Which Boats Require Registration?
On Washington waters, you must have a Washington title, current registration certificate, and current registration decals to operate or moor a vessel. Exceptions to registration and titling are:
- Vessels that are not propelled by a motor (canoes, kayaks, etc.) and sailboats under 16 feet in length without a motor.
- Vessels that are less than 16 feet in length and have a motor of 10 horsepower or less and are used on non-federal waters only. All motorboats of any size or horsepower that are used on waters under federal jurisdiction must be registered.
- Properly registered vessels owned by residents of another state or country that use Washington waters for 60 days or less.
Your boat’s registration number provides identification if the boat is in an accident, is overdue, or is missing. If a boat is lost or stolen, the vessel’s registration number can be used to return the boat to its owner. A portion of the annual registration fee is returned to local agencies to support boating safety education and enforcement.