To operate any vessel with a motor (whether or not the motor is the primary source of propulsion) on West Virginia waters it must be titled, registered and display valid registration decals. Boat registrations are valid for three years and expire on March 31.
Vessels exempt from registration:
Registration applications must be made at the Division of Motor Vehicles. Once a vessel is registered the owner will receive a Certificate of Number that must be kept on board and readily available for inspection by a law enforcement officer whenever the vessel is in operation.
The Division of Motor Vehicles must be notified within 15 days if the boat is sold, destroyed, or stolen, or if the owner changes address.
All vessels that are and have been purchased since July 1, 1989, must be titled in West Virginia.
You must display your boat number in the following manner:
Every vessel that requires registration must display registration decals, including personal watercraft, as proof of registration. You must display your decals as follows:
Larger recreational vessels may be documented with the US Coast Guard. For more information: contact the USCG Documentation Center at 1-800-799-8362. Documented vessels must also be registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles.