Boat registration in Kentucky is a necessary step in owning and operating a vessel. This is to ensure vessels are being operated safely and legally in Kentucky’s rivers and lakes. However, before you can register your boat, make sure to be aware of all the boat registration requirements so you have the proper information on hand.  The steps to registering a boat in Kentucky and the state’s registration exemptions are explained through the following sections.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Kentucky

Vessel registration requires the boater to fill out a registration application form and return it by mail or in-person at the nearest DMV. A bill of sale must be presented so a boater can prove ownership of the vessel. The DMV requires the boat owner to provide their personal information such their Social Security Number to complete the registration process.

Additionally, boat owners must pay the required fee to receive a new boat registration. Boat registration numbers must be visible on a driver’s boat to prove the vessel is currently registered.

Exemptions from Registration and Titling in Kentucky

Vessel registration is not required for boats that are registered out-of-state and will not be used in Kentucky for more than 60 consecutive days. Boat registration stickers are not necessary for the following types of boats:

  • Non-motorized vessel that uses paddles or oars.
  • Electric powerboats used within private waters.
  • Vessels registered with the United States Coast Guard

Kentucky Boat Insurance

Registering a boat in Kentucky allows boat owners to safely and legally operate a vessel within Kentucky waterways. Furthermore, boat owners should consider protecting their property through an insurance policy. The DMV requirements for registered boats does not include the need for a boat insurance policy, but all boat drivers can benefit from the purchase of boat coverage.

A boat insurance policy can cover the cost of boat repairs or replacement in the event of boat collision or theft. New boat registration is an opportunity for boaters to consider an insurance plan to protect their vessel from potential damage.

Kentucky Boat Registration Fees

The vessel registration process requires boaters to fill out an application and provide proper documentation and identification to the DMV. Requirements include a registration fee that must be paid to complete the application process. Kentucky boat registration fees depend on the type and size of the boat.

The fees that apply in Kentucky are listed below:

  • Class A vessels less than 16 feet in length: $19
  • Class 1 vessels between 16 and 25 feet: $23
  • Class 2 vessels between 26 feet and 39 feet: $29
  • Class 3 vessels larger than 40 feet: $33
  • Boats with an electric motor: $9

Renewing Your Kentucky Boat Registration

Boat owners must renew their registration every year. Kentucky boat registration renewal can be completed by mail or in-person at a local DMV office. Boat owners should receive a renewal notice at least 30 days before their registration expires annually on April 30.

The boat registration fee along with the original registration and Social Security Number of the owner can be provided at the DMV to renew the vessel’s registration. Vessel registration renewal can also be completed by mail if the driver sends their original registration and registration fee to the address listed on the renewal notice.

Replacing Your Kentucky Boat Registration

Vessel registration needs to always be kept on a boater’s vessel. Boat registration replacement is necessary if a boat owner’s registration is damaged or lost. This decal proves the validity of a boater’s registration. Boaters can obtain a registration replacement by bringing their personal identification and a $6 fee to the local DMV office.

Boater Safety Courses in Kentucky

Kentucky boat registration allows boat owners to legally operate their vessels within state waterways. Boat registration requirements in Kentucky do not include the need for boaters to complete a boater safety course, but all drivers could benefit from taking a class. Certain types of drivers need to complete a boater safety course to legally drive a vessel.

Boaters between the ages of 12 and 17 need to complete a boater safety course and receive a boater education certificate before operating a vessel over 10 HP unattended. Drivers must pass a boat course exam to receive a boater education certificate. Boater safety courses can be taken online or in a classroom setting to receive a completion certificate.

Kentucky Boater Licenses

New boat registration allows boat owners to legally operate a vessel in the state of Kentucky. Although vessel registration does not require boat drivers to complete a boater safety course, young boaters may be required to complete a course to operate a vessel alone. Boaters between the ages of 12 and 17 need a boater education card to drive a vessel over 10 HP. Registering a boat in Kentucky and completing a boater safety course allows drivers to receive a boater education card and use safe driving skills to avoid boat collisions.

Last updated on Monday, March 11 2019.

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