Boat Registration and Licenses in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Boat Registration and Licenses

The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for processing all applications to register and title boats in Wisconsin.

Continue reading this page for all the information you need to register and title your boat, renew your boat registration, and apply for a replacement boat registration certificate.

WI Boats Requiring Registration

All motorized boats, and any sailboat more than 12 feet in length must register with Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources (DNR).


  • Any boat from another country temporarily in Wisconsin.
  • A ship's lifeboat.
  • Any non-motorized sailboat 12 feet or less in length.
  • Any manually propelled vessel that's not furnished with a motor or sail. This includes canoes, kayaks, and rowboats.
  • Any boat registered with a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band.
  • Any boat registered in another state and using Wisconsin waters for no more than 60 consecutive days.

Boat Registration Requirements and Procedures


Any boat more than 16 feet in length must be titled. Detailed titling instructions can be found on the Boat Registration and Titling Application (Form 9400-193).

Wisconsin Boat Registrations

  1. Complete a Boat Registration and Titling Application (Form 9400-193).
  2. Photocopy the application before mailing. This will serve as your temporary registration until your new one arrives in the mail.
  3. Mail application with all applicable fees to the address on the application.

Or, if you prefer, drop off the application and payment at any DNR office.

Wisconsin Boat Registration Fees

Fees are based on a boat's length, type, and whether it was obtained through a dealer, a private party, or a transfer.

Boat Registration Renewals and Replacements

You can renew your Wisconsin boat registration in all of the following ways:

  • Online.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

Renew Online

To renew your boat registration online you must provide your:

  • DNR customer number OR Social Security number (SSN).
  • Birthdate.
  • Mailing address.
  • Boat's registration number.
  • Payment via MasterCard OR VISA.

Renew by Mail

Mail your boat registration renewal notice along with payment to the address listed on the form.

If you don't have a renewal notice, complete a Boat Registration and Titling Application (Form 9400-193) and mail to the address listed on the application.

Renew in Person

To renew your boat registration in person, simply drop off your registration renewal notice along with payment at any DNR location. Or, provide instead a completed Boat Registration and Titling Application (Form 9400-193).

Boater Safety Courses in Wisconsin

A boating safety course certificate is required for all boat operators born on or after January 1, 1989.

  • Recreational safety courses are offered throughout the state, generally during March, April, May, and June. Before attending, first get a DNR customer ID number by calling (888) 936-7463 or visiting any DNR location.
  • Complete a state-approved online course through a DNR-approved third party.

Vessel Insurance in Wisconsin

Getting an adequate boat insurance policy is worth considering whether or not you're new to boating. In the event you're involved in a collision, you're going to want to be insured. For more information, please visit our boat insurance page.

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