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How to Register a Boat or Water Craft in West Virginia

Most new boats must be registered and titled through the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and regulated through the Division of Natural Resources (DNR) before they can be sailed. Registrations are valid for three years.

VESSELS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION

  1. Any motorboat (including those using motors as secondary propelling source).

VESSELS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION

  1. Boats owned by the United States, a solitary state, a county, or a municipality.
  2. Boats registered in another state and not being used in West Virginia for more than 60 days.
  3. Any boat that is propelled only by oars or paddles.
  4. A ship's lifeboat.
  5. Boats registered in another country temporarily plying in West Virginia waters.
  6. Racing boats brought into the State for racing.

TO REGISTER IN PERSON

TO REGISTER BY U.S. MAIL

The boat registration application and proof of ownership along with appropriate fees and taxes can also be mailed to:
Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Services
1800 Kanawha Boulevard, East,
Building 3
Charleston, WV 25317    

FEES

Boat registration fees range from $30 to $75, depending on the size of the vessel. See here for a more detailed breakdown of the registration fees. In addition, vessels registered in West Virginia are subject to a 5% sales tax on their vessel and trailer cost; as well as a $10 fee for titling which needs to be done at the time of registration.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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

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