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Canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards do not require registration under federal law. However, state laws regarding paddlecraft registration may vary. Check with your state’s boating agency for the specific requirements for paddlecraft.

  • Most states make exceptions for vessels that are not mechanically propelled; however, some states require all vessels to be registered.
  • If you mount a motor on a paddlecraft, all rules for motorized vessels apply. You must register the craft and obtain a Certificate of Number and decals just as you would for any other powered vessel.
  • If your paddlecraft requires registration:
    • It is illegal to operate it or allow others to operate your paddlecraft unless it is registered and numbered as required by your state’s boating agency.
    • The registration (Certificate of Number) usually is valid for 60 days if you move to a new state.
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