How to Register a Boat in Washington State
If you are planning on operating a boat in Washington
state, it is important to understand the registration requirements. Registering
your boat with the state of Washington is not only required by law, but it also
helps to ensure that your boat is properly maintained and safe for use. Here is
a step-by-step guide to registering your boat in Washington state.
Step 1: Determine if Your Boat Requires Registration
The first step in registering your boat in Washington
state is to determine whether your boat requires registration. Boats that are
powered by a motor or sail, including electric motors, must be registered. This
includes boats that are used for recreational purposes, as well as those that
are used for commercial purposes.
Step 2: Gather Required Documents
Before you can register your boat in Washington state,
you will need to gather some important documents. These include:
- Proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale or
manufacturer's statement of origin
- A completed Boating Safety Education Card
- Payment for registration fees
- Current registration, if it is registered in
- Out of state title properly assigned to you. If
you don’t have a title, you’ll have to contact the Boat Licensing Office here.
- Proof of sales tax paid, such as a tax receipt or
bill of sale with sales tax included
Step 3: Complete the Application
Once you have the necessary documents, you will need to
complete the Vessel Title Application, available from the Department of Licensing
(DOL) website here. This
form asks for basic information about your boat, such as its make and model,
length, and hull identification number. You will also need to provide your
personal information, including your name, address, and contact information.
Step 4: Pay Fees and Taxes
When you submit your application, you will also need to
pay registration fees and any applicable taxes. The fees vary depending on the
length of your boat. You can find more information about registration fees on
the DOL website here.
Any unpaid registration fees or taxes will need to be paid with check or money
order, made payable to the Washington State Department of Licensing.
Step 5: Submit the Application
Once you have completed the application, you can submit
it to the DOL. You can submit your application in person at a Boat Licensing Office
(click here to
find your nearest office) or by mail to the address below.
Step 6: Receive Your Certificate of Number and Decals
Once your application has been processed and your fees
have been paid, you will receive your Certificate of Number and Decals. This
document serves as proof of registration and should be carried on board your
boat at all times. The decals should be displayed on the port and starboard
sides of your vessel along with your registration number. The numbers should be
in block lettering, at least three inches high, in contrasting color to the
In conclusion, registering your boat in Washington
state is a straightforward process that requires a few simple steps. By
following these steps, you can ensure that your vessel is properly registered
and in compliance with state laws. If you have any questions about the
registration process, be sure to reach out to the Washington State Parks and
Recreation Commission or DOL for assistance.