Displaying the Registration Number and Validation Decals
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 below or unless you have a valid temporary registration on board.
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 such that the number is clearly visible and readable at a distance of 100 feet when the vessel is in the water.
- Number must read from left to right on both sides of the bow.
- Number must be in at least three-inch-high BLOCK letters.
- Number's color must contrast with its background.
- Letters must be separated from the numbers by a space: SD 123 AB or SD 1234 YZ.
- No other numbers may be displayed on either side of the bow.
- Decals must be affixed on both sides of the bow, adjacent to and in line with the number.
Requirements for display of the registration number and validation decals depend on the length of the vessel.
- Non-motorized vessels that are 12 feet or less in length are not required to display the registration number or the validation decals.
- Non-motorized vessels that are more than 12 feet but are 18 feet or less in length are not required to display the registration number but must display the validation decals.
- All motorized vessels and all vessels that are more than 18 feet in length must display both the registration number and the validation decals.