Boat Registration and Licenses in New Hampshire

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Boat Registration & Licenses in New Hampshire

All boat registration applications are administered through the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Continue reading for all the information you need to register your vessel AND to learn about the qualifications needed to legally operate boats on NH waters.

NH Vessels You Must Register

In New Hampshire, you're required to register:

  • All motorized vessels, regardless of size.
  • Sailboats and sailboards 12 ft or longer.

You DO NOT need to register:

  • Sailboat and sailboards less than 12 ft in length.
  • Non-motorized kayaks and canoes.
  • Any U.S. government vessel.
  • Any vessel registered in another state operating on New Hampshire waters for 30 consecutive days or less.

Call the DMV's boat registration section at (603) 227-4030 if you're still not sure whether your vessel requires registration.

Register Your Boat in NH

BEFORE turning in a registration application, double check to make sure your vessel has a valid hull identification number (HIN). If your boat is missing a HIN, you'll need to head to your local law enforcement office to have it inspected.

A New Hampshire law enforcement officer will need to fill out a Verification of Vessel Identification (Form RDMV690) for you; do not lose this form!

To register your boat, start by collecting the following items:

Then, complete your registration application by submitting the items above:

  • In person at your local NH Division of Motor Vehicles office OR with an authorized NH boat agent.
  • By mail to:
    • NH Dept. of Safety
    • DMV—Boat Registrations
    • 23 Hazen Drive
    • Concord, NH 03305

New Hampshire boat registrations are valid until December 31st of each year, regardless of when you choose to register the vessel. Therefore, it's best to register watercraft towards the beginning of the calendar year.

FOR EXAMPLE: If you register your boat on December 1st, the registration will only be valid for 30 days (and then you'll need to renew).

New Hampshire Boat Registration Fees

The fees you must pay to register your boat with the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles are as follows:

  • Original and renewal vessel registration (based on the length of your boat):
    • 16 ft or less: $24.
    • 16.1 ft to 21 ft: $34.
    • 21.1 ft to 30 ft: $52.
    • 30.1 ft to 45 ft: $72.
    • 45.1 ft and longer: $92.
  • Additional registration fees for:
    • Lake restoration and preservation (all registrations): $9.50.
    • Fish and Game Department search and rescue fund (all registrations): $1.
    • Registering with an authorized boat agent: $5.
    • Public boat access fund (all registrations): $5.
    • Vessels using tidal or coastal waters: $2.
  • Boat fee: Varies according to the type and age of your watercraft—refer to the DMV's boat fee schedule for specifics.
  • Duplicate registration:
    • Card: $15.
    • Decal: $3.

NH Boat Renewals & Replacements

Registrations expire on December 31st of every year; the NH Division of Motor Vehicles will mail you a renewal notice before your registration expires.

You can renew your vessel registration by providing your renewal notice AND the appropriate renewal fees (as indicated on the renewal notice):

If you lost or did not receive your renewal notice, you can submit your previous registration card AND a completed Boat Registration (Form DSMV 157A) in its place.

Replace Lost Registration

In order to replace a boat registration certificate OR decal, you will need the following items:

Submit the required items above:

New Hampshire Boater Requirements

In New Hampshire, the Department of Safety imposes the following age-based boating restrictions:

  • Boaters who are at least 16 years old and want to operate a vessel with 25 HP or more, must hold a boater education certificate.
  • Boaters who are younger than 16 years old and want to operate a motorboat with 25 HP or more must be accompanied by a supervising adult who's at least 18 years old AND holds a boater education certificate.

To earn a boater education certificate, you'll need to complete a New Hampshire boating education course AND pass a proctored exam.

You can choose to take a boating safety course:

Once you've completed your course, sign up for a proctored exam. After passing the exam, you'll receive your boater education certificate!

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