Which Boats Require Registration?
Requirements for vessel registration vary from state to state. In Illinois, you must have an Illinois Certificate of Number (registration) and expiration decals to operate a vessel legally on public waters. Exceptions to the requirement to register recreational vessels include:
- A canoe or kayak owned by a nonprofit organization
- An unpowered vessel operated on a private lake
- A vessel owned by the federal or state government
- Vessels properly registered in another state and using Illinois waters for less than 60 consecutive days
- Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard and using Illinois waters for less than 60 consecutive days
If your vessel requires registration, it is illegal to operate it unless it is registered and numbered.