How To Register A Boat In Virginia

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The state of Virginia is located on the Atlantic coast, and it is known as the birthplace of the nation. The coastal state is full of natural wonders such as mountains, lakes, rivers, etc. There are James River, Potomac River, New River, Lake Drummond, Roanoke River, York River, etc.

All these public waters demand proper boat registration and titling to operate your watercraft legally on these waters. This process of boat registration might take you a while. Before you apply for the registration, let’s know all the details you need to know regarding this legal formality in Virginia.

What Type of Boats Must be Registered in Virginia?

If you have bought a brand new boat with a propeller for you and your family in Virginia, you must register it within a few weeks after purchasing. If you use your boat on private waters, you may not require boat registration. Canoes, Kayaks, US Coast Guard documented vessels, etc., are exempted from Virginia registration. The non-motorized boats having a length more than 18 feet need only titling. Watercraft currently registered in some other states of the USA, must not need to go through the process of boating registration once again. If you have ever used your boat as a lifeboat for a ship, you can avoid the registration in Virginia pretty easily.

What Information is Required to Register a Boat in Virginia?

The Virginia Registration application is the most important document the concerned authorities will ask you to show first. You must fill the application form with boat details such as length, width, height, weight, the material of the boat, types of watercraft, year of manufacturing, and so on. If you are using a motor on your boat, you must show the motor number papers as well. It would be good if you carry a watercraft ownership certificate, bill of sale, and papers of manufacturers’ statements of origin. Please carry the previous registration certificate and affidavit of ownership of the watercraft transfer papers with you in case of second-hand boats. Some boat registration offices want to see boat operator’s boating licenses and age proof as well.

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

The boat registration charge is totally dependent on the boat lengths. For small boats with lengths less than 16 feet, the registration charge is 27 dollars. If the boat length is a little more than 16 feet and less than 20 feet, you will have to pay 31 dollars. Also, for boats more than 40 feet in length, the registration charge is as high as 45 dollars. If you wish to duplicate your registration card and decals, the charge would be 9 dollars only. To acquire a boat title, the boat owners will be charged 7 dollars, and for the title’s duplication, the charge would be 2 dollars.

Where Do You Go To Register Your Boat in Virginia?

You can visit the office of outdoors Virginia account to register your boat. To collect the registration form, you can go to the Boat registration and titling section of the department of wildlife resources. This department will finally issue you the certificate of number. You will have to show your boat documents at the counters of these offices.

Can You Mail Your Boater Registration Form in Virginia?

Yes, it is possible to send an email to the department of Virginia wildlife resources. The email address is [email protected] Here, you can send the soft copies of your boat documents any time you want. These days, due to the covid pandemic, it is possible to complete the entire process online as well. You will only have to transfer the registration fee to their respective account.

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

The registration number has to be painted on both sides. This number is generally found on the upper half of the boat. The registration number needs to be 3 inches tall at least. You must not crowd the registration number with any other number like Hull Identification Number. Apply some boat polish on the painted registration number to make it look shinier.

Where Do You Display Hull Identification Number in Virginia?

The Hull Identification Number or HIN is either located on the transom’s right half or on the hull/deck joint. If you own a sailboat, you might find the Hull Identification Number near the stern. The interior walls of the watercraft sometimes feature this Hull Identification Number.

Set aside a few bucks and days for the boat registration in Virginia; it can be a time-consuming process. After you get the license number, you can operate on public waters and equip your boat with plenty of life jackets.




Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources