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How to Register a Boat or Water Craft in Wisconsin

Most new boats must be registered through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) before they can be sailed.

VESSELS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION

  1. Any motorboat (including those using motors as secondary propelling source).
  2. Sailboats longer than 12 feet.

VESSELS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION

  1. Any boat that is propelled only by oars or paddles or less than 12 feet long.
  2. Boats registered in another country temporarily plying in Wisconsin waters.
  3. Boats registered in another state and not being used in Wisconsin for more than 60 days.
  4. Sailboards.
  5. Boats brought into the State to remain less than 10 days for racing with permission from the government.
  6. Boats registered for fishing.

TO REGISTER IN PERSON

  • You can register a boat in person by visiting your local WDNR office.
  • You must bring a completed boat registration application (9400-193 form) and proof of ownership such as a bill of sale, invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin, purchase agreement, previous title and registration, or out-of-state title and the appropriate fees. These are mentioned on the registration application.

TO REGISTER BY U.S. MAIL

The boat registration application and proof of ownership and appropriate fee can also be mailed to:
Registration Processing Center
PO Box 78701
Milwaukee, WI 53278-0701    

FEES

Boat registration fees range from $5.50 to $91 depending on the size and type of the vessel. See here for a more detailed breakdown of the registration fees. In addition, vessels registered in Wisconsin are subject to a payment of $5 extra if they have an existing lien.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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

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