Boat Registration and Licenses in Virginia

Boat Registration & Licenses in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) enforces all boating rules and regulations. On this page, we'll go over boat titling and registration AND the state's requirements to legally operate vessels on the Old Dominion's waterways.

Vessels to Title & Register in Virginia

The VA DGIF requires ALL motorized vessels to be titled AND registered.

Additionally, you must title any sailboats more than 18 ft long.

The following types of watercraft do not require titling or registration:

  • Non-motorized (powered by paddles or oars) vessels like:
    • Canoes.
    • Rowboats.
    • Kayaks.
  • Boats only used on private waters.
  • Watercraft registered in another state, not kept in Virginia for more than 90 consecutive days.

If you still have questions about whether your boat requires a VA title and/or registration, call the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' boat title and registration number: (866) 721-6911.

Title & Register Your Boat in VA

To title and/or register your vessel with the Virginia DGIF, you'll first need to collect the following items:

Submit your vessel title/registration application by any of the following methods:

  • In person at any Virginia DMV office.
  • In person at the DGIF Henrico office, located at:
    • 7870 Villa Park Drive
    • Suite 400
    • Henrico, VA 23228
  • By mail to:
    • Department of Game and Inland Fisheries—Client Services
    • P.O. Box 9930
    • Henrico, VA 23228

The Department of Motor Vehicles will issue a temporary registration that is valid for 90 days. Your Virginia boat registration will be valid for 3 years.

Virginia Boat Title & Registration Fees

Below are the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' fees to title and register your vessel. Checks or money orders need to be made out to “Treasurer of Virginia”:

  • Vessel title: $7.
    • Per lien recorded on an already titled boat: $7.
  • Orginial/renewal registration (determined by your boat's length):
    • Less than 16 ft: $27.
    • 16 up to 20 ft: $31.
    • 20 up to 40 ft: $37.
    • 40 ft and longer: $45.
  • Duplicate:
    • Registration certificate: $9.
    • Boat decals: $9.
    • Vessel title: $2.
  • Watercraft sales tax: 2% of the boat's sale price.

VA Vessel Renewals & Replacements

VA boat registrations are valid for 3 years. The DGIF will mail you a renewal notice before registration's expiration date.

There are a few different ways to renew your vessel registration, including:

If you lost or did not receive a renewal notice, mail a completed Watercraft Registration 3-Year Renewal Application (Form BRT-009) AND the appropriate registration renewal fees to:

  • Department of Game and Inland Fisheries—Client Services
  • P.O. Box 28960
  • Henrico, VA 23228

Replace Lost VA Title & Registration

Lost or damaged your boat title, registration, and/or decals? You can easily request replacements by sending the items below to the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:

Mail the above items to:

  • Department of Game and Inland Fisheries—Client Services
  • P.O. Box 9930
  • Henrico, VA 23228

Virginia Boater Requirements

In Virginia, you're required to complete a boating safety course if you:

  • Are 14 or 15 years old and want to operate personal watercraft (PWC).
    • Boaters younger than 14 years old CANNOT operate PWC.
  • Wish to operate a motorized vessel with 10 HP or more (regardless of age).

To fulfill the DGIF's boater education requirement, complete any of the following:

You can then order your Lifetime Virginia Boating Safety Education Card through the DGIF's affiliated online provider. You will need to pay a $10 fee to receive your education card.

Once you have your card, you'll be good to go out on Virginia state waters!


Application for Watercraft Certificate of Title and Certificate of Number Registration
Application for Virginia watercraft title AND registration through the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
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