To operate any motorized vessel on Indiana waters it must be registered and display valid watercraft decals. Non-motorized must also display valid watercraft decals and pay any applicable taxes and fees.
Vessels exempt from registration:
Registration applications must be made to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Once a vessel is registered the owner will receive a Certificate of Registration that must be kept on board and readily available for inspection by a law enforcement officer whenever the vessel is in operation.
The BMV must be notified in writing within 30 days if the owner changes address. If the boat is sold, destroyed, or stolen the BMV must be notified within 15 days.
Registration fees are charged only when a vessel is purchased.
Owners of motorboats and sailboats that are used, operated, docked or stored in Indiana are required to pay boat excise tax.
Boat excise tax must be paid annually. Owners will then receive two excise tax decals that are valid for one year and must be displayed on the vessel.
Excise tax must be paid on vessels registered in another state if the vessel is used, operated, docked or stored in Indiana for 22 or more consecutive days.
Any vessel that requires registration must also have a certificate of title.
You must display your boat number in the following manner:
Every vessel that is required to be registered must display decals issued by the BMV.
You must display your excise decals as follows:
All privately owned vessels on state park, state forest or reservoir lakes in Indiana must display a valid lake permit.
Permits are available from state park and reservoir offices and from the Department of Natural Resources.
USCG-Documented vessels must also be registered with the state however they need not display the IN registration number.