The Illinois Department of Natural Resources boat registration process is fairly straightforward. Boat registration can only be done by mail, and the vast majority of watercraft are subject to registration. The boat registration requirements in Illinois may differ from other states, so it is important for boaters to understand them clearly. The following information will address the following issues and topics surrounding boat and watercraft registration in Illinois.
- Requirements for boater registration in Illinois.
- Illinois boat registration fees.
- Renewing your Illinois boat registration.
- Replacing your Illinois boat registration.
- Boater safety courses in Illinois.
You will know how to register a boat after reading the material below.
Requirements for Boater Registration in Illinois
The Illinois DNR boat registration process must be completed by the owners of virtually every type of boat in the state. DNR boat registration does not have to be carried out by the owners of lifeboats, sailboards, and boats that will be in the state for less than 60 consecutive days (these boats must still be registered in their home state. When registering a boat, you will need to complete the following steps.
- Complete Form IL 422-0321 (Watercraft Registration Application). You can obtain this form from a DNR or boat retailer near you.
- Locate the title and watercraft registration of the previous owner, as well as the Certificate of Origin from the manufacturer (if your boat is brand new).
- Contact the Illinois Department of Revenue to determine and pay your sales tax (keep proof of payment).
- Write a check for your vessel registration fee, and make it payable to the Department of Natural Resources.
- Send all of the documents mentioned above, along with your check to the DNR in Springfield.
While waiting for your DNR watercraft registration from the state, your application copy will serve as a temporary form of registration. You will receive your new title, registration, and decals in the mail a few days later. Boaters in Illinois are required to renew their registration every three years. New boat registration must be done within 15 days of your initial purchase.
Illinois Boat Registration Fees
Fees for private and commercial vessel registration are the same, and the amount you are required to pay will depend on the size of your boat. Your boat or canoe registration fee will be higher if you have a larger boat, and you can always view the current fee schedule at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website. The documented vessel registration fee schedule is as follows.
- Powered boats under 16 feet long - $28 (Class 1).
- Boats between 16 and 26 feet long - $60 (Class 2).
- Boats between 26 and 40 feet long - $160 (Class 3).
- Boats more than 40 feet long - $210 (Class 4).
Boaters will receive their new boat registration numbers after they fill out the necessary paperwork and pay one of the fees listed above.
Renewing or Replacing an Illinois Boat Registration
You may register a boat online if need to renew before the end of your three-year period. To register your boat online, you simply need to visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources renewal site. To complete this boat registration process, you will need to enter the numbers from your boat registration and Hull ID. Once you complete the online renewal application and pay any required fees, you will have renewed your registration. You may pay your online renewal fee using an E-Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card.
To complete the DNR boat registration process by phone, you may contact the Department of Natural Resources at your own convenience. You should have your vessel registration documents on hand if you wish to complete the process quickly, and you will be allowed to pay your renewal fee using an E-Check or major credit card. The phone watercraft registration process requires boaters to pay an additional convenience fee. At the end of your transaction, it would be helpful to record the confirmation number you receive.
To replace a lost boat registration in Illinois, you will need to fill out a replacement form and send it along with a $7 fee to the Department of Natural Resources in Springfield.
Illinois Boating Safety Courses and Exams
Before you can receive a watercraft registration in Illinois, you may want to complete an approved safety course. Your vessel registration will not be denied if you are over the age of 17 and choose not to complete a course. By obtaining your boat registration and completing a course, you can decrease your chances of being hurt in an accident. All state-approved courses must be at least eight hours long, and you will be required to pass the exam in order to receive credit for your course. The state recommends that all boating enthusiasts take a safety course.