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What is the difference between a registration and title?

Registering your boat allows you to boat in all states and Canada. A boat must be registered in the state of primary use. Registration is not a secure ownership document.  

A boat title is a legal document proving ownership. Titles are often required by lenders to prove the seller has clear ownership of the boat. A title needs to be purchased only once.

How do I register or title a boat?

 Pennsylvania boat registrations and titles are issued exclusively by the PA Fish and Boat Commission. 

Can I use my boat while I'm waiting for my registration to be processed?

Yes, if you apply for a registration at an authorized issuing agent or Commission office you will receive a temporary registration good for 60 days. If you mail in the application, it may take up to 60 days for processing and you will not be issued a temporary registration. It is unlawful to use the boat until you receive the permanent boat registration. 

How much does it cost? 


Registration fees cover a 2-year period.

Unpowered Boat Registration $22
Motorboat Registration - under 16 feet$26
Motorboat Registration - 16 feet to less than 20 feet$39
Motorboat Registration - 20 feet and over$52
Commercial Passenger Boat Registration$50
Transfer of Registration to a Newly Acquired Boat - transfer of remaining registration period to a newly acquired boat by the same owner$10
Agent Fee (for issuing temporary registration)$2


Certificate of Title (new or corrected) $30
Lien recording $20
Duplicate $20


Unpowered boats only.

1 year$12
2 years$22

*Pricing does not include $1.00 agent fee, $0.97 transaction fee, or other service fees and surcharges added by issuing agents.

What boats are required to be registered?

All motorboats are required to be registered when operated. Unpowered boats operated in Pennsylvania must either be registered or display a launch permit.

The following boats are required to register but are exempt from registration fees:

    • Motorboats owned or operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    • Motorboats owned by public service organizations approved by the Commission and used exclusively for training, education, water safety and other public service functions.
    • Motorboats owned by political subdivisions and quasi-public organizations, such as police departments, volunteer fire departments and river rescue units, and used exclusively in the performance of their work in enforcement or public safety.

Can I renew my registration online?

Yes. Renew online at After completing the required fields, your boat registration will be mailed to the primary owner's address.

Can I apply for boat registration online?

No. New boat registrations and transfers must be done by an authorized issuing agent or by mail.  Follow the recommended option to get a temporary registration and begin using your boat while the permanent registration is being processed.

Recommended Option -- Get a temporary registration

Take the completed application, required documentation, and payment to a Commission office  or authorized issuing agent. You will be issued a 60-day temporary registration that allows use of the boat while the permanent registration is being processed. A boat registration card and set of validation decals will be mailed to you.

What if I lose my boat decals, registration card or title?

Us the duplicate registration card and/or decals and a duplicate title forms.

What if I never received my boat registration and decals?

If you notify the Commission within 90 days of applying for registration that you did not receive your registration certificate and validation decals, the Commission will issue a replacement registration card and a set of replacement validation decals at no cost to the customer.
Apply for a duplicate registration card and/or decals.

Do I need to report a change of address?

Yes. You must report within 15 days. Update online through HuntFishPA.

Do I need to report the sale of my boat?

Yes. You must report the sale within 15 days. 

Is my out-of-state boat registration valid in Pennsylvania?

In most cases, yes. It is legal to operate a boat registered in another state on Pennsylvania waters. Boats must be registered in the state of primary use  - the state where a boat is on the water more than any other state. It does not matter where you live. 

Out-of-state boaters with a boat validly registered in their home state are granted reciprocal privileges to boat in Pennsylvania for up to 60 days. For use greater than 60 days, boaters are required to register their boats in Pennsylvania.

Some states may allow unpowered boats on state parks and other state-owned facilities to boat without a registration. In Pennsylvania, unpowered boats using state parks and forests and Commission accesses are required to be registered or to have a launch permit.

Are there any other requirements or laws I should know about to boat in PA?

Yes. An overview of Pennsylvania boating can be found in the PA Boating Handbook. It provides detailed explanations of boating regulations, safety information and much more.

When do I have to report how much fuel I used?

When requested. Registered boat owners should try to be as accurate as possible when reporting fuel purchased/used while boating. Fuel usage reported by registered boat owners allow the Commission to recover the taxes paid when the fuel was purchased. Learn more.

Can I register/title my homemade boat?

Yes, if the boat is constructed from blue prints, kits or parts of various boats by a generally recognized manufacturer who provides a HIN, please follow the regular boat registration/titling process. 

If the boat is constructed by another means and no HIN is provided, the PFBC requires a marine survey and stability test by a certified marine surveyor. 

How can I register an abandoned boat?

Follow the process on our Abandoned boat page

Where can I find forms related to registration and tilting?

Find the right form for your situation

Duplicate or Corrected Certificate of Boat Title By Owner
Title for Outboard Motor Changes
Certificate of Boat Salvage
New Certificate of Boat Title
Notification of Assignment/Correction of Boat Title and/or Registration Upon Death of Owner

Duplicate Certificate of Boat Title or to Record, Satisfy, or Correct Lien Information By Lienholder
Certificate of Boat Title By An Agent/Dealer
Cancellation of Certificate of Boat Title
Certificate of Boat Title After Default by Owner

Request for Boat Title or Security Interest Information