Boat Registration and Licenses in Massachusetts
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In Massachusetts, the Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau oversees all vessel titles and registrations in the state. On this page, you'll learn about registering and titling your boat AND the minimum requirements to operate watercraft on MA waters.
MA Boats Requiring Title & Registration
You're required to register ALL motorized boats used on Massachusetts' public waters, with the following exceptions:
- Vessels currently registered in another state that will be used in Massachusetts for no more than 60 days.
- Watercraft without a motor.
- Boats documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Additionally, you must title vessels measuring 14 ft or more that are designed to be motorized. This includes all boats with motors AND those with the equipment necessary to attach a motor. You are also required to pay your sales or use tax of 6.25% by the 20th day of the month following your boat purchase.
Vessels exempt from the titling requirements include:
- Watercraft owned by an entity of the U.S. government.
- Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Dealers' boats used only for promotional demonstrations.
- Vessels registered in another state being used on MA waters for up to 60 days.
If you're not sure whether your boat qualifies for titling and/or registration, call the Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau at (617) 626-1610.
Title & Register Your Boat in MA
BEFORE submitting your title and/or registration application, make sure your boat has a valid hull identification number (HIN).
If your vessel is missing a HIN, you'll need to schedule an inspection with the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) by calling (800) 632-8075. Once the inspection's complete, you'll receive an inspection certificate, which you'll need to provide with your vessel title/registration application.
Complete the titling and registration process by providing the following items at a Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau regional registration office:
- A completed Registration and Titling Application (Form ELE #1).
- A pencil tracing of the vessel's HIN.
- If applicable, bring the HIN inspection certificate you received from the MEP.
- The bill of sale.
- You can fill out the sample bill of sale provided by the MEP.
- Proof that you paid MA sales tax, such as:
- A printed receipt showing you paid taxes online using MassTaxConnect.
- A Certificate of Payment of Sales or Use Tax for Boat, Recreation or Snow Vehicle (Form ST-6).
- A Claim for Exemption from Sales or Use Tax on Boat, Recreation or Snow Vehicle (Form ST-6E).
- The properly assigned boat title, if applicable.
- If you bought the vessel from someone in a non-titling state, submit the boat's registration instead.
- The original Manufacturer's Statement of Origin if your boat is brand new AND 14 ft. or longer.
- Payment for the necessary vessel title and registration fees.
Need to register a boat trailer? Head on over to our MA vehicle registration guide for instructions on how to do so (trailers follow the same registration guidelines as regular passenger vehicles).
MA Vessel Title & Registration Fees
The fees to title and register your boat with the MA Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau are as follows:
- Initial/renewal vessel registration (depends on the length of your boat):
- Less than 16 ft: $44.
- 16 ft to less than 26 ft: $66.
- 26 ft to less than 40 ft: $88.
- 40 ft and longer: $110.
- Original boat title: $27.50.
- Per lien added: $16.50.
- Vessel title: $16.50.
- Registration certificate: $11.
- Online transactions fee: $1.50.
- Massachusetts sales tax: 6.25% of the watercraft's purchase price.
All payments submitted in person OR by mail must be in the form of check OR money order made out to the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts." Online transactions can be paid with a credit card.
Renew & Replace MA Registration & Title
Vessel registrations in Massachusetts are valid for 2 years. The Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau will mail you a renewal notice about 1 month before your expiration date.
You can renew your boat registration by providing details about your vessel AND the applicable renewal fees:
- Online: Use the Massachusetts Environmental Police's renewal portal.
- By mail: Use the pre-addressed envelope included with your renewal notice.
- In person: Visit a regional registration office with your current registration.
Replace Lost Registration or Title
If your MA boat title is lost or damaged, you can request a replacement from the Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau by mailing the items below to the nearest registration office:
- A completed Application for Duplicate Title.
- If your current title was damaged, you'll need to provide the mutilated title in addition to the application for a duplicate boat title.
- The applicable fees for a replacement boat title.
You can request a replacement vessel registration card and/or decals:
- By providing information about your boat AND the necessary replacement fees using the MEP's online registration system (you will need to create an account).
- By mailing the following items to your local registration office:
Massachusetts Boater RequirementsThe Boat and Recreation Safety Bureau has certain age and education requirements when it comes to operating vessels on Massachusetts state waters.
If you are:
- Younger than 12 years old: You can only drive a motorized boat if directly supervised by someone who's at least 18 years old.
- Younger than 16 years old: You CANNOT use personal watercraft (PWC) under any circumstances.
- Between 12 and 15 years old and want to operate a motorboat by yourself: You must complete a boater education course.
- 16 or 17 years old and want to operate PWC by yourself: You must complete a boater education course.
To fulfill the Boat and Recreation Safety Bureau's education requirement, you'll need to take a classroom course with one of Massachusetts' approved boating education providers. Even if you aren't required to take a course, doing so will make you a safer operator AND could reduce your boat insurance rates.