Boat Registration and Licenses in Ohio

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Boat Registration and Licensing in Ohio

The Ohio Division of Watercraft processes registration and title applications, and enforces all boating regulations in the interest of public safety.

This page outlines all the information you need about the process of registering your boat, renewing your boat registration, and applying for a duplicate copy of your boat registration document.

Continue reading to learn more.

Boats You Must Register

  • Motorboats.
  • Sailboats.
  • Canoes.
  • Kayaks.
  • Inflatable boats.
  • PWCs.


  • Boats registered in another state that will be in Ohio for under 60 days.
  • Commercial boats that are documented as commercial.
  • Boats from other countries.
  • Lifeboats.
  • Government agency-owned boats.

Requirements and Procedures

The Division of Watercraft of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources oversees watercraft registration. The procedure to register your watercraft depends on whether it needs to have a title .


To register your boat in Ohio, you must:

  1. Complete a Certified Watercraft Registration Application (DNR 8460R).
  2. Bring the application along with a proof of ownership, your driver's license, details on the specifics of the boat (these should appear on the proof of ownership) to any Watercraft office.
  3. Pay the all applicable fees. See below.

If you register your vessel and do not receive your decals within 20 days please email us at, call (877) 4BOATER if you are in Ohio or (614) 265-6480. We will need you name, transaction date (confirmation number if this was a renewal online), your boat registration number and a phone number where you can be contacted.

Ohio Boat Registration Fees

Boat registration fees are based on a boat's length and type. If the registration is current at the time of purchase you will pay a $5 transfer fee only. If the registration has expired you will pay the full registration fee for your vessel.

Boat Registration Renewals & Replacements

Ohio boat registrations are valid for 3 years and expire March 1st.

Renew Online

You may be able to renew online. You can only use VISA and MasterCard for payment.

NOTE: If any boat information has changed, you will have to renew by mail or in person.

Renew by Mail

To renew your boat registration by mail, you'll need to send your request to the address listed on your registration renewal notice.

Renew in Person

You can also renew in person by visiting any Watercraft Registration Agent. It's best to call ahead for hours of operation.

Be sure to bring proof of identification.

Replace Lost Registration

The fee for replacing your boat registration or tags is $4each. You will need to:

  • ODNR Division of Watercraft
  • 2045 Morse Road Building A
  • Columbus, OH 43229

OH Boater License

To operate a boat that's powered by more than 10 horsepower, any boater born after January 1, 1982 must complete a boating education course.

Ohio Boater Safety Courses

  • Online: State-approved course is any course that furnishes a safety card with your name and has the NASBLA seal of approval.
  • Home Study: Request online to have a course book and reference materials mailed to you. You complete the course at your own pace.

Boat Insurance in Ohio

While you do not have to carry boat insurance in OH, it may not be a bad idea to get covered.

If you're involved in a boating accident, you could face a lot of fees to get your boat back up to speed.

To read more about this topic, you can visit our page about Ohio boat insurance.

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