vary depending on the size of your boat and other factors. The NC Vessel Registration & Title Application (VL-1) has a detailed list of fees.
A Renewal Notification form may be mailed to you before your 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 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 26 years old and younger must carry proof of completing a state-approved boater safety course in order to operate any vessel propelled by an engine with a 10 horsepower or greater engine on public waters.
- Online: State-approved BOATERexam.com provides a convenient online class. Click its link below for immediate course information.
Other Topics in This Section
- Classroom course: taught throughout the state by the Wildlife Resources Commission.
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- 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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