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Course Outline

Here are some additional facts about titling and registering your vessel.

  • All vessels longer than 14 feet must be titled, except ship’s tender (less than 15 feet), non-motorized inflatable vessels (less than 15 feet), surfboards, rowboats, documented vessels, and all vessels less than 14 feet long, regardless of propulsion.
  • A vessel’s registration is valid for two years and expires on the last day of February.
  • Outboard engines also must be registered. However, for outboard engines, it is a one-time registration—the registration does not expire.
  • If ownership of a vessel changes, a new registration application must be filed. The registration number assigned to the vessel will remain the same.
  • If you change your address or transfer your interest in the vessel, or if the vessel is abandoned, destroyed, or stolen, you must notify the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) within 15 days.
  • If you lose or destroy your Certificate of Number or title, you must complete a “duplicate” form and submit a processing fee within 30 days.
  • 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 used primarily in Rhode Island must be registered with the state also. The documentation number will be used as the registration number. The vessel must display the validation decals issued by the state on each side of the vessel where most visible.
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