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Other Facts About Registration and Titling

A vessel's registration is valid through June 30. It must be renewed beginning July 1 of each year.

  • Courtesy renewal notices are no longer mailed to registered vessel owners.
  • To sign up to receive e-mail renewal reminders for a vessel, trailer, or vehicle, visit www.dol.wa.gov. Click on "Get e-mail renewal reminders" under "Vehicle and Boat Registration" on the home page.

All vessels that require registration must be titled also. Titles are obtained through the Washington Department of Licensing.

The owner of a registered vessel must notify the Department of Licensing within 15 days if any of these events occur:

  • The vessel is abandoned, destroyed, lost, or stolen or …
  • The owner's address changes or …
  • The registration card is lost or destroyed.

The owner of a registered vessel must notify the Department of Licensing in writing, on the appropriate form, within five business days of the date of sale or transfer of the vessel.

Larger recreational vessels owned by U.S. citizens may (at the option of the owner) be documented by the U.S. Coast Guard. Call the USCG at 1-800-799-8362 for more information. Documented vessels also must be registered in Washington but are not required to display the registration number.

How To Apply for Registration or Title

To title or register your vessel, you need to provide:

  • Vessel's model year and make
  • Vessel's purchase price and purchase year
  • Vessel's overall length (see Vessel Length Classes)
  • Vessel's hull identification number, if any
  • Vessel's U.S. Coast Guard document number*, if any
  • Vessel's ownership documents:
    • Out-of-state titles or registration certificates (if registration-only state) or …
    • Washington state certificate of title or …
    • If vessel has not been titled/registered before and was purchased new as of July 1, 1985, the original Manufacturer's Statement of Origin

All owners must be present to sign a title application.
* If the vessel is documented by the U.S. Coast Guard, a copy of the documentation papers also is required. All owners listed on the Certificate of Documentation must be present to sign the vessel application.

Don't Be Caught With an Expired Registration

To sign up to receive e-mail renewal reminders for a vessel, trailer, or vehicle, visit www.dol.wa.gov. Click on "Get e-mail renewal reminders" under "Vehicle and Boat Registration" on the home page.