Boat Registration and Licenses in Texas

Boat Registration & Licenses in Texas

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) processes all vessel title and registration applications.

Continue reading to learn about applying for boat title and registration AND the minimum requirements to operate watercraft in the Lone Star State.

TX Boats You Must Title & Register

The TPWD requires registration for the following types of boats:

  • All motorized vessels (including those powered by trolling motors).
  • Any sailboat measuring 14 ft or more.
  • All sailboats with auxiliary engines.
  • U.S. Coast Guard-documented vessels.

Exceptions to the Parks and Wildlife Department's registration requirement include:

  • All non-motorized (powered by paddles/oars):
    • Canoes and kayaks.
    • Punts.
    • Rowboats.
    • Rubber rafts.
  • Sailboats less than 14 ft propelled only by the wind.
  • Coast Guard-documented commercial vessels that are:
    • Used in coastal shipping.
    • Longer than 115 ft.

In addition, you're required to title the following vessels in TX:

  • All motorized boats.
  • Sailboats:
    • Measuring at least 14 ft long.
    • With auxiliary engines.
  • Gasoline and diesel-powered outboard motors.

Boats exempt from the TPWD's titling requirement include:

  • Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Non-motorized (powered by oars/paddles):
    • Rowboats.
    • Canoes and kayaks.
    • Rubber rafts.
    • Punts.
  • Sailboats propelled only by the wind measuring less than 14 ft.

If you aren't sure about whether your boat requires titling and/or registration, call the TDWP's boat information hotline at (800) 262-8755 for clarification.

Register & Title Your Vessel in TX

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department requires you to title and/or register a recently-purchased vessel within 45 days of the sale date (before late fees apply).

To register and/or title your boat, begin by gathering the following items:

Then, if possible, have the seller accompany you to submit the required items above at:

Your Texas boat registration will be valid for 2 years.

Texas Boat Title & Registration Fees

The fees to title and register your vessel with the TX Parks and Wildlife Department are as follows:

  • Original and renewal boat registration (depends on the length of your boat):
    • Less than 16 ft: $32.
    • 16 ft to less than 26 ft: $53.
    • 26 ft to less than 40 ft: $110.
    • 40 ft or more: $150.
  • Vessel/outboard motor title: $27.
  • Registration transfer fee: $11.
  • Duplicate:
    • Registration card: $11.
    • Boat decals AND registration card (must be replaced with duplicate decals): $22.
    • Title: $27.
  • Taxes for:
    • New Texas residents: $15.
    • Sales and use: 6.25% of the purchase price.

TX Vessel Renewals & Replacements

Boat registrations are valid for 2 years in Texas. The TX Parks and Wildlife Department will mail you a renewal notice before your boat's expiration date.

You can renew your TX vessel registration by any of the following methods:

If you lost or did not receive your renewal notice, you can also mail:

Send the above to:

4200 Smith School Road
Austin, Texas 78744

Replace a Lost Boat Title or Registration

If your boat title or registration is lost or destroyed, you can request duplicates by providing:

Then, submit the required items above at any of the following locations:

Texas Boater Requirements

The TX Parks and Wildlife Department requires boat operators to have completed a certified boater safety course if they were born on or after September 1, 1993. If you are 13 years old or older AND have a certified boater safety certificate, you may operate the following types of watercraft without adult supervision:

  • Personal watercraft (e.g. Jet Skis).
  • Wind-propelled watercraft (e.g. sailboats) longer than 14 ft.
  • Motorized boats with greater than 15 HP.

To complete the TPWD's education requirement, enroll in:

Keep in mind, completing a boater education course could earn you discounts on boat insurance. Even if you're not required to enroll in a course, becoming a better boater AND saving some cash makes that extra education worth it.


PWD 143M
Vessel/Boat Records Maintenance
Form used to request renewed, corrected, OR replacement TX boat registration, replacement Texas boat title, OR additional boat ID cards.
PWD 314
Affidavit of Fact
Form used in conjunction with Texas boat title/registration forms to provide supplemental information.
PWD 143
Vessel/Boat Application
Submit this form to TX Parks and Wildlife to apply for a boat title AND/OR registration. Can also be used to pay taxes on smaller vessels.
PWD 504
Verification of Vessel or Outboard Motor Serial Number
Use this form to verify your boat's identification/serial number with Texas Parks and Wildlife.
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