How To Register A Boat In Washington

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Washington is a northwestern American state which is bordered by states named Idaho, British Columbia, Oregon, and the neighboring country of Canada. This state is situated in close proximity to the Pacific Oceana, and there are other inland water bodies too. Lake Washington, Columbia River, Methow River, Lake Union, Yakima River, Lake Chelan, etc., are pretty famous for weekend boating.

To play safe, you must register and title your boat before you enter the public waters of Washington. The Washing state is pretty serious about its boating laws and registrations. So, keep reading the following paragraphs to learn some vital information about boat registration in Washington.

What Type of Boats Must be Registered in Washington?

In simple words, all the boats powered by motors need registration in Washington state. There can be some exceptions for kayaks, canoes, and other small human-powered watercraft. If you own a sailboat and if its boat length is below 16 feet, you won’t need registration for this vessel. In the case of motorboats having outboard motors with 10 horsepower or less, there is no need for boat registration at all.

The foreign boats are allowed to ply on Washington Public waters without Washington title for a maximum time period of 60 days. Second-hand boat owners can renew or transfer the registration card whenever they want. The vessels that serve the US Coast Guard are free from boating registration.

What Information is Required to Register a Boat in Washington?

The boat registration office generally asks first-time boat owners to submit a few documents such as manufacturers’ statement of origin, bill of sale, tax reports, watercraft ownership certificate, etc. The second-hand boat owners need to submit an additional affidavit of the watercraft ownership transfer certificate. Both of them will need to submit the filled registration application form at first when they enter the boat registration office. The boat owners should keep with the original and Xerox of these boat papers.

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

Boat registration can be pretty expensive in Washington. For one year of registration validity, you will spend around 129 dollars for your watercraft with a length below 5 meters. If your pleasure craft falls in the range of 5 meters and 10 meters, the registration charge can be approximately 274 dollars. Big boats with more than 20 meters in length will make you pay around 800 dollars for one year’s registration only. Other than these fees, there will be some other charges as well for titling and transferring the registration card.

Where Do You Go To Register Your Boat in Washington?

Every boat owner should visit the Washington State Department of Licensing for boat registration. This department asks the boat owners to register their water vehicles within 60 days after purchase in Washington. You can collect the application form for registration from this office or from your boat dealer. You can also turn to some boating agents for hassle-free boat registration in Washington.

Can You Mail Your Boater Registration Form in Washington?

Yes, boat owners can mail their documents’ soft copies to the email address of the concerned department; in this case, it is the Washington State Department of Licensing. You can collect their appropriate email address from their official website if you want. If you are seeking an email boat registration, you should pay the registration fee as early as possible. The email registration can take a while, and you will have to pay a mailing charge for your registration decals to be sent to you.

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

Boat registration number or license number should be displayed on both sides. It would be better if you paint it on the forward half. The numbers should be pretty legible from a distance, and so, we suggest making them 4-5 inches tall. You can paint the background with your deck paint if you want. Whenever your boat is in distress or emergency, you will have to tell the registration number via vhf radio call to the coast guards.

Where Do You Display Hull Identification Number in Washington?

The HIN is affixed to the transom of your boat. Generally, it is painted on the starboard side. You can find the HIN on the gunwale or deck joint as well.

After your boat registration, you will have to start following the boat safety guidelines. You must equip your boat with necessary items like life jackets, swimsuits, marine lanterns, etc.



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