Register a boat
When to register your boat
You must title and register your boat in Washington State:
- Within 60 days of moving to Washington with the boat.
- Within 15 days of buying the boat, if you live in Washington and bought the boat in another state.
When you title and register your boat, you must provide all of the following:
- Your current out-of-state registration. If your boat isn’t currently registered in another jurisdiction, please contact your local vehicle/boat licensing office.
- The out-of-state boat title or, if there is a lien holder, a photocopy of the out-of-state title. If you don’t have your out-of-state title, contact a vehicle/boat licensing office for instructions on how to apply.
- A completed Vessel Title Application. (If you bought the boat at a dealer, they’ll complete this form for you.)
- Proof you paid sales tax on the boat. If you don’t have proof that you paid sales tax when you purchased the boat, you’ll be required to pay use tax.
- A check or money order payable to the Department of Licensing to pay the fees.
How to register your boat
- Register in person at your local vehicle/boat licensing office. An additional service fee may apply.
- Register by mail by sending all of the items listed under “Requirements” to any vehicle/boat licensing office.
- If you register by mail, you’ll receive your boat decals and registration with the assigned registration number (WN#) in the mail. You’ll also receive Vessel Numbering Instructions showing how to properly display the registration number and decals on your boat.
Boats documented with the U.S. Coast Guard
There are special requirements for registering your boat if it’s documented with the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, contact your vehicle/boat licensing office.
Visiting Washington State
Visits of 60 days or less
You don’t need a permit to be on Washington waters for up to 60 days, as long as your boat meets one of the following requirements:
- It is currently registered in another state.
- It has a current U.S. Coast Guard Documentation Paper.
Visits longer than 60 days
If you’ll be on Washington waters for more than 60 days, you must apply for a permit on or before the 60th day of your visit.
To apply for a permit, visit any vehicle/boat licensing office and bring along:
- Your unexpired state boat registration.
- Identification from your state.
You may renew the permit once for an additional 60 days. When the renewed permit expires, you must either register your boat in Washington State or remove your boat from Washington waters.
Clean your boat before you float
To prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species, decontaminate your boat, trailer, and gear before entering Washington. For details, see Aquatic invasive species (Department of Fish and Wildlife).