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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.

How to register your boat

To title and register your boat in Washington:

  1. Provide all of the following:
    • A completed Vessel Title Application.
      • If you bought the boat at a dealer, they’ll complete this form for you.)
    • Your current out-of-state registration.
    • The out-of-state title or, if there is a lien holder, a photocopy of the out-of-state title.
    • Proof you paid sales tax on the boat.
      • If you don’t have proof that you paid sales tax when you purchased it, you’ll be required to pay use tax.
    • A check or money order payable to the Department of Licensing to pay the fees.
  2. Submit your completed application, supporting documents, and fees:

If your ship is documented with the U.S. Coast Guard, there are special registration requirements. For details, see Documented vessels.

Decals and registration

When you’ve registered your boat, you’ll get your registration and a set of decals with the assigned registration number (WN#). You’ll also get Vessel Numbering Instructions showing how to properly display the registration number and decals on your boat

  • If you register by mail, you’ll get them in the mail.
  • If you register at an office, the licensing agent will give them to you before you leave.

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).

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