Boat registration in Texas is required by law if you own a vessel. Registration is a process that can be completed through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Boat owners should be aware of any exemptions that exist and what paperwork is required for a new boat registration in Texas.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Texas

Boat owners wondering how to register a boat in Texas should learn the steps necessary to complete the process. Boat registration can be completed through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWP) or a tax collector office. TPWD boat registration is required for all motorized boats, sailboats at least 14 feet in length and United States Coast Guard documented vessels.

A new boat registration application must be filled out and certain documents must be presented to prove ownership of the vessel. Applicants must submit a boat bill of sale and the manufacturer’s statement of origin with their registration application. Boat owners must pay a boat registration fee to complete the registration process, and the fee amount depends on the length of the boat.

Exceptions from Registration and Titling in Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife boat registration is not required for all types of vessels. Boat registration requirements do not apply to certain out-of-state vessels. Vessels with valid boat registration numbers from other states do not need to be registered if the boat will not be used or stationed in Texas for more than 90 days.

Documented vessel registration is not required for the following types of boats in Texas:

  • Canoe registration
  • Kayaks, rowboats, or inflatable rafts that are not motorized.
  • Sailboats under 14 feet in length.
  • United States Coast Guard documented vessels used for shipping purposes or that exceed 115 feet in length.

Texas Boat Insurance

All boat owners that are registering a boat in Texas should consider getting a boat insurance policy. Those who are completing a new boat registration can make sure their boat is protected against damage by purchasing vessel insurance.

Boat owners that complete their vessel registration in Texas have the option of purchasing an insurance policy that covers the cost to repair or replace a boat. Vessels owners completing TPWD boat registration can benefit from purchasing a boat insurance policy by protecting their vessel. Some auto insurance providers may also offer boat coverage and discounts for insurance bundles.

Texas Boat Registration Fees

Boaters wondering how to register a boat in Texas should be aware that there are fees required upon completion of a registration application. Texas boat registration fees depend on the size of the vessel, and these qualifications are broken down through the bullet points below:

  • Less than 16 feet in length: $32
  • 16 feet to 26 feet in length: $53
  • 26 feet to 40 feet in length: $110
  • Larger than 40 feet in length: $150
  • Livery boats less than 16 feet in length: $32

Renewing Your Texas Boat Registration

Registration is valid for two years once it is obtained. Texas boat registration renewal can be completed online, by mail or in-person at a boat owner’s local TPWD office. Boaters can use receipt of their vessel registration renewal as a valid registration for up to 45 days after the boat owner completes the renewal process.

This registration receipt can be used until the driver receives their boat registration stickers and registration card to prove the validity of their registration. Like the car registration renewal process, boaters must make sure to renew registration documents to maintain boating privileges.

Replacing Your Texas Boat Registration

Boat registration replacement in Texas is required if a boater loses their original documentation. Boat decal replacement is necessary if a boater’s stickers are lost or damaged. Boaters can obtain a registration replacement by completing Form PWD 143M and returning it to their local TPWD office. This form can be obtained through the official Texas Parks and Wildlife government website.

Boater Safety Courses in Texas

Completing a new boat registration allows boaters to legally own and operate a vessel. After completing a documented vessel registration in Texas, boat owners can focus on safely operating and driving their boat. Boater education courses teach drivers how to safely navigate the Texas waterways and properly operate a vessel.

Following a registration, boaters can complete a boater safety course online or in a classroom setting. Boater safety courses are taught by United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadron and by Texas volunteer instructors. Boater safety courses and completion of any necessary exams is imperative to first-time boaters looking to receive their boating license.

Note: Any boaters born after September 1, 1993 are required to complete a boater safety course to operate a vessel.

Texas Boater Licenses

Boat registration requirements include the need for boaters born after September 1, 1993 to receive a Texas boater education certificate to operate a motorized vessel over 15 horsepower. Boaters must also have a boater education certificate to operate wind-blown boats over 14 feet in length.

Drivers between the ages of 13 and 16 must always have their boater education card onboard. TPWD boat registration requires that boaters complete a boater education course to receive a boater education card. The boater education card is presented to the boater at the completion of the boater education course or sent to the boater by mail within a 45-day period.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.