How To Register A Boat In Georgia

Boat registration in Georgia is important if you are planning to explore any of its pristine water bodies either for your holiday boating rides, to fish, or any other outdoor/recreational activities. Georgia lakes have beautiful sceneries, with waters as clear as the sky. Aside from that fact, you also have a lot of options to choose from – you don‚Äôt have to choose, though. Who says you can explore them all? ūüôā

However, there are steps and procedures to follow before diving with your boat into any water in Georgia. One of which is boat registration. In this article, we will work through the step-by-step guide on how to register your boat in Georgia, and every other thing you should know about to ensure all your boating moments are safe. Now, hold my hands and follow my lead as I walk you through the process in this article.

Are there rules and regulations that guide boating in Georgia?

The answer is simple ‚Äď yes, there are rules and regulations that guide boating in Georgia. It begins with having registration documents for your boat. Boat registration is crucial as it determines if you are able to enjoy some boating experience or not.¬†

In addition to the necessity for registration, there are also rules and regulations in Georgia that you must understand before your first sail. Georgia has laws that protect the lives of people and conserve the waterways in the state. 

Is it compulsory to register a boat IN GEORGIA? 

Yes, it is compulsory to register a boat in Georgia. Boat registration means that the owner legally possesses a boat and has the license to use it on the waterways of Georgia. There is a payment for registration. Many people wrongly assume that the payment is a fee or a charge. The assumption is not true as the payment is directed towards the maintenance of the waterways and to promote their safe use. 

What does the validation certificate look like? 

The certificate is a plastic card that can properly fit into a pocket. However, it is advisable to always have your validation certificate around you in case an officer comes around for inspection. The card appears like this:

  1. The numbers are colored or affixed to each side of the bow 
  2. The numbers are read left-to-right from the side of the bow 
  3. The numbers are written in block letters of about three inches 
  4. The color of the numbers are in contrast with the background 
  5. The letters are separated from the numbers with a hyphen or space. Here is an example of such ‚Äď GA 4212 ZR or GA-4212-ZR¬†
  6. Decals are on the sides such that they are displayed before the early letters of the number

Other Important Facts You Should Know about BOAT registration in Georgia

There are other important facts one should know as a boat owner. These facts will serve as a guide for the boat owner to know what he or she could expect while preparing to register a boat in Georgia;

  1. If there is a change of address by the boat owner, it is important for the owner to contact the DNR Boat Registration Office by phone or mail to inform them about the change in address in 15 days. 
  2. Also, if there is a case of boat abandonment or destruction, it becomes necessary to notify the DNR Boat Registration Office. The notification should be in the 15 days after the abandonment or destruction to hand over the certificate for boat registration. 
  3. For a case of certificate loss or destruction, you can contact the boat authority via a call or mail to get the duplicate version. Also, you can get it online. 
  4. A boat that has valid registration in another location does not need a valid registration. Nonetheless, the boat is used for over 60 consecutive days in Georgia. 
  5. If you are a citizen of the United States and your recreational boat weighs as much as 5 net tons, you can apply for a U.S. Coast Guard‚Äôs ‚ÄúCertificate of Documentation.‚ÄĚ However, this application is not a must but totally dependent on the owner of the boat.¬†

Frequently Asked Questions About Boat Registration in Georgia 

There are different processes of registration for different residents in the United States. More so, there are different FAQs people ask when they want to register their boat in Georgia. Some common questions include;

    • What do you need to know to register your boat?¬†

There are shreds of information that are important if you want to register your boat. The first one is that you can do online registration for your boat. All you have to do includes the following; 

      1. Reach out to the appropriate quarters by calling or sending a mail to 1800-366-2661. 
      2. Registration is necessary for every canoe, sailboat, rowboat, and kayak that may be more than 12 feet ‚Äď in as much as they are used on the waterways of Georgia.
      3. On the other hand, there is no need to register vessels that cannot be propelled mechanically.
      4. Sailboats that are less than 12 feet do not need registration. 
      5. Exclusive boats on private lakes or ponds do not need registration. 
    • How can you Register My Boat in Georgia?¬†

Registering a boat in Georgia does not come with much ado. All you need to do is to reach out to the registration service via mail or online. Also, you need to prepare some documents to ensure a smooth registration;

      • The proof that you own the boat

The proof of ownership of the boat is an important document you should prepare before going to register your boat. Dealer’s invoice, bill of sale, and transferred title are all important documents that can serve this purpose. 

      • Proof of application¬†

You need to have completed the necessary document for the Title application of your Georgia Vessel. If you are using online as the means to reach out to the authorities, the vessel registration must be completed and signed. 

      • The actual fee for the vessel¬†

You need to have paid the correct fee for the vessel before you can complete your registration. Paying less cannot complete the boat registration.

    • What are the different costs attached to boat registration in Georgia?¬†

There are different costs for different things in Georgia. The varying prices are based on their description. Here is an outline of them;

      • If the length of your boat is less than 16 feet¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†– $35¬†
      • If the length of your boat is less than 26 feet¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†– $70¬†
      • If the length of your boat is less than 40 feet¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†– $140¬†
      • If the length of the boat is more than 40 feet¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†– $210¬†
      • For a case of duplicate registration¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†– $11¬†
      • Certification for Marine Toilet with boat registration¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†– $5¬†
      • If the Toilet Certificate is Standalone¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†– $15¬†
      • Late payment for renewal of certificate ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† – $10¬† (This renewal applies to the same owner or no transfer)

It is important to note for all applications that there may be transaction fees. There is a fee of $10 for registration via phone, mail, or online. In addition, if all you wanted to do was online renewals, there is a fee of $8 for the transaction.

    • What can you do if you want to transfer the ownership of your boat to a new one?¬†

Due to the events of things, one may need to transfer the certificate of boat ownership to a new boat. Well, there are two things one would need from the seller. 

      1. A detailed bill that shows the transfer of ownership, and 
      2. The registration card for the seller of the boat 

Also, if there have been multiple sales of the boat, you must ensure that you are able to provide how the ownership has been transferred to you, from the first person that bought the boat. Once you have all these documents, you can fill the Registration Application or Vessel Title and move on to other steps. 

    • Do you need a safety education course to use your boat?¬†

If you live in Georgia but were born in the year 1998, you need to have your boating card. The boating card means you understand the curriculum to safely use your boat in the state. The course helps to accustom people to the waterways of Georgia and practice safe driving when the need arises. You must ensure you enjoy this part. 

    • What is the duration of your boat registration in Georgia?¬†

The expiry date for boat registration is for three years. However, the registration expires on the last day of your month of birth. Your certificate does not take time if you want to receive it. Once you have completed your registration, your card should be available within two weeks. 

NB: You must have paid full payment and uploaded all required documents to the appropriate quarters for registration.

    • Can you get duplicate registration decals or cards?¬†

Yes, you can get your duplicate decals. However, you can obtain it by following online processes to register a boat. Also, note that your duplicate registration decals or cards are printed or purchased together. Likewise, the registration is valid till the official date of expiration. 

It does not attract an extra cost. The cost and procedures for duplicate registration are similar to normal online registration. Just follow the online or mail processes and you are good to go. Also, if there is a need to send additional documents, ensure you keep the original and only send its copies. The original should always be in your record.


Boat cruise is much fun when all the situations around it are safe. Since you are expected to obey the law as a boat user, it is great to understand the law, have quality education about the registration of a boat in Georgia. Ensure all documents are in place and have a smooth sail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.