Renewal season for boat registration

It is boating season and that means that all motorized boats must be registered. Once you’ve registered your boat, all you need to do is make sure your registration is up to date. Although the process differs from state to state, it is pretty easy to follow.

• Your boat registration numbers remain unchanged. There is no need to remove your boat registration stickers.

• Most boat registrations are for two years. DMVs typically mail boat owners one month prior to their expiration date to post renewal reminders.

• All boat owners are required to do is complete the form, include a check to cover applicable fees, and return it by mail. After the DMV has processed the boat registration, it will send the boat owner a new registration form and a validation sticker. You can also renew your registration online.

• The validation sticker must be attached to the hull of the boat. Most boaters simply place the sticker on the expired one. If you prefer to remove last year’s sticker, make sure you place the new sticker within six inches of the last of your boat registration numbers.

• Registration must be on board the boat when it is operated.

• Penalties for operating boats with expired registrations can be severe, including fines of up to $ 1,000 and the possibility of jail time. You can buy a lot of fishing equipment for a large fee. So renew your boat registration today.

If you missed the copy of your boat registration renewal mailed to you, all is not lost. Just go online to your specific state and complete the process. You can also run your business personally in the registry. In the event that your boat registration has expired for a long time, you will need to visit the registration in person. The general expiration period that requires a personal visit is 48 months.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to renew your boat registration.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A Guide to Fly Fishing on the New England Coast, was published in January 2011. Visit him at or

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