Boat registration in Minnesota is a process similar to motor vehicle registration. Watercraft enthusiasts cannot register a boat online, however, they may visit any Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles location to complete the process. Registering a boat is fairly simple, but you must have knowledge of the physical dimensions of your boat, since they will determine your registration fees. If you are the owner of a boat and you need to complete the registration process, you can learn about the following topics below.
- Requirements for boater registration in Minnesota?
- Renewing in person or by mail in Minnesota.
- Minnesota boat registration fees.
- Renewing or replacing your Minnesota registration.
You can learn the boat registration requirements by reading the information below.
Do You Need to Register Your Boat in Minnesota?
Before you begin the boat registration process in Minnesota, it is helpful to know what can and cannot be registered. In terms of vessel registration, you must register all motorized and non-motorized vessels. However, documented vessel registration is not required for the following types of boats.
- Documented vessels
- Government-owned watercraft
- Rice boats
- Duck boats
You do not need to complete boat registration if you will be in possession of a watercraft that has been registered in another state for less than 90 days. Individuals are also not required to register vessels from foreign countries that they will be in possession of for less than 90 days. Canoe registration must be handled with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Renewing in Person or By Mail in Minnesota
You will need to undergo new boat registration if you own a new watercraft that is less than 16 feet in length. The correct placement of boat registration numbers and decals can be found in the state boating guide, with can be downloaded at the Minnesota state website. You may not register your boat online, but you may choose to do so in person. If you intend to register in person, you will need to take the following steps first.
- Print and fill out the Water Title & Registration Application (can be downloaded from state website).
- Submit the sales tax receipt you received during the purchase of your boat, along with the required fee and application at any Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles in your community.
If you prefer to mail in your boat registration materials, they should be sent to the DNR License Center in St. Paul. Once you complete the in-person or mail registration process, you will receive your registration materials in the mail a few days later. If you purchase a boat that is more than 16 feet in length, the retailer will complete the registration process on your behalf. You must also register your canoes or kayaks in person.
Minnesota Boat Registration Fees
When registering a boat in Minnesota, you will be required to pay a fee depending on the size and nature of your vessel. Boat registration fees are higher for larger vessels and cheaper for smaller ones. In addition to the base vessel registration fee, you will need to pay a small issuing fee and invasive aquatic species charge as well. Here is the base fee schedule for some of the more popular types of watercraft.
- Personal Watercraft - $37.50
- Kayaks, Canoes, and Sailboats - $10.50
- Small Pleasure Craft (Less than 17 feet long) - $18.00
- Leased or Rented Personal Watercraft - $37.50
- Commercial Vessel Registration - $75.00
If you are registering a boat by mail, you must send a check made payable to the Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles - cash will not be accepted. If you register in person, you may pay with a check, cash, or a major credit card. The issuing fee changes periodically, so boaters will need to check the Minnesota state website for a current fee schedule. Fees for larger and less common watercraft can also be found on the same site. Boaters who still do not know how to register a boat can download a pdf guidebook at the same site, or study for your boating safety exam here.
Renewing or Replacing Your Minnesota Registration
Both pleasure and commercial vessel registration in Minnesota must be completed every three years. Your boat registration is valid until December 31 of the third year, and the state will send you a renewal notice in the mail before your time arrives. To renew boat registration in person, you can visit any Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles location. To renew online, you can visit the state renewal site and pay with a major credit or debit card. Once you receive your new decals in the mail, you must remove your old ones and replace them with the new ones. If you lose your registration, you will need to visit the Registrar and pay a $4.50 fee for a replacement.