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It's the Law


All vessel operators are required to obey laws that regulate your vessel’s registration, operation, and boater education.

Registering and Titling Your Vessel


You must have a Missouri Certificate of Number and validation decals to operate your vessel legally on the public waters of Missouri.

The only exceptions are:

  • Non-motorized vessels
  • Sailboats 12 feet or less in length
  • Vessels registered in other states using Missouri waters for 60 consecutive days or less

The Certificate of Number and validation decals are obtained by submitting the proper application and fee to:

Missouri Department of Revenue
Boat Titling and Registration
P.O. Box 100
Jefferson City, MO 65105

This Certificate of Number (Pocket Card) must be on board and available for inspection by an enforcement officer whenever the vessel is operated.

The Missouri Certificate of Registration
The Missouri Certificate of Registration

The registration number and validation decals must be displayed as follows:

  • Number must be painted, applied as a decal, or otherwise affixed to both sides of the bow above the waterline.
  • Number must read from left to right on both sides of the bow.
  • Number must be in at least 3"-high BLOCK letters.
  • Number’s color must sharply contrast with its background.
  • Letters and numbers must be separated by at least a 2" space. For example: MO ← 2"→ 3717 ← 2"→ ZW.
  • No other numbers may be displayed on either side of the bow.
  • Decals must be affixed on both sides of the vessel, directly underneath the main body of the registration number or, if there is insufficient room underneath, as close as possible to the registration number.

If your vessel requires registration, it is illegal to operate it or allow others to operate your vessel unless it is registered and numbered as described above.

The Department of Revenue or an authorized boat dealer may issue a temporary operating permit, valid for 30 days, to permit lawful operation of the vessel until titling and registration with the department are complete.

Missouri Validation Decal