Boat Registration and Licenses in Georgia

Anyone who operates a boat in Georgia will have to deal directly with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Keep reading to learn about registering and titling your boat AND the qualifications needed to operate a vessel on GA waters.

GA Boats Requiring Registration

You're required to register your boat with the Georgia DNR if it is:

  • Mechanically propelled.
  • A sailboat measuring longer than 12 ft.

The only vessels exempt from registration are:

  • Boats used strictly on private ponds or lakes.
  • Sailboats less than 12 ft. that are not mechanically propelled.
  • Rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and rubber rafts without mechanical propulsion.

If you're still not sure whether you'll need to register your boat, contact the Department of Natural Resources office in your county.

Boat Registration in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources allows you to register your vessel online, by mail, OR over the phone.

If your boat was built after 1972, it'll need to have a hull identification number (HIN) to be registered. If you have a post 1972 boat without a HIN, you can:

Then, you can begin the registration process, by gathering the following items:

Complete the registration process by submitting the required documents to the DNR:

  • Online by uploading to the DNR's registration portal.
  • By mail to:
    • GA Department of Natural Resources
    • P.O. Box 934943
    • Atlanta, GA 31193
  • By calling (800) 366-2661 and providing the documents via:
    • E-mail at
    • Fax at (678) 515-9470.
    • Mail to the address listed above.

Call the GA Department of Natural Resources at (800) 366-2661 with any additional questions you have about registering your boat.

Boat Registration Fees in Georgia

The registration fees associated with registering your vessel with the GA DNR are as follows:

  • Initial/renewal boat registration (determined by the length of your boat):
    • 16 ft or under (class A): $35.
    • 16 ft to 26 ft (class 1): $70.
    • 26 ft to 40 ft (class 2): $140.
    • 40 ft or longer (class 3): $210.
  • Duplicate registration: $11.
  • Marine Toilet Certificate: $5.
  • Late renewal fee: $10.
  • Transaction fee for submitting an application for:
    • Original registration by mail, phone, or online: $10.
    • Online registration renewal: $3.
    • Duplicate registration by mail or phone service fee: $10.
    • Duplicate registration online service fee: $3.

GA Boat Registration Renewals & Replacements

Boat registrations in Georgia arevalid for 3 years and expire on the last day of the boat owner's birthday month in the final year of registration.

When it's time to renew your GA boat registration, you will receive a renewal notice and application in the mail. You can renew your registration:

Replace Lost Registration

You can request a replacement boat registration or decal online, by mail, or over the phone.

The process for requesting a duplicate vessel registration from the GA Department of Natural Resources follows the same steps as applying for an original registration. The only difference is that you'll need to pay the duplicate registration fee of $11 (instead of original registration fees) in addition to the applicable transaction fee.

Georgia Boater Qualifications

In Georgia, your age determines the types of vessels you're legally allowed to operate AND whether you're required to complete a boater education course.

If you are:

  • Younger than 12 years old:
    • Cannot operate any boat more than 16 ft. in length.
    • Can operate boats less than 16 ft. in length that are:
      • Non-motorized.
      • 30 horsepower or less while accompanied by someone who's at least 18 years old.
  • 12 to 15 years old:
    • Can operate vessels less than 16 ft. long, including personal watercraft:
      • Unsupervised if you have completed a boater safety course.
      • Accompanied by an adult who's at least 18 years old.
  • 16 years old or older:
    • Can operate any vessel as long as you have proper identification (e.g. driver's license or identification card) AND have completed a boater safety course (if applicable to your age).

Boater Safety Course

If you were born after January 1, 1998 you must complete a boater safety course before you are allowed to operate any watercraft in Georgia. The only people born after this date who are exempt from the education requirement are those who are:

  • Licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel.
  • Only operating a boat on a private lake or pond.
  • Non-residents carrying proof of completion for a NASBLA-approved boater education course.

You can complete your boater safety course online OR in person. Be sure to check out the
Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division's list of approved course providers.

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