Boat Registration and Licenses in Tennessee
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- All mechanically-powered vessels
- All sailboats
What Not to Register
- Boats registered in another state, and not used in Tennessee for more than 60 consecutive days.
Because documentation requirements vary with each county, call your county clerk first. Here are the general requirements:
- Complete a registration application found at all county clerk offices and boat dealerships.
- 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.
- If you purchased your boat from an individual rather than a dealer, you need to show a bill of sale.
- Mail or drop off to the address shown on the application.
Registration fees are based on length of boat and how long it will be registered―one, two, or three years.
- Less than 16 feet: $13, $24, $35
- Longer than 16 feet and less than 26 feet: $25, $48, $71
- Longer than 26 feet and less than 40 feet: $38, $72, $107
- Forty feet or longer: $51, $97, $142
Renew 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 in about two weeks.
Renew by Mail
Send to the address listed on your renewal notification sent by your county.
Renew in Person
Visit any business that sells Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) hunting and fishing licenses. 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. Include your Tennessee boat number and letters. Send or drop off to the address listed on the application. Cost: $6
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.
- Online: Take a TWRA-approved course through BoaterExam.com
- Classroom: Courses are offered throughout the state: Region 1 (west), Region 2 (west-central), Region 3 (east-central) and Region 4 (east).
- Home Study: Call (615) 837-6013 to have study materials sent to you.
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).
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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