The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) regulates the boating laws of NV and is the state’s boating education, safety and enforcement agency. Every motorboat using Nevada’s waters must be properly registered, unless exempt.

Boater registration benefits boat owners because vessels marked with clear registration numbers help NDOW deputies identify vessels and their owners in the event of boat theft, vandalism or accidents. As you read the sections below, you will learn about registering your boat with NDOW, the qualifications needed to operate your vessel safely on Nevada’s interstate waters, and how to obtain an NV boat registration renewal or replacement.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Nevada

Requirements to register a boat in Nevada vary depending on whether it is a new or untitled vessel, an out-of-state titled watercraft, or a Nevada titled vessel. NV boat registration instructions follow for each type:

  • New or untitled vessels requirements for registering a boat include showing proof of ownership via an original bill of sale, proof that sales tax has been paid on the vessel, and the original manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO). If you do not have an MSO, or the hull identification number (HIN) is handwritten, you must bring the boat to an NDOW office for inspection. As per NV boat registration form instructions, you will also need to bring the previous state record of registration, your Social Security number and pay the required fees. These registrations cannot be completed by mail. Apply in person at your nearest NDOW office.
  • Out-of-State titled vessel requirements for boat registration include a properly endorsed certificate of ownership or title from another state, proof of sales tax payment, your Social Security number, and an inspection, if necessary. Proof of sales tax is not required on casual boat sales. Note that you must apply for out of state boat registrations in person at NDOW and pay the required fees.
  • Nevada titled watercraft’s requirements to register a boat include presenting the properly endorsed Nevada title to the NDOW official. As with the other types of registrations, you must show proof that your sales tax has been paid, unless it was purchased through a casual transaction. Additionally, provide your Social Security number and fee payment. Note that vessels already titled in NV can be completed through the mail, if you wish. Simply mail the items above to the nearest NDOW office for processing.

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in Nevada

Common boat registration exemptions in Nevada include sailboats that do not have motors, and vessels registered in another state that do not use Nevada’s waters more than 90 consecutive days. Note that exemptions are basically for non-motorized vessels. The list of which boats are exempt from registration in Nevada also includes those powered by manual means, namely canoes, kayaks, rowboats and other vessels driven by oars or paddles.

Nevada Boat Insurance

Boat insurance rates in Nevada can be steep, but many boaters find it a worthy investment compared to the risks of boating without insurance coverage. Many boat insurance quotes in Nevada are available, although the state does not mandate boat insurance coverage. Boat insurance can replace or repair vessels that have been wrecked, vandalized or lost.

Nevada Boat Registration Fees

Boat registration fees in NV are based on the length of the vessel. Additional fees related to boat registration costs in Nevada are included below. Fees may be paid by cash, checks or credit cards.

  • Less than 13 feet: $20
  • 13 feet or more but less than 18: $25
  • 18 feet or more but less than 22: $40
  • 22 feet or more but less than 26: $55
  • 26 feet or more but less than 31: $75
  • 31 feet or more: $100
  • Registration decal or certificate replacement: $20

Renewing Your Nevada Boat Registration

NDOW will send a renewal notice in the mail when your registration is set to expire, and the notice will come with instructions. You may renew boat registration online in Nevada by entering your renewal access code into the NDOW licensing portal online and following the steps. The system will issue you a printable temporary authorization number that can be used to operate your boat for up to 10 days from the date of issuance.

You may also obtain a boat registration renewal in person by bringing your renewal notice and payment to your local NDOW office. Your renewal notice will also include will include a renewal access code and other information that make renewals easier.

Replacing Your Nevada Boat Registration

You must replace a boat registration in NV when documents or decals become lost, stolen or destroyed. The steps for how to replace your boat registration in Nevada are essentially the same as the renewal directions above. You can replace a registration online or in person at an NDOW office.

Boater Safety Courses in Nevada

A boater safety course in Nevada is required for all boaters born after January 1, 1983. However, this Nevada boater safety course requirement is only applicable to boat operators using a motorboat with a motor that exceeds 15 horsepower. You can take a course either online or in person. NDOW provides boating safety courses and issues Nevada boating cards that never expire.

Nevada Boater License

 An online boating license or one acquired through another method is not a requirement for boaters to have in Nevada. The equivalent of a boater license in the state is a NDOW boating card, which is issued after a boater successfully completes a boater safety course either online or in person, as outlined in the section above.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.