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It's the Law

Other Facts About Registration

The Certificate of Registration expires on December 31 of each year. Owners of vessels that have been registered previously will be sent a renewal notice.

The owner of a numbered vessel must notify the Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, within 15 days if he or she changes address or if the vessel is lost, stolen and/or recovered, destroyed, abandoned, or sold.

If you lose or destroy your Certificate of Registration or decals, you must apply for a duplicate and submit a processing fee.

Vessels registered in another state may operate on New Hampshire waters for 30 consecutive days before New Hampshire registration is required.

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. Documented vessels also must obtain a New Hampshire registration and carry the Certificate of Registration on board. However, these vessels are not required to display their registration number, but they must display the validation decals within two feet of the extreme forward part of the bow. These vessels also must have the vessel name and hailing port clearly visible on both sides of the hull or on the transom.

Find out more…

To find state information about boating:

For boating laws, go to, click on “Laws and Rules,” and then click on the chapter of interest.

For administrative rules for boating, go to, click on “Laws and Rules,” and then choose the appropriate rule category.