How to Register a Boat or Water Craft in Illinois
Most new boats must be registered through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) before they can be sailed. A vessel must be registered within 15 days of purchase.
VESSELS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Vessels sailing in Illinois waters
VESSELS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Boats registered with the US Coast Guard using Illinois waters for less than 60 days
- Surfboards or sailboards
- Boats registered in another state and not being used in Illinois for more than 60 days
- Boats registered in another country temporarily plying in Illinois waters
- A ship's lifeboat
- Boats owned by the United States, a solitary state, a county, or a municipality, with clearly visible identification.
- Racing boats brought into the State for racing
- Any boat that is propelled only by oars or paddles and sailing on private waters
- A canoe or a kayak owned by a non-profit organisation.
TO REGISTER IN PERSON
- You can register a boat in person by visiting your nearest DNR office.
- You must bring a completed boat registration application and proof of ownership such as a bill of sale, invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin, or out-of-state title. If it is a used boat then the previous registration and title documents will also be required.
TO REGISTER BY U.S. MAIL
The boat registration application and proof of ownership can also be mailed to:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 19226
Springfield, IL 62794-9226
Boat registration fees range from $13 to $107, depending on the size of the vessel. See here for a more detailed breakdown of the registration fees. In addition, vessels registered in Illinois are subject to sales taxes which can be determined by calling the Illinois Department of Revenue at 800- 732-8866.
- Both the vessel registration number and hull identification numbers must be clearly displayed on the vessel, according to Illinois requirements. A copy of the boat registration application can be used as a temporary registration for 120 days till the permanent registration is received.
- For additional information, see Digest 03-07-07.pdf The Illinois Boat Title.