The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) handles all boat registration for vessels operated on state waterways. Boat registration is beneficial to all Maryland boaters because it helps create a safe boating experience for MD residents and visitors. Visible registration numbers also help marine deputies identify vessels and their owners in the event of boat theft or an accident. As you read the sections below, you will learn about registering your watercraft with the Maryland DNR, the qualifications you need to operate your vessel safely on the state’s waterways, and how to obtain an MD boat registration renewal or replacement.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Maryland

One of the requirements to register a boat in MD is to ensure that your vessel meets registration requirements. MD boat registration instructions apply to commercial or recreational vessels equipped with any kind of primary or auxiliary mechanical propulsion that are used in Maryland more than any other state within a calendar year. The registration form (DNR Form B-240) must be completed and submitted within 30 days of taking possession of the vessel.

You will also need to supply the appropriate supporting documents listed below:

  • For new dealer-purchased vessels, provide an original Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) and an original certified or notarized bill of sale if the MCO does not include the purchaser’s name, purchase price, date of sale and all parties’ signatures.
  • For new vessels 12’ or smaller purchased online, provide MD boat registration form along with the MCO, a pencil tracing or clear photo of the hull identification number (HIN) and evidence of payment.
  • To register a boat in MD greater than 12’ purchased online, you need the MCO fully executed by the manufacturer and an original certified or notarized bill of sale if the MCO does not include the purchaser’s name, purchase price, date of sale and all parties’ signatures.
  • For used vessels, provide the original title (properly assigned), an original certified or notarized bill of sale that includes the names of the buyer and seller, date of sale, seller’s signature, amount of sale and vessel description. Include an original lien release, if the title shows a recorded lien.

All vessel types listed above must have verification that the HIN matches the number on all recorded documents. You may present your completed application, fee payment and documents in person or mail them to your nearest official Department of Natural Resources Service Center. Note that your MD vessel excise tax must be paid before you can obtain your boat registration.

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in Maryland

Common boat registration exemptions in Maryland are important to know, that way you don’t waste your time applying for a registration if you don’t need one. The list of which boats are exempt from registration in MD includes vessels propelled exclusively by oars or paddles, vessels registered in another state, and those documented by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Maryland Boat Insurance

Boat insurance rates in MD can vary, but many boaters find the expense small compared to the potential risk of boating without insurance coverage. Researching boat insurance quotes in Maryland may be necessary if you have a lien on your vessel as the lending company may require you to obtain it in order to protect it. Many insurance providers write policies for boaters, although the state does not require boating insurance by law.

Maryland Boat Registration Fees

Boat registration fees in MD follow this flat-rate format:

  • $2 title fee.
  • $24 registration fee.
  • $10 documented decal fee for U.S. Coast Guard documented vessels.
  • $15 fee to file a security interest if a lien is recorded.
  • $2 duplicate title fee.
  • $1 duplicate registration decal fee.

The boat registration cost in Maryland for renewals is the same as the initial boat registration fee.

Renewing Your Maryland Boat Registration

You cannot renew boat registration online in Maryland and renew in person or via mail. The Maryland DNR will mail a renewal notice about 30 days prior to your registration expiration date.

This notice outlines the boat registration renewal process and tells you how to complete your renewal on time so that your registration does not expire do not. Submit this notice and fee payment in person at your local DNR service center or you may mail it to the DNR.

Replacing Your Maryland Boat Registration

You can replace a boat registration in Maryland by completing DNR Form B-108, Application for Replacement or Corrected Title, Registration or Decals. Complete your boat registration replacement in MD by delivering the form to your nearest DNR service center. Although you cannot request a replacement online, you can save a trip by mailing your payment and application to one of the service centers listed at the bottom of the form.

Boater Safety Courses in Maryland

One of the easiest options for taking a boater safety course in Maryland is to sign up for an online class. This You are required to complete a Maryland boating safety course if you were born on or after July 1, 1972. Any boater safety course in the state must be approved by the DNR.

Maryland Boater License

An online boating license or a boating license obtained in another method is not the same as a boating safety course certificate or card. Note that you cannot obtain anything but the boating safety course certification. The only kind of boater license recognized in MD is the commercial vessel operator’s license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Last updated on Monday, March 11 2019.

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