Georgia boater registrations are managed by the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR). Boat registration is an important part of boat ownership in that it helps promote safe boating practices.

Registration numbers help marine deputies identify vessels violating state boating laws, which helps keep Georgia’s waterways safe for all boaters. To learn more about the requirements for boater registration in Georgia, including fees, exemptions and renewal policies, study the information outlined below.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Georgia

There are several steps and requirements to register a boat in Georgia, and all mechanically propelled vessels will need to obtain it. Registration protocols indicate that sailboats over 12’ in length must also be registered to be operated on waters of the state. The official Georgia boat registration form is called the Georgia Vessel Registration Application, which must be completed in full and signed.

Other supporting documents required for registration include:

  • Proof of ownership, most commonly a boat bill of sale including vessel identification information and the seller’s and owner’s names.
  • If a bill of sale is unavailable, a dealer’s invoice, transferred title, legal gift or donation documents or divorce decree with ownership transfer may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • For new vessels, a legible copy of the manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO).
  • For out-of-state registrations, a legible copy of the title or registration card.
  • For homemade vessels, a hull identification number (HIN), which must be obtained before registration can take place.

Another boat registration requirement is that all documents must have adequate information to identify the boat, such as its registration number, HIN, length, make, year and the vessel’s main construction material. You may submit new registrations online through the Go Outdoors Georgia online portal, by emailing documents to, by faxing them to (678) 515-9470 or mailing them to the following address:

Georgia Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 943943
Atlanta, GA 31193-4943

Is your boat exempt from registration in Georgia?

Knowing which boats are exempt from registration in Georgia is a good practice for all boat owners in the state to avoid penalties and operate a watercraft legally. Common exemptions include:

  • Sailboats measuring less than 12’ that have no mechanical propulsion.
  • Vessels that are paddled, poled, oared or windblown, such as canoes, kayaks, rubber rafts and rowboats.
  • Boats that are operated solely on private ponds or lakes.

Georgia Boat Insurance

It is wise to request boat insurance rates in Georgia for your vessel, even if it is not required by state law. Insurance exists to help protect boaters against catastrophic financial loss in the event of an accident.

Some boaters do not bother obtaining boat insurance quotes in GA because they assume their vessels are covered under their auto or homeowner’s insurance. This is not the case, except for when the boat is being pulled by a trailer attached to your personal vehicle and it is protected by your car insurance policy. If you have a lien or a loan on your boat, the lender may require you to contact boat insurance companies in Georgia and purchase a policy to cover the value of the vessel.

How much does it cost to register a boat in Georgia?

The amount of your boat registration fees in Georgia are determined by the length of the vessel:

  • Boats less than 16’ in length: $35
  • Boats 16’ to less than 26’ in length: $70
  • Boats 26’ to less than 40’ in length: $140
  • Boats 40’ and over in length: $210

The boat registration cost in Georgia for a duplicate or replacement is only $11 and the late fee for lapsed registration renewals is $10. An additional transaction fee is added to all services. On mail, phone or online registrations, you will pay an additional $10. The online renewal transaction fee is $8.

Renewing Your Georgia Boat Registration

You may renew boat registration online in Georgia through the DNR’s web-based renewal system or call in your renewal to 1-800-366-2661. If you want to renew your registration with a check or money order, you may send in your renewal application and payment by mail. Make the check or money order payable to Georgia DNR and send all required documentation to the address listed above.

If you are wondering when to renew a boat registration in Georgia, note that registrations are valid for three calendar years and they expire on the last day of the owner’s birthday month in the final year of registration. You will receive a notice stating that your renewal is due soon and it will come with an application for renewal.

How to Replace Your Boat Registration in Georgia

The steps to replace a boat registration in Georgia are similar to those outlined for renewals, except the fee is minimal. Registration requires a completed Vessel Registration Application, with the box checked beside “duplicate decals and registration card.” You also have the option to replace your registration online, by mail or over the phone, through the same sources detailed above.

Boater Safety Courses in Georgia

You will need to take a boater safety course in Georgia if you were born after January 1, 1998 and will be operating a registered motorized vessel on the state’s waterways. A Georgia boating safety course is available online or locally by taking a course that is approved by the DNR.

Georgia Boater License

An online boating license is not necessary to obtain in Georgia. The DNR does not require boaters to get a boating license in GA, but it does acknowledge U.S. Coast Guard licenses. If you plan to use your boat to fish, you will need to obtain a fishing license from the DNR.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.