Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation


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Boat Registrations are required by state law for all mechanically propelled boats, including small boats, canoes and kayaks with any type or size motor. All boat registrations are handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

To register your boat (renewed every 3 years):

  1. Complete the Motor Vehicle's form MV-82B online New York State Parks or complete this form and bring it to the DMV New York State Parks
  2. Provide proof of ownership
  3. Provide proof of payment of sales tax (may be paid to Motor Vehicles at time of registration)
  4. Provide a bill of sale

To register your boat trailer (renewed every year):

In general, the process to register a light-duty trailer is the same as registering a vehicle. Visit DMV's website New York State Parks for information on how to register your trailer.

Don't forget that your trailer must have an annual safety inspection. A DMV-licensed inspection station that inspects passenger vehicles and other light-duty vehicles can inspect a trailer. The inspector will give you the inspection sticker. Carry the inspection sticker in the vehicle that tows the trailer.

You do not need to register:

  • Non-motorized boats, such as canoes and kayaks
  • Motorized boats that are registered in another state and are being operated in New York State for less than 90 consecutive days.

Did you know that, unlike cars, insurance is not required for boats? This means that, in the event of an accident, you may be left with thousands of dollars in damage. Even if the accident is someone else's fault, the other boater might not have liability insurance. Protect your family and your investment and consider insuring your boat. Many homeowner's insurance policies can be modified to include your boat.

Hull Identification Numbers (HINs)

A hull identification number is a 12-character serial number that is unique to each boat, like a vehicle identification number found on a car. For most boats, this is assigned at the time of manufacture. You need a HIN in order to register your boat.

Your boat might not have a HIN if:

  • Your boat was built before 1972 (Must provide proof of manufacture date)
  • You built your own boat (Be prepared to provide proof of homemade vessel, such as receipt of materials, plans, sketches or blueprints)
  • You have a non-motorized boat that you are adding a motor to.

In all these cases, you can apply for a HIN by completing form OPS-420. In addition to the completed application, you must submit two pictures of the boat. Your HIN will be assigned by NYS Parks and applied by state or county Marine Patrol.

Please note: Defacing or removal of an existing HIN Is forbidden by law and will be subject to investigation upon inspection by law enforcement.

Please be prepared to provide proof of ownership to inspecting officers.

Frequently Asked Questions