An Idaho boat registration is required on motorized vessels operated in state waters. Idaho boating law is based on U.S. Coast Guard regulations and thus requires a hull identification number (HIN) verification prior to registration.  Boat registration is part of Idaho’s boating laws and regulations that exist primarily to protect boaters and provide a safe experience on the water.

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) is responsible for issuing boat titles and registrations. Review the sections outlined below to familiarize yourself with Idaho’s boating registration requirements and fees and learn how to renew or replace your Idaho boater registration.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Idaho

All boats with any kind of motor must meet the requirements to register a boat in ID, including boats with electric trolling motors that are ordinarily powered by non-motorized means. It is important to know that titling is required on boats with a permanently attached mode of propulsion and a model year of 2000 or newer.

Because you can only obtain an Idaho boat registration form in person, you must appear at your county assessor’s office or an authorized boat registration vendor and request registration within 15 days of your purchase date. Bring the following documentation:

  • The boat’s title or a bill of sale.
  • Your valid ID driver license, state-issued photo ID, a tax identification number or your Social Security card.
  • Hull identification number (HIN) verification that meets U.S. Coast Guard standards.
  • Fee payment by cash, check, money order or credit card.

You may also obtain an Idaho boat registration form and complete the registration process at the IDPR office in Boise, if it is more convenient for you.

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in Idaho

Common boat registration exemptions in Idaho are similar to those in neighboring states. Knowing which boats are exempt from registration in Idaho can save you time, money and potential legal ramifications.

Other exempt boats include sailboards and other manually-powered vessels, such as drift boats, canoes and kayaks. Vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard do not require titling or registration in Idaho.

Idaho Boat Insurance

Although there are many boat insurance programs in Idaho that provide vessel coverage, there is no state-mandated requirement to purchase it. Due to the risks involved in boating and the expense following boating accidents, the IDPR strongly suggests obtaining boat insurance quotes in ID and protecting yourself and your vessel with adequate insurance coverage. You can reduce the cost of your boat insurance rates in Idaho by having a boating safety education card before you call around for quotes.

Note: If you used a loan to purchase your boat, the lending institution may require you to compare insurance quotes and purchase at least minimal coverage to pay off the loan in the event of a loss.

Idaho Boat Registration Fees

Boat registration fees in Idaho follow a basic format and the total amount of the fee due depends on the vessel’s length. The boat registration cost for both new registrations and annual renewal for vessels 12’ and under is $30. Vessels over 12’ are $30 plus $2 for each additional foot in length.

An additional $10 Idaho Invasive Species sticker fee is added to every boat registration renewal fee. Non-profit agencies enjoy particularly low fees, paying only $2 to register a vessel. It is only $3 to replace your Idaho boat registration certificate of number.

Renewing Your Idaho Boat Registration

You may renew your registration online via the Parks and Recreation Department’s online portal. To apply for your boat registration renewal in Idaho, you will need the sticker number and personal identification number (PIN) provided on your registration renewal notice.

If you want to renew your registration in person, you may do so at an authorized boat registration vendor or at your local county assessor’s office. You will know when to renew a boat registration in Idaho when the IDPR sends your renewal application form, which will also include an address if you wish to process your renewal by mail.

Replacing Your Idaho Boat Registration

The steps for replacing your registration are similar to those outlined above for renewing your boat registration. Boat registration replacement in Idaho is available by simply appearing in person at your local county assessor’s office or an authorized boat registration vendor. Let the clerk know that you need to replace a boat registration in ID, complete an application for a duplicate certificate of number and pay the applicable fee.

Boater Safety Courses in Idaho

There are no requirement for a boater safety course in Idaho, except for those applying to boaters with a record of repeatedly breaking Idaho boating laws. In addition, some counties have rules regarding Idaho boating safety course requirements and other qualifications to operate a boat on the state’s waters. One of the most convenient ways to take a safety course in Idaho is to do so online. Contact the IDPR at (208) 334-4199 if you are interested in taking a boater safety course at a nearby location.

Idaho Boater License

A boater license is not a document that boaters are required to possess in Idaho. Instead of getting an online boating license or a license from a physical location, boaters may be required to fulfill the safety education requirements outlined above. It is important to know that proof of completion of the boater safety education courses may serve as your legal permission to operate a watercraft.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.