Boat Registration and Licenses in South Carolina
Get Free Boat & Watercraft Insurance Quotes
Enter Your Zip Code:
- All motorized boats and watercraft.
- All sailboats and outboard motors with 5 horsepower or more must be titled.
What Not to Register
- Non-motorized rowboats.
- Non-motorized canoes.
- Non-motorized kayaks.
- Any boat documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Boats registered in another state and only in South Carolina on a temporary basis.
Titles and registrations are handled by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Submit the following:
- Current title, if the boat is used; or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, if the watercraft is new.
- A notarized bill of sale.
- A completed Watercraft/Outboard Motor Application.
- Payment of all fees and taxes.
Visit the DNR's website for title and registration transfer information for all other scenarios (estates, boats purchased in other states, etc.).
- Title and registration for new boats: $40
- Title and registration for transferred boats: $16
- Title and registration for sailboats with motorized propulsion: $40
- Title for sailboats without motorized propulsion: $10
- Boat registration renewal: $30
Boat registrations are valid for three years.
Renew online within 45 days of your registration's expiration date.
Renew by Mail
Mail the renewal form to the address on your renewal notice. If you did not receive a renewal notification, complete a Watercraft/Outboard Motor Application. Cost: $30
Renew in Person
Drop off your renewal notice at any DNR location.
Replace Lost Registration
Complete a Watercraft/Outboard Motor Application and mail it to the address at the top of the form. Cost: $5
Boaters younger than 16 can operate a boat with 15 or more horsepower if they complete a state-approved boating safety class, or are accompanied by an adult.
- Online: Take a state-approved online course through BoaterExam.com
- Classroom: The DNR offers courses throughout the state.
- Home Study: Call 1-800-277-4301 for more information.
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
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback
- How to Replace Lost Boat or RV Registration
- Which Vessels Require Boat Registration?
- 7 Boating Safety Tips for Staying Safe on the Water
- Boat Safety Course: Learn Boating Basics
- Boat License Requirements: Learn How to Apply for Your Boat License
- Boat Registration Requirements: How to Register Your Vessel
We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.