Boat Registration and Licenses in Illinois

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Boat Registration and Licenses in Illinois

If you want to operate a boat on Illinois' waters, you may need to register and title your vessel with the IL Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Continue reading for complete details about the boat registration and titling process, as well as the qualifications needed to operate a vessel in The Prairie State.

IL Boats Requiring Title & Registration

All vessels used on Illinois state waters must be titled and registered, with the following exceptions:

  • Boats currently licensed in another state OR by the U.S. Coast Guard being used in Illinois for no longer than 60 consecutive days.
  • Vessels registered in another country, temporarily being operated on Illinois waters.
  • Boats owned by an entity of the United States government.
  • Lifeboats used exclusively for that purpose.
  • Boats competing in and designed for races approved by the Department of Natural Resources.
  • Non-powered watercraft, such as:
    • Canoes.
    • Kayaks.
    • Kiteboards.
    • Paddle boards.
    • Any other vessels not propelled by a sail or motor.

Vessel Titling & Registration Procedures in IL

All recently-bought boats must be titled and registered with the DNR within 15 days of the purchase date. To do so, begin by gathering the following:

  • A completed Watercraft Registration/Title Application (Form IL 422-0321).
  • A proof of ownership document:
    • Manufacturer's Certification of Origin (new boats).
    • Properly assigned title and registration (used boats.).
  • If purchased from an individual, a copy of the bill of sale.
  • If the boat has/had a lien:
    • A completed Power of Attorney (Form IL 422-0329).
    • A lien release letter (if applicable).
  • Payment for the necessary title and registration taxes and fees.
    • Call (800) 732-8866 or (217) 782-3336 for information regarding the sales tax and tax forms you could have to include PRIOR to submitting your application.
Then, mail the items above to:
Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 19226
Springfield, IL 62794

While you wait for your permanent title and registration to arrive, you can use your copy of the application as a temporary permit—this will be valid for 60 days.

Boat registrations in Illinois expire every 3 years on June 30th.

Illinois Boat Title & Registration Fees

The fees associated with titling and registering your boat with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are as follows:

  • Original boat title and registration:
    • Class 1 (all powered boats under 16 ft): $28.
    • Class 2 (16 ft to 26 ft): $60.
    • Class 3 (26 ft to 40 ft): $160.
    • Class 4 (40 ft and longer): $210.
  • Registration renewal:
    • Class 1 (all powered boats under 16 ft): $18.
    • Class 2 (16 ft to 26 ft): $50.
    • Class 3 (26 ft to 40 ft): $150.
    • Class 4 (40 ft and longer): $200.
  • Corrected OR duplicate title OR registration: $7 per transaction.

Title & Registration Renewals & Replacements

Registrations are valid for 3 years and can be renewed by providing information about your vessel AND credit card information for the necessary renewal fees:

Replace a Lost Title or Registration

To receive a duplicate boat title or registration, gather the following items:

Then, mail the items above to:

Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 19226
Springfield, IL 62794

Boater Qualifications in Illinois

The IL Department of Natural Resources requires you to complete a boating safety course if you:

  • Are 12 thru 17 years old AND want to operate a motorboat without direct adult supervision.
  • Were born on January 1, 1998 or later AND wish to operate a boat over 10 HP.

Approved safety courses contain at least 8 hours of instruction and are offered:

If you still have questions about boating safety education requirements in Illinois, email the DNR's watercraft and boating office.


IL 422-0321
Watercraft Registration/Title Application
Request an original, duplicate, OR transfer of IL watercraft registration AND/OR title.

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