Boat Registration and Licenses in Massachusetts

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:

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.
  • Duplicate:
    • 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 submittedby mail must be in the form of check OR money order made out to the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts." In- person and 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:

You can request a replacement vessel registration card and/or decals:

Massachusetts Boater Requirements

TheBoat 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.

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