Most new boats must be registered through the Ohio Department of Natural Resource's Division of Watercraft, before they can be sailed.
VESSELS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Any powerboat.
- All sailboats and other watercrafts.
- All recreational boats including paddle crafts and inflatable boats.
VESSELS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- New boats owned by non-residents who will primarily use the boat out-of-state and which are being used in Ohio for less than 60 days.
- Boats issued commercial documents and used only for commercial purposes.
TO REGISTER IN PERSON
- You can register a boat in person by visiting your local watercraft's office or through a registration agent.
- You must bring a completed boat registration application, along with proof of ownership (or title if you have one) and Hull Identification Number (HIN). Proof of ownership can be bill of sale, manufacturer's certificate of origin, previous registration form or notarized receipt.
If your vessel is a U.S. Coast Guard documented one, take the certificate of documentation to a Division of Watercraft field office to get your registration.
Note: Owners of hand-powered vessels like row boats, canoes, etc. can opt for an Alternative Registration (a single decal instead of numbers and registration decals on both sides of the boat) which can be obtained in person or by mail from any watercraft office. The procedure is the same as above. The fee is $20 for a three year registration payable by check or money order to ODNR Division of Watercraft.
TO REGISTER BY U.S. MAIL
The boat registration application and proof of ownership and other details as required for registration in person, can also be mailed to your local watercraft office.
Boat registration fees, depends on the length, type and propulsion of the vessel. See here for a more detailed breakdown of the registration fees.