Vermont boat registration laws dictate that any boat, personal watercraft (PWC) or shuttlecraft propelled by an attached motor must be registered if owned and operated in the state of Vermont. All first-time boat registrations in Vermont must be submitted in person. Also, requirements to register a boat in Vermont include that certain motorboats and PWCs are subject to sales tax the first time they are registered.

The Vermont boat registration form includes helpful instructions that answer common questions applicants may have. Continue reading the sections below to learn all the details of VT boat registration.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Vermont

There are certain requirements to register a boat in Vermont if you are registering a new boat that has not been registered anywhere before. VT boat registration instructions for new boats require you to provide the original manufacturer’s certificate of origin, a bill of sale for tax purposes and a second copy of the bill of sale signed by the seller that includes the purchase price and date, make, year and hull identification number (HIN).

But what do you need to register a boat in Vermont if it is not a new boat? In this case, requirements to register a boat in VT include the previous original bill of sale and the certificate of title signed by all listed owners and with all liens released. VT boat registration instructions state that in order to register a vessel less than 16 years old and measuring 16 feet in length or longer, will also require a certificate of title to obtain registration.

The Vermont boat registration form, “Vermont Motorboat Registration Application” (Form # VD-037) must be filled out by all vessel registration applicants. Mail the completed application and fee to this address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05603-0001

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in Vermont

Common boat registration exemptions in VT that require a vessel validation include watercraft registered in another state and vessels owned and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Bureau of Customs or another federal agency. The list of which boats are exempt from registration in Vermont includes vessels that will be used in Vermont waters for at least 30 days in a calendar year.

Boats that do not require registration and titling in Vermont include the following:

  • Manually propelled vessels, such as canoes and kayaks.
  • Vessels powered by less than 10 horsepower.
  • Vessels titled in another state.
  • Vessels owned by the U.S. government.
  • Vessels owned by dealer or manufacturer and held for sale.

Vermont Boat Insurance

Insurance companies provide competitive boat insurance rates in Vermont for coverage on registered vessels. Boat insurance programs in Vermont can help boaters gain peace of mind, knowing their investment is protected in the event of an accident or theft.

Insurance quotes can include details on coverage requirements upon request. Some auto insurance providers may be able to bundle boat and car coverage for a better deal.

Vermont Boat Registration Fees

Boat registration fees in Vermont are calculated based on vessel length and are available in one-year and two-year durations. Boat registration cost in Vermont is detailed below.

  • Class A (Less than 16’ in Length) – $31/one year; $57/two-year
  • Class I (16’- 26’) – $49/one year; $93/two-year
  • Class II (26 – 40’) – $80/one year; $155/two-year
  • Class III (40’ and over) – $153/one year; $303/two-year

Duplicate boat registrations incur a $3 fee.

Renewing Your Vermont Boat Registration

Boaters can renew boat registration online in Vermont via the DMV Express online services system for no additional charge. To know when and how to renew a boat registration in Vermont, look for a renewal notice in the mail.

Log in to access the renewal page using the renewal ID number located in the center of the renewal notice card. Online renewal provides boaters with a receipt that acts as a temporary proof of registration and must be in the operator’s possession to be valid.

Temporary boat registration renewal in Vermont expires after 10 days, but the permanent registration and sticker will be mailed within 4 to 6 business days. Permanent registration can be obtained immediately by renewing in person at the DMV.

Replacing Your Vermont Boat Registration

Vermont boaters can replace a boat registration in Vermont using the DMV Express online system. A duplicate registration document will arrive in the mail within seven business days. When using services to replace a boat registration online, boaters can print the receipt to use as temporary proof of duplicate registration.

However, boaters should keep in mind that it can take seven days for a replacement certificate to arrive, and the temporary receipt expires in 10 days. A faster alternative is to apply in person at the main DMV office or at a local town clerk’s office that offers duplicate registration services.

Boater Safety Courses in Vermont

An official boater safety course in Vermont is required of boaters born after 1974. Without safety course, it is illegal to operate any motorized vessel or personal watercraft in Vermont waters.

A safety course includes an 8-hour classroom course, or the course can be taken online. After completing the course, boaters who pass a test like these exams are granted permission to operate motorized vessels on Vermont water.

Vermont Boater License

A physical or online boating license in Vermont is not the same thing as a VT boater safety card. Many boaters wrongly refer to a boater safety card as a “boater license,” but the boater education card does not meet the definition of a license because it never expires.

Boater safety cards are only issued to boaters age 12 and over, and no one under 12 may legally operate a vessel in Vermont with more than 6 horsepower. Furthermore, no one under 16 may legally operate a personal watercraft in Vermont, even if they have completed boating safety education.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 12 2019.

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