Boat Registration and Licenses in Connecticut
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Beginning January 1, 2016, boats that are model year 2017 and newer will need a CT registration AND title.
When you need to register and title a boat, you're going to need to apply directly with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.
On this page, we'll teach you all about vessel titles and registration AND the qualifications needed to operate a boat in Connecticut.
Boats You Must Title & Register in CT
In Connecticut, you're required to title (if applicable) and register the following types of vessels:
- All boats with a motor.
- Sailboats that are19 1/2 ft or longer.
- Personal watercraft (e.g. Jet Skis, Wave Runners, Sea-Doos, etc.)
You are NOT required to register boats currently registered in another state used for up to 60 days on the state's waterways.
Boats exempt from the new titling laws include (but aren't limited to):
- Vessels documented with the U.S. government.
- Boats powered by oars or paddles only.
- Vessels used as lifeboats only.
- Vessels with a model year 2016 or earlier.
Take a look at the Department of Motor Vehicles' full list of boats exempt from titling requirements.
Boat Registration in Connecticut
To title (if applicable) and register your boat, present the following items at your local DMV office:
- A completed Application For Vessel Registration and Certificate of Number Decal (Form B-148).
- Your Bill of Sale (form H-31)
- Any of the following documents to prove your identity:
- State-issued driver's license or identification card.
- Foreign driver's license accompanied by an International Driving Permit.
- Any of the following ownership documents:
- Manufacturer's certificate of origin.
- Out-of-state title.
- If your previous state of residence didn't issue boat titles, bring your out-of-state registration along with a print-out from that state's boat registration agency stating the don't title vessels.
- Paperwork of previous documentation with the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Proof that you've paid CT sales and use tax on the vessel.
- Payment for all applicable titling and registration fees.
Vessel registrations administered as of January 1 will expire on April 30 of the next year.
Boat Registration Fees in Connecticut
The fees associated with titling and registering your boat with the Department of Motor Vehicles are as follows:
- Registration/renewal fees: Vary depending on your boat's length, building materials and type. See the DMV's chart of registration fees for details.
- Titling fee: $25.
- Lienholder fee: $10.
- Duplicate boat registration: $20.
- Connecticut sales and use tax: 6.35% of the purchase price.
CT Boat Registration Renewals & Replacements
When your registration's expiration approaches, the Connecticut DMV will send you a renewal notice by mail.
You can renew your boat registration by submitting the renewal notice AND all applicable fees:
- In person at your local CT DMV office branch.
- By mail to the address listed on your renewal notice.
Replace a Lost Registration
You can only request a duplicate boat registration if you are the owner of the vessel and are able to provide:
- Your vessel registration number.
- Your name, address, and signature.
- The $20 fee for replacement registrations.
You can submit the required items above:
- In person at your local DMV office.
- By mail at:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Marine Vessel Section
60 State St.
Wethersfield, CT 06161
Connecticut Boater Qualifications
You'll need a proper boating certificate if you want to operate any motorized boat or sailboat 19 1/2 ft or longer and you:
- Are a Connecticut resident.
- Own property in Connecticut.
- Operate the vessel on Connecticut waters for more than 60 days.
If you qualify, you will need to carry certification applicable to the watercraft you operate. The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) acknowledges the following types of boating certificates:
- Safe Boating Certificate (SBC).
- For all recreational vessels except personal watercraft.
- Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO).
- Needed, for example, to operate Sea-Doos, Jet Skis, and Wave Runners.
- CPWOs from New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are valid on Connecticut waters.
- Vessel operator's license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
To apply for a Connecticut CPWO or SBC, you'll need to (in order):
- Apply for a Connecticut conservation ID.
- Complete a CT boater safety course.
- Pass the DEEP equivalency exam.
Then, take your certificates of course AND exam completion along with the boating certificate fee of $50 to a DEEP boat certificate processing office.
For more information, head over to the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's boating education and certification page.
In Connecticut, there are certain age restrictions concerning the operation of boats. If you're:
- Under 12 years old and hold a boating certificate, you cannot operate a boat with greater than 10 HP unless accompanied by someone who's at least 18 years old AND holds a valid boating certificate of their own.
- Younger than 16 years old and hold a CPWO, you may not operate a personal watercraft without the supervision of someone who is at least 18 years old AND holds a valid CPWO.
- Less than 16 years old you cannot operate boats involving tubing or water-skiing.
- Under 16 years old you can operate a vessel (other than personal watercraft) without a boating certificate as long as you're supervised by someone who's at least 18 years old AND has held a Connecticut boating certificate for at least 2 years.