Vessel Registration

Do I Have to Register My Boat?

Registration is required for all mechanically propelled vessels AND sailboats over twelve feet in length that are used on "Waters of this state."

"Waters of this state" means any waters within the territorial limits of this state and the marginal sea adjacent to this state and the high seas when navigated as a part of a journey or ride to or from the shore of this state. This definition shall not include privately-owned ponds or lakes not open to the public. O.C.G.A. §52-7-3(26)

“Vessel” means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water or a sailboard, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water and specifically includes, but is not limited to, inflatable rafts and homemade vessels; provided, however, Code Section 52-7-18, relating to rules of the road for boat traffic, shall be applicable to sailboards. O.C.G.A. §52-7-3(25)

Registration is NOT required for the following vessels:

  • Sailboats less than 12 ft. in length with no mechanical propulsion.
  • Canoes, kayaks, rowboats and rubber rafts that have no mechanical propulsion (i.e., are paddled, poled, oared or windblown) and
  • Boats operated exclusively on private ponds or lakes.