How to Register a Boat or Water Craft in North Carolina
Most new boats must be registered through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) Division of Engineering Services, before they can be sailed.
VESSELS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Any powerboat
- Sailboats longer than fourteen feet
- Personal watercraft, like jet skis.
- All titled vessels
- Motorboats registered in other states which are used in North Carolina for more than 90 consecutive days.
- Ship lifeboats that are motorized and are also used in non-emergency situations.
VESSELS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Any non-motorized boat like a canoe, row boat, etc. that is propelled only by oars or paddles
- Boats registered with the U.S Coast Guard.
- An unused boat or a watercraft, which is kept ashore.
- Boats which are operated in private waterways or ponds.
- Ship lifeboats that are used only for emergencies.
TO REGISTER THROUGH AN AGENT
- You can register a boat at North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) office through a Wildlife Service Agent.
- You must complete boat registration application (VL-1 form) and provide proof of ownership such as a bill of sale, invoice, and manufacturer's certificate of origin.
- A temporary registration is provided by the agent till the registration as well as decal is mailed to you by the NCWRC.
You can also register in person by going to the NCWRC office at:
1751 Varsity Drive, NCSU Centennial Campus, Raleigh, NC 27606-2576
TO REGISTER BY MAIL
- You must complete boat registration application (VL-1 form)
- Provide proof of ownership such as a bill of sale, title, Hull Identification Number (HIN) and manufacturer's certificate of origin.
- A registration fee ranging from $15 to $60 (depending on one year or three year registration and whether you need titling) has to be enclosed in check or money order and sent with the application and other required documents to:
1751 Varsity Drive, NCSU Centennial Campus, Raleigh, NC 27606-2576It takes up to 15 days for the Commission to mail back the Registration and Decal.
FEESThe agent fee is $40 for three year registration of the vehicle. It becomes $60 if you need registration plus title.
- The vessel registration number should be displayed on the port and starboard bow along with the decal clearly displayed on the starboard bow to the right of the registration number of a vessel.
- For additional information, see the North Carolina boating information on NCWRC.