A Connecticut boat registration is required on most types of vessels operated within the state. Registration is part of CT’s boating laws and regulations that exist primarily to protect boaters and provide a safe experience on the water.

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (CT DMV) is responsible for issuing boat titles and registrations. Review the details provided below to familiarize yourself with Connecticut’s boater registration requirements, laws and fees, and learn how to renew or replace your CT boater registration.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Connecticut

Having a valid CT boat title is one of the first requirements to register a boat in Connecticut for boats with a model year of 2017 or later, but titling and registration can happen simultaneously. The CT boat registration form (Form B-148) includes titling information and must be filled out completely and signed before submitting to the CT DMV. In addition to Form B-148, bring the following documents:

  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), out-of-state title or previously documented paperwork on the vessel.
  • Bill of sale that includes a description of the vessel, the previous state and number, the seller’s and purchaser’s name and address, the date of sale and the amount paid.
  • Proof of payment of sales and use tax or proof of tax exemption.
  • Certificate of decal.
  • State-issued driver license or photo ID card.

CT boat registration instructions include one extra step when registering a used boat with an out-of-state registry in a state that does not issue boat titles. You will need to provide that state’s boater registration along with a letter from the state declaring that they do not provide boat titles. Additionally, boaters must satisfy any outstanding property tax debts before registering a boat in CT.

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in Connecticut

The most basic rule for determining which boats are exempt from registration in CT is that non-motorized vessels less than 19.5 feet in length do not require titling and registration. Other registration exemptions include:

  • Vessels propelled by paddle or oar.
  • Vessels owned by federal or state governments.
  • Vessels used solely as lifeboats on other vessels.
  • Boats being held by a dealer for sale or lease.

Boats that do not require registration and titling in Connecticut, but only require registration, are those with a model year of 2016 or earlier.

Connecticut Boat Insurance

Boat insurance programs in CT are designed to cover potential boat-related loss, damages or injuries, although these are not required in Connecticut. If you have a lien or loan on your vessel, the lending company might require you to obtain insurance and carry coverage necessary to repay the loan in the event of a loss. Boat insurance rates in CT vary somewhat, but many boaters find the expense worth the peace of mind.

Connecticut Boat Registration Fees

Boat registration fees in CT vary greatly depending upon the size of the boat, what its hull is made of and its age. At the lowest end of the range, the boat registration cost in CT for a wooden vessel 25 years or older and under 12 feet in length is $1.88.

At the highest end of the CT DMV boat registration fee chart, a fiberglass or metal-hulled vessel 65 feet or more in length costs $525 to register. The CT DMV clerk will be able to provide you with the correct fee for your vessel.

Renewing Your Connecticut Boat Registration

You cannot renew boat registration online in Connecticut, but you can renew in person at a DMV office or by mail. Boat registration renewal in CT requires simply submitting the renewal notice and the applicable fees. If you want to renew your registration by mail, you should know to send your documents to the address provided on the renewal notice, or to this main address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Marine Vessel Section
60 State St.
Wethersfield, CT 06161

Replacing Your Connecticut Boat Registration

You can replace a boat registration in Connecticut if the registration documents become damaged, lost or stolen. Note that you will need to provide the DMV with your vessel registration number, your name, address and signature, and pay the $20 replacement fee. Though you cannot replace a boat registration online, you may request one in person at your local CT DMV office or submit a request by mail to the address provided above.

Boater Safety Courses in Connecticut

You must take a boater safety course in Connecticut and keep a copy of the boating certificate on hand any time the vessel is in operation. There are different safety course options, but the state only acknowledges those that result in one of the following:

  • Safe Boating Certificate (SBC)
  • Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO), needed to operate jet skis and similar vessels
  • Vessel operator’s license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard

Contact the boating safety education department of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for more information on boater safety laws. You can also register for an boater safety course online.

Connecticut Boater License

Although CT requires all boaters over age 16 to have a valid boating certificate, the only type of boater license acknowledged is a vessel operator’s license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Some boaters use the terms “Connecticut boating license” and “Connecticut boating certificate” interchangeably, although they are technically not the same thing.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.