Boat Registration and Licenses in New York
New York Boat Title, Registration, & Licenses
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) handles the registration and titling for all boats.
Keep scrolling for information on titling and/or registering a vessel AND the qualifications needed to operate boats on NY waters.
NY Vessels to Title & Register
In New York, you must register any boat that is partially OR wholly motor-driven and used on the state's public waterways. Vessels exempt from registration include:
- Non-motorized vessels, like kayaks and canoes.
- Any boat registered out-of-state and not used in New York for more than 90 consecutive days.
- Commercial boats with U.S. or foreign documentation.
- Watercraft racing in a competition.
The NY DMV only issues titles for motorboats that meet ALL of the following criteria:
- Manufactured in 1987 or more recent.
- Have a length of at least 14 ft.
- Registered in New York.
If you're not positive about whether your boat requires a title and/or registration, call the Department of Motor Vehicles at (518) 486-9786 for clarification.
Title & Register Your Boat in NY
To register and/or title your boat, with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, gather the following:
- A completed Boat Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82B).
- An acceptable document to prove ownership of the boat.
- Proof of identity (name and date of birth).
- If there's a lien on the boat, a completed Notice of Lien (Form MV-900).
- If you bought the vessel from a dealer, a bill of sale.
- The bill of sale also serves as proof of sales tax paid.
- A sales tax clearance document if you did not buy the boat from a dealer and wish to:
- Title and register OR only register the vessel: A completed Statement of Transaction – Sale or Gift of Motor Vehicle, Trailer, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Vessel (Boat), or Snowmobile (Form DTF-802).
- Title the vessel only: A Sales Tax Clearance (Form FS-6T), which is only available at NY DMV agencies.
- Payment for the applicable title/registration fees.
If you're making an application to title and register OR only register your watercraft, submit the required items above in person at your local DMV office branch.
If you're applying for a title ONLY, you will need to mail the appropriate items above to:
- NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
- Title Bureau
- 6 Empire State Plaza
- Albany, NY 12228
Your New York vessel registration will be valid for 3 years.
New York Boat Title & Registration Fees
The costs associated with titling and registering your boat with the NY Department of Motor Vehicles are as follows:
- Initial and renewal vessel registration (calculated by the length of your boat):
- Less than 16 feet: $26.25.
- 16 ft to 26 ft: $57.50.
- 26 ft or longer: $93.75.
- Boat title: $50.
- Lien fee: $5 per lien.
- Replacement fees:
- Registration (card or sticker): $2.
- Title: $20.
- NY sales tax: 8.875% of the vessel's sale price.
Renew Your NY Boat Registration
Boat registrations are valid for 3 years. The New York DMV will send you a renewal notice in the mail before your vessel's expiration date.
You can renew your boat registration:
- Online by providing details about your watercraft AND the necessary renewal fees.
- By submitting your renewal notice AND the appropriate renewal fees:
- In person at a DMV office branch.
- By mail to:
- New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
- Utica Processing Center
- P.O. Box 359
- Utica, NY 13503
- In person at a DMV office branch.
NOTE: If you lost or did not receive a renewal notice, you can submit a completed a Boat Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82B) in its place.
Replace Your Vessel Title & Registration
If you need another copy of your NY boat title and/or registration, you will need to submit the applicable items below at your local Department of Motor Vehicles agency:
- A completed:
- An acceptable proof of identity documentation.
- The appropriate replacement registration/title fees.
New York Boater Safety Courses
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation outlines the qualifications needed to operate watercraft in NY.
Starting in 2020, NY began phasing in Brianna's Law, which requires boat operators to complete a boater education course and receive a Boating Safety Certificate. Those required to take the safety course is based on the year they were born:
- Beginning in 2020, anyone born on or after January 1, 1993.
- Beginning in 2022, anyone born on or after January 1, 1988.
- Beginning in 2023, anyone born on or after January 1, 1983.
- Beginning in 2024, anyone born on or after January 1, 1978.
- Beginning in 2025, ALL boat operators will be required to complete a boat safety course.
- To operate personal watercraft you must complete a boating education course AND be at least 14 years old.
You can fulfill the boating education requirement by taking a course:
- In the classroom.
For a complete list of approved boater education providers, jump over to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation's webpage on safe boating classes.