Boat Registration and Licenses in Tennessee

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Tennessee Boat Registration and Licenses

Boat registration and titling is handled by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

On this page you'll find all the information you need to register and title your boat in Tennessee.

What Boats to Register in Tennessee

  • All mechanically-powered vessels.
  • All sailboats.

What Not to Register

  • Canoes.
  • Kayaks.
  • Rowboats.

Boat Registration Requirements and Procedures

Since documentation requirements vary with each county in Tennessee, call your county clerk first. Here are the general requirements:

  1. Complete a registration application found at all TN county clerk offices and boat dealerships.
  2. If this is the first registration, the dealer or county clerk must stamp your application verifying that the boat's sales tax has been paid.
  3. If you purchased your boat from an individual rather than a dealer, you need to show a bill of sale.
  4. Mail or drop off your application to the address shown on the application.

Boat Insurance in Tennessee

If you're going to be cruising out on the open water, you should consider getting an adequate boat insurance policy to protect yourself against any mishaps or collisions that may occur.

For details about how carrying boat insurance could benefit you, please read our page about Boat Insurance in Tennessee.

TN Boat Registration Fees

Registration fees are based on the size of your boat and how long it will be registered―1 year, 2 years, or 3 years.

  • Less than 16 ft: $13, $24, $35.
  • Length of16 ft to 26 ft: $25, $48, $71.
  • Length of 26 ft to 40 ft: $38, $72, $107.
  • 40 ft or longer: $51, $97, $142.

Boat Registration Renewals and Replacements

Renew Online

You can renew your boat registration online.

You'll receive a temporary registration certificate, which will allow you to captain your boat until your new registration card and decals arrive in the mail within 2 weeks.

Renew by Mail

To process your boat registration renewal by mail, send your renewal application to the address listed on your renewal notification sent by your county.

Renew in Person

To renew boat registration in person, you can visit any business that sells Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) hunting and fishing licenses.

Do not forget to bring your renewal notification.

Replace Lost Registration

Complete a boat application (found at all county clerk offices and boat dealerships) and check the "duplicate" box. Be sure to include your Tennessee boat number and letters. Send or drop off to the address listed on the application. The cost to replace the registration is $6.

Tennessee Boater License

No boater license is required, but any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989 must complete a boating safety education course approved by the TWRA.

Boater Safety Courses

To take an exam, first purchase a Type 600 boating safety exam permit ($10) from any business that sells hunting and fishing licenses. The permit receipt is your ticket into an exam location (click on region links above for exam locations).

Your Boating Safety Education Certificate must be in your possession whenever you are operating a boat. The fee for a duplicate boat safety certificate is $5.

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