How to Register a Boat in Colorado

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According to the law in Colorado, every individual who possesses a ship, boat, or sea vessel must acquire a registration number to operate the boat. A registration certificate issued by the division can be used as proof of the boat’s ownership. It also gives you the legal right to operate on Colorado’s waters without running into trouble during your holiday or business trip. Getting to know about the local rules and regulations would also be beneficial to protect the environment and surrounding areas. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife office is responsible for all the boats that operate on its waterways.

What Type of Boats Must be Registered in Colorado?

All boats running on Colorado’s waters that are powered by sails, motors, or trim tabs must acquire a registration certificate. Canoes, Kayaks, rowboats, rafts with oars, and sailboats do not need a boater registration to operate. However, they will need to display the owner’s name and address on the boat, where it is plainly visible to everyone. Boats registered in different state can operate on Colorado’s waters for not more than 60 days.

What Information is Required to Register a Boat in Colorado?

First-time boat owners will need to apply in person only and produce valid ownership proof like a bill of sale with both the buyer and seller’s names and signatures, the vessel identification number, its make, model number, year, and date of sale. You will also need the following:-

  • The Certificate of Title.
  • Any legal document issued by a court that proves your boat ownership.
  • Manufacturers Certificate of Origin or Manufacturer Statement of Origin.
  • Physical inspection form completed by an agent.
  • When you purchase a boat, you can use that bill of sale to temporarily register for 30 days. After that, you can register your boat/ship with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
  • Applicable registration fees.

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

The length and size of the boat will determine the cost for the registration of a boat in Colorado. Colorado Parks and Wildlife use the fees they collect to conserve and sustain natural resources. They also take adequate measures to ensure the safety of all boaters. Registration costs that depend on the size of the boats are:

  • $35.25 for a boat up to 20 feet long.
  • $45.25 for a boat between 20 and 30 feet.
  • Any vessel that is over 30 feet long will attract a registration fee of $75.25
  • All those who operate their motor-driven boats in Colorado waters will also need to buy an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) stamp.
  • Non-resident vessel operators can buy an ANS stamp online.
  • The stamp fee for a resident is $25, while the stamp office will charge a non-resident $50 for registration.

Where Do You Go To Register Your Boat in Colorado?

Those who purchase a host from the Colorado Boating Center will get all the required registration work done for them there itself. Boat owners can also register their boats at the nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife office. You can call the state at 303-791-1920 to locate a CPW office near you. Registrations can be renewed online by logging in to

Can You Mail Your Boater Registration Form in Colorado?

Yes. Boat owners can register online by mailing the completed registration forms with a copy of all the required documents to the Parks and Wildlife Registration Unit, Colorado.

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

Boat registration numbers are displayed the same way as it is displayed on a licensed vehicle in Colorado. The numbers must be painted in block style with a minimum height of 3 inches and displayed on either side of the bow. To increase visibility, the numbers must be painted in a contrasting color to that of the boat. The letters must be separated by a space or hyphen, and no other markings or symbols should be displayed near the registration number.

Where Do You Display Hull Identification Number in Colorado?

According to Federal law, all vessels that are manufactured after the year 1972 must have a Hull Identification Number. This twelve-digit number must be affixed by the manufacturer when the ship is manufactured. If a ship is homemade, the owner can apply for a hull number at the Parks and Wildlife Department office. Boats that have been manufactured before 1972 can apply to the Parks and Wildlife Department for a hull number.