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Boat Registration and Licenses in Vermont

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In Vermont, the Fish and Wildlife Department enforces all boating rules and regulations, while the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) processes all vessel titles and registrations.

Keep reading to learn about watercraft titling and registration AND the requirements to operate boats on Vermont state waters.

Boat Title & Registration Requirements

ALL motorized boats, regardless of size or type, must be registered with Vermont's Department of Motor Vehicles.

The following vessels are exceptions to the registration requirement:

  • Vessels registered in another state and not used in Vermont for more than 90 consecutive days.
  • Vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • All non-motorized kayaks, canoes and sailboats.
  • Boats from out-of-country using VT waters for 90 days or fewer.
  • Watercraft owned by the U.S. government.
  • Lifeboats.

Additionally, you must title ALL motorized boats aged 15 years or less AND/OR measuring 16 ft or more.

You do not need to title the following types of watercraft:

  • Boats less than 16 ft. long.
  • Human-powered watercraft, like canoes and kayaks.
  • Vessels powered by a motor with 10 horsepower or under.
  • Vessels owned by an entity of the U.S. government.
  • Boats titled out-of-state used as regular interstate transport for people and/or property.
  • Watercraft older than 15 years old.

Still not positive about whether your boat requires a title and/or registration? Give the Vermont DMV a call at (802) 828-2000 for clarification.

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Apply for VT Boat Title & Registration

The steps to title and/or register your boat with the VT DMV can vary depending on the status of your vessel's hull identification number (HIN).

Hull Identification Numbers

BEFORE applying for a vessel title and/or registration, you'll need to make sure your boat meets Vermont's HIN requirements.

If your boat does NOT have a HIN (because it's homemade or rebuilt), you will need to request a HIN by submitting:

  • A completed Application for Assignment of VIN/HIN (Form TA-VT-03).
  • The title(s) AND/OR bill(s) of sale for all the parts used in the vessel's reconstruction, IF If the boat is rebuilt.

Provide the required items above in person OR by mail to:

  • Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
  • 120 State Street
  • Montpelier, VT 05603

If you need a Vermont title (registration-only boats are exempt) for any of the following types of vessels, you'll FIRST need to complete a HIN verification:

  • Boats bought from private sellers with out-of-state titles.
  • Watercraft with titles under bond.
  • Vessels with out-of-country registrations.
  • Boats with a salvage title.

You can request a HIN verification with local law enforcement OR with certain DMV office branches—call the agency ahead of time to confirm that they conduct HIN verifications). The inspector will need to fill out a Verification of VIN or HIN (Form TA-VT-10) for you—don't lose this!

Title & Register Your Boat

To apply for a Vermont boat title and/or registration, provide the following items at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office:

  • A completed Motorboat Registration & Title Application (Form TA-VD-37).
    • Be sure to complete the Vermont Use Tax Return (Form SU-452), included with the title and registration application, if you haven't paid sales and use tax on the vessel. You're exempt from paying VT sales and use tax if you meet any of the following qualifications:
      • You can provide a dealer invoice stating you already paid sales and use tax of at least 6%, from any dealership in a tax-imposing state.
      • You're NOT a resident of Vermont AND the vessel was purchased or titled/registered in another state.
      • The watercraft was acquired through a non-taxable transaction (e.g. as a gift or inheritance).
  • Proof of ownership, such as:
    • The Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (brand new boats).
    • A properly assigned title (used boats).
    • Most recent boat registration (vessels exempt from titling in VT).
  • A bill of sale, which includes:
    • The boat's make and model year.
    • Your hull identification number.
    • The sale price of the vessel.
    • The date of purchase.
    • A signature from the seller.
  • If applicable, your completed Verification of VIN or HIN (Form TA-VT-10).
  • Payment for all the applicable boat title/registration fees.

You can choose to register your boat for 1 year OR 2 years, with the registration expiring on the final day of December at the end of your registration period.

Vermont Boat Title & Registration Fees

Below are the costs to title and register watercraft with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • Initial and renewal boat registration (depends on the length of your vessel AND how long you'd like to register for):
    • Class A (less than 16 ft) for:
      • 1 year: $31.
      • 2 years: $57.
    • Class I (16 ft to 26 ft) for:
      • 1 year: $49.
      • 2 years: $93.
    • Class II (26 ft to 40 ft) for:
      • 1 year: $80.
      • 2 years: $155.
    • Class III (40 ft and longer) for:
      • 1 year: $153.
      • 2 years: $303.
  • Original vessel title: $22.
    • Per lien added: $11.
  • Registration transfer fee for:
    • Large motorboats: $6.
    • Small motorboats: $6.
  • Replacement:
    • Boat registration: $3.
    • Vessel title: $22.
  • Vermont sales and use tax: 6% of the boat's purchase price.

VT Boat Registration Renewals

Vermont vessel registrations are valid for 1 year OR 2 years, depending on what you choose. The Department of Motor Vehicles will mail you a renewal application before your registration expires.

You can renew your Vermont boat registration:

NOTE: If you lost or did not receive a renewal application, submit a completed Motorboat Registration & Title Application (Form TA-VD-37) along with the appropriate registration renewal fees to the DMV's main office.

Replacement Title & Registration

If your Vermont boat title or registration is lost or destroyed, don't worry!

You can request a replacement boat registration (not title) online by providing your vessel's HIN AND the $3 replacement registration fee using VT's DMV Express.

You can also request a duplicate registration AND/OR title in person OR by mail. Begin by gathering the applicable items below:

  • A completed:
  • A valid photo identification if requesting a replacement title in person.
  • The $3 fee for a replacement boat registration AND/OR the $22 fee for a duplicate vessel title.

Then, you can submit the required items above in person OR by mail to the Department of Motor Vehicles' main office at:

  • Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
  • 120 State Street
  • Montpelier, VT 05603

Vermont Boater Requirements

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department imposes certain age-based restrictions when it comes to operating vessels on VT state waters.

If you are younger than:

  • 12 years old, you CANNOT operate motorized vessels with more than 6 horsepower on public waters, regardless of whether you take a boating safety course.
  • 16 years old you CANNOT use personal watercraft (PWC) on public VT waterways, even if you complete a boater education course.

Anyone born after January 1, 1974, must complete an approved boating safety course to operate any motorized vessels, including PWC.

You can choose to take a boating safety course in the classroom OR online. For a list of approved boater education providers, check out the VT State Police's boating education page.

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