The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) is in charge of issuing MS boater registrations and regulating state boating laws.  All motorized boats principally operated on Mississippi’s waters must be registered and issued an MS Certificate of Number and includes vessels with trolling motors and sailboats. Furthermore, failing to properly register a boat in Mississippi can result in legal ramifications. To learn more about boat registration in MS, including registration renewals, replacements and boater safety requirements, study the information detailed below.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Mississippi

In most cases, the requirements to register a boat in Mississippi are straightforward and you have 10 days from your purchase date to register your vessel. You may obtain the Mississippi boat registration form, MS Motor Boat Registration Application (REV 2016), at any local county tax collector’s office, MDWFP district office, online or at most places where watercraft are sold or serviced.

Following the Mississippi boat registration instructions also includes submitting the following forms along with the completed registration form:

  • Sales invoice showing proof of payment of MS sales tax.
  • For used boats, a notarized bill of sale that includes the boat description.
  • For boats previously titled and registered in another state, include the previous certificate of title and registration documents.
  • A verified hull identification number (HIN).

You may submit your MS boat registration form and pay the fees in person at the main MDWFP office or any of its district offices. You can also mail your application to the following address:

Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
Boating Division
1505 Eastover Dr.
Jackson, MS 39211

After the MDWFP processes your registration form, you will receive numbers and a registration decal to display on your vessel and a water-resistant registration card that must be on board whenever the vessel is in operation.

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in Mississippi

Although all motorized vessels must obtain a valid registration, there are some boats that are exempt. Common boat registration exemptions in MS include:

  • Sailboats that do not have any type of motor.
  • Any vessel that is exclusively propelled by human power via oars or paddles, such as rowboats and canoes.
  • Boats with registrations issued by the U.S. Coast Guard.

If you have questions concerning which boats are exempt from registration in Mississippi, you may call the MDWFP at (601) 432-2400.

Note: While registration for most boats is required, titling is always optional in MS.

Mississippi Boat Insurance

Boat insurance rates in MS can vary greatly depending upon the level of coverage you choose. Boaters often decide to obtain boat insurance quotes in MS and purchase coverage even though the state does not require participation in. Many insurance providers offer competitive rates that protect you in the event of an accident or theft.

If your vessel is routinely parked at a marina, the owner may require insurance coverage as part of the rental agreement. Additionally, a boat lienholder may require you to buy an insurance policy that protects their interest in your vessel.

Mississippi Boat Registration Fees

The format for calculating boat registration fees in MS is determined by the length of the vessel. The current fee schedule includes the following:

  • Less than 16 feet: $10.20
  • 16 feet but less than 26 feet: $25.20
  • 26 feet but less than 40 feet: $47.70
  • 40 feet and over: $47.70
  • Dealer number: $40.20
  • Duplicate registration documents: $7.70

The boat registration cost in Mississippi covers your registration for three calendar years from the last day of the month in which you initiated your registration.

Renewing Your Mississippi Boat Registration

You may renew boat registration online in MS by visiting the online portal on the official state website, and this is often the easiest method of renewal. If you want to renew your registration by mail or in person, the steps are similar to applying for an original MS boat registration. Namely, the renewal fees are the same as listed above and you use the same mailing address for renewal applications.

You may also obtain your boat registration renewal in Mississippi by phone, by calling 1-800-5GO-HUNT (1-800-546-4868) 24 hours a day. You will receive your registration renewal notice from the MDWFP when your registration is close to expiring.

Replacing Your Mississippi Boat Registration

You must replace a boat registration in Mississippi whenever you realize that your documents have been lost or damaged. Although you cannot replace a registration online, you may conveniently order one by phone 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-5GO-HUNT (1-800-546-4868). You may also obtain a boat registration replacement in MS wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

Boater Safety Courses in Mississippi

Taking a boater safety course in Mississippi is a requirement for every boater born on or after June 30, 1980. The most convenient option is to take an online class. The MDWFP also offers group classes to teach boating safety to Mississippi boaters.

Mississippi Boater License

A boater license is not a document that boaters are required to have in Mississippi. Instead of getting an online boating license or a license from a physical location, some boaters are required to fulfill the safety education requirements outlined above. It is important to know that completion of a boater safety course will permit you to operate a boat legally within the state.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.