It's the Law

All operators are required to obey laws that regulate your vessel’s registration, titling, and operation.

Registering Your Vessel

You must have a Vermont Certificate of Registration and validation stickers to operate any vessel propelled by a motor legally on the public waters of Vermont.

The only exceptions are:

  • Non-motorized vessels
  • Vessels legally registered in another state or country that have not been within the State of Vermont for more than 90 days
  • Vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

Vessels documented by the USCG or registered legally in another state or country must validate their registration numbers by obtaining a validation sticker from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if the vessels are used in the waters of Vermont for at least 30 days in any calendar year.

The Certificate of Registration and validation stickers are obtained by submitting the proper application and fee to the DMV.

The Certificate of Registration (registration card) must be on board and available for inspection by an enforcement officer whenever the vessel is operated.

Vermont boat registration certificate
Vermont boat registration certificate

The registration number and validation stickers must be displayed as follows.

  • Number must be painted, applied as a decal, or otherwise affixed to both sides of the bow.
  • 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 sharply with its background.
  • Letters must be separated from the numbers by a space or hyphen: VT 3717 ZW or VT-3717-ZW.
  • No other numbers may displayed on either side of the bow.
  • Stickers must be displayed on both sides, on the forward half of the vessel.
Vermont Validation Decal

Where to Title and Register Your Vessel

Your Certificate of Registration, validation stickers, and title can be obtained by submitting the proper application and fee to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05603-0001

To obtain registration/title and validation stickers application forms:

  • Call the Vermont DMV at 802-828-2000.
  • Visit the DMV website at and download registration forms.
  • Visit any DMV office, any State Police office, or some Town Clerk offices.
  • Visit many marine dealers and marinas.