Boat registration in New York is managed by the NY Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, while boating safety education is overseen by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Both agencies play a vital role in ensuring proper NY vessel registration, which helps create a safe boating experience for residents of and visitors to New York State. Learn how to register a boat in New York by reviewing the information below, which includes tips for timely registration, renewals and registration replacements.

Requirements for Boater Registration in New York

“What do you need to register a boat in New York?” is a common question many boaters may ask themselves. Requirements to register a boat in New York state that all boats with a motor, no matter how small the watercraft or the motor, must be registered to operate legally on New York waters. You will need to complete the official registration form, Form MV-82B, Boat Registration/Title Application and bring it to your local DMV office.

All initial registrations must be completed in person at the DMV. NY boat registration instructions also state that you will need to bring these documents to your DMV appointment:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of sales tax payment, purchase price or exemption
  • Hull identification number (HIN)
  • Proof of identity
  • Bill of sale, if purchased from a NY boat dealer
  • Cash, check, money order or credit/debit card for payment of fees and sales tax

The requirements to register a boat in NY are also available through the NY DMV, which also provides a detailed list online of which registration documents are needed for a new, used or inherited vessel. If you have questions about NY boat registration instructions or documents you may also call the DMV call center at (518) 486-9786 or submit a query online. For quicker service at your DMV appointment, make a reservation online before obtaining NY boat registration in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Onondaga or Albany Counties.

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in New York

“Is your boat exempt from registration in New York?” is a question many boaters may be asked.  Common boat registration exemptions in NY include the following types of vessels:

  • Vessels registered in another state but kept in NY for less than 90 consecutive days.
  • Boats competing in a race.
  • Commercial boats with either U.S. or foreign documentation.

New York Boat Insurance

Boat insurance rates in NY are flexible and offered with a variety of coverage options, although the state does not require boat owners to have boat insurance. Many boaters will still request insurance quotes for their vessels to protect their property and cover personal injury for their passengers and themselves. Boat insurance programs in New York usually offer discounts on policies to boaters who have taken and passed a boater safety course. Insurance providers may offer policy bundles for auto insurance, home coverage and/or boat coverage for discounted prices, so boaters should make sure to explore all purchase options before getting an insurance policy.

New York Boat Registration Fees

If you are wondering, “How much does it cost to register a boat in New York?” note that the fees are set on a simple scale. Boat registration fees in NY are determined by the length of the boat, plus a registration fee and surcharge for boating safety. The total cost for each size vessel is as follows:

  • Boats less than 16’ in length: $26.25
  • Boats 16’ to less than 26’ in length: $57.50
  • Boats 26’ or longer: $93.75
  • Registration replacement card or sticker: $2

Renewing Your New York Boat Registration

You should receive a notice detailing how to renew your boat registration in NY in person or by mail. You may also renew boat registration online in NY by accessing the DMV’s online portal for registration renewals. You will pay for your renewal by credit card.

If you are wondering when to renew a boat registration in New York, note that registrations expire every three years. If you do not receive one, you can submit another copy of Form MV-82B instead. Submit this form or the renewal notice along with fee payment to your local DMV office or mail it to:

New York State DMV
Utica Processing Center
P.O. Box 359
Utica, NY 13503

Replacing Your New York Boat Registration

Knowing how to replace a boat registration in New York is important if your registration documents or decals become lost or damaged. To replace registration documents, complete form MV-82B to and submit it at your local DMV office. You will also need a form of payment and your NY driver license or another form of photo identification.

Note: You cannot replace a boat registration online and will need to visit the DMV in person for this service.

Boater Safety Courses in New York

Taking a boater safety course in New York is a requirement for all individuals born on or after May 1, 1996 if they wish to operate a boat in the state. However, taking safety course is always a good idea for boaters of any age.

There options for taking an official boater safety course in New York, with one of the easiest options being this online process. The New York OPRHP offers a boating safety course in many different classroom settings and issues a boating safety certificate to passing students.

New York Boater License

In-person or online boating license certification is only reserved for those who operate boats on a professional level, such as operating charter fishing vessels or sightseeing boats. A boater license is required for boaters who take to the water for recreational purposes, only a boating safety certificate if they were born on or after May 1, 1996.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.