How to Register a Boat in Delaware

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Before you venture out in the waters of Delaware, you will need to register your boat with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Delaware. The registration rule applies to all motorboats, inflatable boats, those powered by electric motors, solar panels, and sailboats that primarily operate in Delaware.

If the boat is registered, it ensures safety and protection in case of accidents or other related incidents. It is also a lot easier to assist in the identification of lost or stolen boats. The most important part is that when you register your boat in Delaware, your papers will be valid in any state or country of the world.

What Type of Boats Must be Registered in Delaware?

All vessels with motors that enable transportation across its waters for more than 60 days need to be registered in Delaware. Those boats which are launched from tidal access areas coming under the Fish and Wildlife division must be registered with Delaware. They can also have a ramp certificate issued by the Fish and Wildlife division or any authorized agent in Delaware.

What Information is Required to Register a Boat in Delaware?

For boat registrations in Delaware, you will need to submit the following documents in the state of Delaware:

  • The manufacturer’s original certificate of origin (MCO) if the boat is new.
  • Original title if the boat is registered in another state.
  • Homemade boats are registered at the Dover office for first-time registration. Include copies of the invoices of materials and the builder’s notarized statement with a description and a picture of the vessel.
  • A notarized statement of a witness regarding the builder and description of the vessel must also be provided in case of new boats.
  • To register used boats, you will need to submit a copy of the title, in case of registration of non-title states only, along with a copy of the seller’s most recent Certificate of Documentation.
  • In many cases, a copy of the notarized bill of sale with a complete description of the vessel is also needed.
  • All boat/vessel owners will need to submit a completed boat registration application of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC), along with a State Issued ID, a driver’s license, passport, or Federal ID.

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

Boat registration fees in Delaware depend on the size of the boat. It also varies depending on whether you choose to register for a year or three years at the most. According to data collected in 2017, the charges to register a 10′ boat/vessel for one year is $20. On the other hand, the registration fees for a 49′ boat/vessel for three years will be $300.

Where Do You Go To Register Your Boat in Delaware?

You can visit the DMV office in the area or contact an authorized sales outlet in or around Delaware to get your registration done. Most of these outlets offer boat ramp certificates and registration certificates to all boaters in the area.

Can You Mail Your Boater Registration Form in Delaware?

You can mail your boat registration and complete the registration process within five days. All you need to do is:

  • Fill up the registration form.
  • Provide a copy of the official sale deed. A copy of the certificate of origin will be needed for new boats.
  • If your boat has been registered in another state, you will need a copy of the registration certificate or deletion certificate.
  • Mail all of the above to the mailing address mentioned on the DMV website to complete your registration.

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

Registration numbers in Delaware must be painted or affixed on either side of the boat where other numbers or markings are not visible. The numbers must be painted in bold letters, at least three inches high in a contrasting color for better visibility. The numbers must read from left to right and should be separated from each other by a space or hyphen.

Where Do You Display Hull Identification Number in Delaware?

The Hull Identification Number is usually confused with a registration number. However, it is quite different from a registration number since it is issued by the manufacturer after the boat is built. By law, all boats built after 1972 must have this unique 12-digit number printed on a metal plate and affixed to the transom where it is clearly visible. If you have a homemade vessel, you can apply to the DNREC for a Hull Identification Number.