Boat registration is required for most vessels operating in Alaska’s waters. The Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles (AK DMV) defines a boat as a watercraft used or capable of being used for transportation on water. Powered boats, including non-motorized boats that have auxiliary power units, must be registered, as well as sport fishing guide vessels.

Tender boats that carry passengers from a boat to the shore must be registered if they are powered. Continue reading the sections below for information on obtaining an AK boat registration, how to renew your boat registration and more.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Alaska

You must complete Form 841, the Alaska boat registration form, and submit it to your local DMV office or by mail. You will need to meet all requirements to register a boat in Alaska, which include sharing the boat number, hull identification number (HIN), and providing information about the boat’s type, propulsion, use and other details. The AK DMV agent will also need to see proof of ownership, which may be a manufacture statement of origin (MSO), carpenter’s certificate, bill of sale from previous owner, Affidavit of Ownership (Form 848) or a title or registration from a previous state.

Once you have followed the AK boat registration instructions, a copy of the registration form can be used as a temporary proof of registration for up to 60 days while you wait for the certificate of number to be issued by the DMV. Boat registrations are valid for three years in Alaska.

If desired, you may register by mail. Send the application, supporting documents and fee payment to:

Division of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: Correspondence Unit
1300 W. Benson Blvd. STE 200
Anchorage, AK 99503-3600

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in Alaska

Some of the common boat registration exemptions in AK are as follows:

  • Non-boats, such as a seaplane, inspected passenger vehicle, air mattresses, inner tubes or other water toys
  • A ship’s lifeboat
  • Non-powered boats, unless they are used as a sport fishing guide’s boat or have an auxiliary power unit
  • Boats registered in another state or country that are not operated more than 90 consecutive days in Alaska
  • Vessels owned by the United States or any state or political subdivision of a state
  • Boats that are documented elsewhere in the U.S. or a foreign country

Note that another category of boats that do not require registration and titling in AK include those principally used in other states. These vessels must be registered in the state where they are used.

Alaska Boat Insurance

Boaters may choose from various boat insurance quotes in Alaska to obtain financial protection in the event of a boating accident. While insurance provides coverage, it is not required for boat registration. It is wise to enroll in boat insurance programs in Alaska as it can provide coverage for physical property damage, bodily injury and emergency assistance.

Alaska Boat Registration Fees

Boat registration fees in AK are on a simple fee structure. When obtaining an initial registration or a registration renewal on a powered vessel, the boat registration cost in Alaska is $24. Obtaining AK registration or renewals on a non-powered boat comes with a $10 fee. If you need to replace a lost registration, the AK DMV will charge $5 for a replacement document.

Renewing Your Alaska Boat Registration

If you are wondering how to renew your boat registration in Alaska, you may find it easiest to renew boat registration online in AK through the same DMV portal used for car registration renewals. Online renewal will also save you the $10 in-person processing fee. Simply enter the registration renewal number (RRN) from your renewal notice, or the boat number and the last two digits of the HIN, then follow the prompts.

In addition to knowing when to renew a boat registration in Alaska, you should also know how to complete Form 841S, Boat Transaction Application. If there were changes to the boat type, fuel type or propulsion, complete a new form to document the changes with the AK DMV.

Replacing Your Alaska Boat Registration

You must replace a boat registration in AK as soon as possible after discovering that your registration or boat tabs are missing or ruined by water or other damage. Note that you will need the same form mentioned above, Boat Transaction Application (Form 841S). AK boaters cannot replace a boat registration online at this time. Submit the completed boat registration replacement in AK form with your $5 fee to the AK DMV in person or by mail. Use the same mailing address listed above.

Boater Safety Courses in Alaska

You may sign up for a boater safety course in Alaska by contacting the AK Department of Natural Resource’s Office of Boating Safety or the U.S. Coast Guard. Either course will provide you with the information needed to enjoy safe boating on the state’s waters. You may also obtain boating safety education online from the comfort of home.

Alaska Boater License

The state does not require boaters to carry a boater license or even take a boater safety course. Though an online boating license is not required for boaters of any age, state regulations require boat operators younger than 12 to be accompanied at all times by someone 18 years of age or older.

Last updated on Monday, March 11 2019.

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