Boat Registration and Licenses in Idaho

If you plan to operate a boat in Idaho, you're going to have to register it with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). The IDPR also offers boater education courses.

Continue reading to learn about boat registration AND the necessary qualifications to operate a boat in the state of Idaho.

Boats You Must Register in Idaho

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation requires all vessels with ANY type of motor (including electric trolling motors) to be registered.

Boats exempt from registration include:

  • Manually propelled vessels (such as canoes and kayaks).
  • Float tubes.
  • Sailboards.
  • Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Vessels currently registered in another state but being used on Idaho's waterways for 60 consecutive days or less.

If you're unsure about whether you need to register your vessel, call IDPR's registration department at (888) 922-6743.

Boat Registration in Idaho

You must register your boat with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation within 15 days of the purchase date.

You can do so by visiting your county assessor's office OR an authorized boat registration vendor and:

  • Completing a boat registration application (only available in person).
  • Providing:
    • Your boat's title.
    • A unique identifier, such as your:
      • Idaho driver's license.
      • Tax identification number.
      • Social Security number.
  • Verifying your hull identification number (HIN).
  • Paying the necessary boat registration fees.

You'll then receive your Certificate of Number—the IDPR's approved boater education provider gives information on how to properly attach your registration number and stickers to your boat.

Idaho Boat Registration Fees

Below are the fees associated with registering your boat with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation:

  • Original registration/renewal fee depends on the length of your boat:
    • 12 ft and under: $20.
    • Over 12 ft feet: $20 plus $2 per every 1 foot.
      • For a full breakdown of original/renewal registration fees, check out IDPR's fee table.
  • Registration fee for non-profit agencies: $2.
  • Invasive species sticker fee: $10.
  • Replacement Certificate of Number fee: processing fee.
  • Administrative fees: Vary—call the county assessor or authorized vendor handling your boat registration for details.

ID Boat Registration Renewals & Replacements

All boat registrations in Idaho are good for 1 calendar year and expire on December 31. You can renew your registration with the IDPR by submitting the proper information and renewal fees:

Replace Lost Registration

If you lose or damage your boat's Certificate of Number, you can obtain a duplicate by going to your local county assessor's office OR authorized boat registration vendor and:

  • Completing an application for a duplicate Certificate of Number (available in person).
  • Paying the processing t fee plus any applicable administrative fees.

Idaho Boater Qualifications

Although there aren't statewide requirements requiring boaters to obtain a license or be of a certain age before operating a vessel, certain Idaho counties have their own rules regarding qualifications to operate a boat.

Additionally, boating safety courses aren't initially mandated, but if you're a repeat offender of boating laws you'll have to pass a boater safety course. Even if you're not required to take a safety course, doing so allows you to become a better educated boater, and may even reduce your insurance rates.

Both classroom and online courses are available; hours and fees vary with the provider.

See the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) boating education page for more details.

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