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How to Register a Boat or Water Craft in New Jersey

Most new boats must be registered through the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles before they can be sailed.

VESSELS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION

  1. Any powerboat

VESSELS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION

  1. Boats registered in another state and not being used in New Jersey for more than 180 days
  2. Boats owned by the United states, a solitary state, a county, or a municipality
  3. Boats registered in another country temporarily plying in New Jersey waters
  4. Racing boats brought into the State for racing or with permit from the New Jersey State Police
  5. A ship's lifeboat
  6. Any boat that is propelled only by oars or paddles, less than 12 feet long
  7. A sailboat without a motor, sailing only on private waters
  8. Surfboards, sailboards, inflatables, canoes and kayaks

TO REGISTER IN PERSON

  • You can register a boat in person by visiting your local MVC Office.
  • You must complete a boat registration application (BA-51 form) and bring proof of ownership such as a notarized bill of sale, invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin, or out-of-state title, previous title and registration, or a notarized sale receipt, along with proof of age and identification; to register vessels longer than 12 feet.
  • You must complete a boat registration application (BA-51 form) and bring proof of ownership such as a notarized bill of sale, invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin, or out-of-state title, previous title and registration, or a notarized sale receipt; proof of age and identification; social security number and a driver's license number (which can be created at the centre if you don't have one) to register vessels shorter than 12 feet.
  • Additional information can be received by contacting:
    Motor Vehicle Commission
    

    Customer Advocacy Office

    P.O. Box 403

    Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0403

FEES

Boat registration fees range from $12 to $251, depending on the size and type of the vessel. See here for a more detailed breakdown of the registration fees.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Both the registration number and current decals must be clearly displayed on the vessel, according to New Jersey requirements.
  • The vessel's registration papers must be carried on the vessel while sailing.
  • For additional information, see Boating Facts and New Jersey Boating Safety Manual.
 

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