Which Boats Require Registration?
Requirements for vessel registration vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania, you must have a Pennsylvania Certificate of Boat Registration and validation decals to operate motorboats legally on public waters. In addition, unpowered vessels using Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) lakes, state parks, or access areas must be registered or have a launch permit issued by the PFBC or the Bureau of State Parks.
If your vessel requires registration, it is illegal to operate it or allow others to operate your vessel unless it is registered and numbered.