All motorized vessels must be registered and, depending upon State requirements, titled when operating on state waters. If a boat does not have a motor it may still have to be registered depending on the State. Each state or territory’s registration and titling requirements may differ. Penalties for failing to register a vessel may involve paying a fine as well as the possibility of serving jail time.
Registering your boat means applying for and getting a Registration Certificate and the number itself. The registration number is actually a combination of letters and numbers normally beginning with the abbreviation of the State in which the boat is registered. The Registration Certificate is small and must be on the boat whenever it is being used. A validation decal is required to be placed along side the numbers on the boat.