How To Register A Boat In California

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Situated in the western part of the USA, California faces the Pacific Ocean, and the state is full of water bodies and natural wonders. There are San Joaquin River, Sacramento River, Lake Tahoe, Clear Lake, etc., and all these are apt destinations for a weekend’s leisure trip.

If you are any water lover, you can purchase a boat in California and take your family out for a nice day on the water. For both brand new boats and second-hand boats, you need to go through the process of registration and titling. So, please read the following paragraphs to know about the boat registration process in California.

What Type of Boats Must be Registered in California?

Nearly all types of boats in California are subject to registration in the California DMV. If you own a sailboat and its length is more than 8 feet, you must register it. Also, all motor-driven boats should be registered. There are a few exceptions for paddle crafts, racing boats, lifeboat, etc. For boats registered in a different state, you don’t have to think about registration in any way.

What Information is Required to Register a Boat in California?

For boat registration in the California DMV, first, gather a few documents. The first asked document would be the proof of ownership. Also, if you buy a brand new boat, you will get one from the boat sellers or boat manufacturers. In the case of second-hand boats, you need to transfer the ownership of the boat to your name. You are required to submit the vessel certificate application to the DMV counter. For renewal, you just need to show them the registration certificate only.

How Much Does it Cost to Register a Boat in California?

In California, the Registration Fee is not at all dependent on the size of your watercraft. But, the year of registration plays a significant role in determining the registration fee. In some cases, it varies based on even-numbered and odd-numbered years. For original registration, boat owners need to pay around 62 dollars.

Where Do You Go To Register Your Boat in California?

It is the Department of Motor Vehicle in California where every boat owner needs to come for the registration, titling, and renewal of their boat. The office of DMV is situated in Sacramento, California. Either you can book an appointment for registration or come straight to the DMV office and wait in line. The DMV office will finally issue the registration number and title of your boat.

Can You Mail Your Boater Registration Form in California?

Yes, these days, it is possible to register a boat through an online medium. You can send a few documents to the email address of the DMV in California. Attach a soft copy of the fully completed application for vessel registration and a copy of the ownership proof. You should also pay the registration fee on the same day and attach the transaction detail copy to the mail. Once you send the mail to the DMV, your boating registration will be done within a few days. DMV California features an efficient online boat registration service.

Where Do You Have to Keep the Boat Registration Number in California?

You can either paint or permanently glue your boating registration number to the forward part of the vessel. According to the rules set by the U.S Coast Guard, the registration number must be seen on both the sides of your watercraft. For writing the boat registration number, use block letters please. In no case, the size of registration number should be below 3 inches. These days, people are also using stickers with their boat registration numbers. This registration number helps the coast guards identify the boat in case of emergency or if you call for help using your VHF radio.

Where Do You Display Hull Identification Number in California?

In-vessel application papers, you will find the Hull Identification Number. This Hull Identification Number should be printed on both the outer and inner parts of the watercraft. The HIN on the outer part should be well-visible from a distance, and you can add some light nearby to ensure optimal visibility during night hours. Also, if possible, try not to place anchors and fishing equipment near the HIN number. The HIN number generally is found below the hardware of the boat.

In California, you won’t have to go from pillar to post to register your boat. You can acquire the boat title from the DMV office of California as well.