About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Georgia Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Georgia Boater Education Certificate.

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A Certificate of Boat Registration is valid, for the current owner only, for three years and expires on the last day of the owner's month of birth.

  • The expiration date is on the certificate and decals.
  • The owner may renew at www.goboatgeorgia.com or by phone at 1-800-366-2661.

If a vessel owner changes addresses or sells the vessel, he or she must give written notice to the DNR Boat Registration Office within 15 days of the event.

If you abandon or destroy your vessel, you must report it to the DNR Boat Registration Office within 15 days and surrender your Certificate of Boat Registration.

If you lose or destroy your Certificate of Boat Registration or decal, you must apply for a duplicate by renewing the registration, referenced on the next page. The fee is $1 plus the appropriate transaction fee. Check the “duplicate” box on the form.

Larger recreational vessels owned by U.S. citizens may (at the option of the owner) be documented by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Call the USCG at 1-800-799-8362 for more information. If documented, the vessel is exempt from Georgia numbering requirements but must display the Georgia validation decals on the bow of the vessel.

Video: Georgia Boat Registration and Numbering Requirements

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Video Transcript

When you go up to somebody on a boat ramp, maybe that’s a new boater, what do you tell them about registration?

Corporal Julian Wilkins

OK, one of the first things they’ve got to do—got to get it registered. If it’s mechanically propelled, which means has any type of trawling motor or outboard motor, that’s what we call mechanical propulsion—if it has that, we require them to get it registered. You can get it registered by going online or you can do it by phone, either way. When you get it registered, it’s good for three years. The registrations go for three years, and they expire on the last day of the month the owner was born. That’s when they’d expire; in three years. The other thing is when you want to put it on the vessel, you’ve got to display it on the forward half of the vessel, and it has to be in 3-inch or larger block letters. That’s what the numbers have to be displayed in.


So when people get a registration, they get a number. And do they have to go out and get the numbers, or do they actually get the numbers in the mail?

Corporal Wilkins

All you get in the mail are the decals. You have to go out and buy the numbers—the letters. That’s why—


OK. So make sure you get big numbers.

Corporal Wilkins

That’s right. That’s why it’s important to get the right size numbers when you go buy them. And they have to have a space between the lettering, but you do have to display them on the forward half of the vessel, and the decal goes in front of the preaffixed letters and left to right.


Why is it important to have it there on the front?

Corporal Wilkins

People put them everywhere. They’ll put them on top of the hull where you can’t even see it oftentimes. Sometimes they’ll put it in rear of the vessel or they’ll put it under the hull where it bows under. You can’t even see it when you’re running down the lake. And what we do, we turn around and stop a vessel like that, and it causes unnecessary inconvenience. You know, because we’re stopping them thinking it’s an unregistered vessel. And once they get it corrected, obviously, you know, they won’t have that problem.


OK. So the idea is, make sure you display them in big letters—

Corporal Wilkins

That’s right.


— on the side of the boat on both sides toward the front.

Corporal Wilkins

That’s right. Pretty simple, sir. Yes it is.