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  • Boat Registration and Licenses in Washington

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    Boat Registration and Licenses in Washington

    All registrations and titles in Washington are processed through the WA Department of Licensing.

    Continue reading this page for all the information you need about registering your boat, renewing your WA boat registration, and applying for a duplicate copy of your boat registration.

    Boats You Must Register in WA

    Certain boats must be registered in Washington.

    NOTE: If you just purchased a boat from another state, you must register it within 15 days of the sale.

    What Not to Register

    • Non-motorized canoes.
    • Non-motorized kayaks.
    • Non-motorized rowboats.

    Exemptions

    • Any boat registered in another state and not kept in Washington for more than 60 days.
    • Any U.S. Coast Guard-documented boat.

    Boat Requirements and Procedures

    To register and title your boat in Washington, you'll need to:

    1. Complete a Vessel Title Application (Form TD-420-289 - a dealer will do this for you if you bought it there).
    2. Bring your out-of-state registration and title. If you do not have these documents, please contact the WA DOL office directly for further instructions.
    3. Provide proof you paid your boat's sales tax. Otherwise, you will be responsible for paying a WA-state use tax.
    4. Pay all applicable fees. See below for more info.
    5. Drop off completed transaction at any Department of Licensing (DOL) office . Or, mail it to any Department of Licensingoffice.

    After you register your boat, you will receive your registration and decals with your assigned registration number.

    Fees

    You will pay fees for your boat are based on the length of your boat. You can calculate your fees by using the Department of Licensing boat fee calculator. For the title transfer you will pay an additional $12 service fee. Basic fees for boat registration in Washington include a $5 agent fee. Other fees may apply depending on your vessel.

    Renewals and Replacements (For Boat Registration)

    All boat registrations expire on June 30. You can renew your WA boat registration online, by mail and in person at your local WA DOL office.

    Renew Online

    To renew your boat registration online, you'll need to use your MasterCard, American Express, VISA or debit card.

    Renew by Mail

    Simply mail your request to the address on your renewal notice.

    Renew in Person

    You can also renew your WA boat registration by visiting any DOL location. Be sure to bring your boat registration renewal notice.

    Boater License

    Washington now has a mandatory boater education requirement.

    Anyone operating a boat in Washington with a motor of 15 hp or more must have a Boater Safety Education Card. Persons born before January 1, 1955 are exempt.

    Once you complete a boater education course, you will need to fill out a Boater Education Card Application (Form P&R A-430). Mail the form, proof of your course completion and $10 to the address on the form.

    Boat Insurance in Washington

    Washington does not currently require boaters to carry insurance on their boats. However, a boat insurance policy makes the process much easier and less expensive if you're ever involved in a boating collision. You wouldn't want hefty repair costs to leave you stranded.

    For more information about how an insurance policy on your boat could help keep you afloat, read our page about boat insurance.

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