Hawaii boater registrations are handled by the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) of the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). DOBOR’s registration policies and legal requirements promote safe boating practices.

Hawaii is a state surrounded by water and networked with waterways, and boating registration fees help provide a safe boating experience for residents and tourists, alike. Continue reading the sections below to learn more about Hawaii’s boater registration requirements and policies, including information about mandatory boater safety education and which boat owners must carry insurance on their vessels.

What do you need to register a boat in Hawaii?

Requirements to register a boat in Hawaii for the first time include mandatory in-person registration at any DOBOR harbor or district office. You will need to complete and sign the official HI boat registration form, Vessel Registration Form 2016, in blue ink and make sure it is printed on white paper.

However, mail-in services are not adequate for initial boat registrations or vessel registration transfers. You will also need to provide your valid Hawaii driver license or state-issued photo ID card and supporting documentation that shows proof of ownership. This can be a bill of sale, notice of transfer or manufacturer’s statement of origin. The signature on all bills of sale must be notarized.

Is your boat exempt from registration in Hawaii?

Common boat registration exemptions in Hawaii include:

  • Manually propelled vessels.
  • Boats eight feet or less in length and solely propelled by sail.
  • Certain public vessels and federally-registered boats.
  • Foreign and out-of-state registered boats that will use Hawaii’s waters for 60 days or less.
  • Vessels used solely on another ship for lifesaving purposes.

It is important to know which boats are exempt from registration in Hawaii so that you can save money on registration while also legally operating your boat.

Boat Insurance Rates in Hawaii

Multiple boat insurance quotes in Hawaii claim to provide insurance coverage that meets the state mandated levels required for vessels moored in DLNR/DOBOR managed offshore moorings. Make sure that any type of insurance in Hawaii meet the statewide insurance minimum of $500,000 required for the use of State facilities such as these moorings. Boat owners who do not use DLNR/DOBOR moorings are not required to carry coverage, though many still choose to protect their vessels by purchasing boat insurance.

Boat Registration Fees in Hawaii

Boat registration fees in Hawaii follow a simple, flat-rate schedule. The boat registration cost in HI for each vessel 20 feet in length or longer is $30.

To renew registration for a boat that size, you will pay $20 annually. Duplicate or replacement registration fees are $10. Late or delinquent fees are calculated monthly, with 10% of the total amount due accruing in late fees every month.

Renewing your Hawaii Boat Registration

You may renew boat registration online in Hawaii by accessing DOBOR’s online renewal system and following the prompts. You can learn exactly how to renew your registration by reviewing DOBOR registration renewal notice.

Boat registration renewal in Hawaii can be obtained in person at any local DOBOR office during normal business hours. If you did not receive a registration renewal notice or you need further information on how to renew your boat registration in HI, call the DOBOR registration line at (808) 587-1970.

Replacing Your Hawaii Boat Registration

You have seven days to replace a boat registration in Hawaii from the time you notice your registration card is lost, stolen or damaged. The steps for replacing a registration in Hawaii are similar to those used at the time of renewal.

The replacement can be done online via the DOBOR renewal system or visit your local DOBOR office in person. Damaged or lost boat registration replacement in HI simply involves showing your current registration card and paying the $10 fee.

Boater Safety Courses in Hawaii

Since 2014, a boater safety course in Hawaii is required for every person operating a boat in state waters and issuing citations to those who do not comply. Hawaii boating safety course requirements include attending an in person course at one of many sites located throughout the state. DOBOR can provide you with a list of providers that are approved by the department. Or you may choose to take your boating safety course online.

Hawaii Boater License

A boater license in Hawaii is not a document that boaters are required to possess. Instead of getting an online boating license or a license from a physical location, boaters are required to fulfill the safety education requirements outlined above. It is important to know that the state-issued boater safety education card, or BSEC, serves as your permission to legally operate a boat in Hawaii.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.