Watercraft licenses - registration procedures & fees

Options for boat registration renewals

To expedite your renewal, you can visit a deputy registrar office or renew online and receive a temporary receipt to use immediately. If you previously mailed in your renewal and do not want to wait for it to be processed, you can visit a deputy registrar office or renew online and receive a temporary receipt to use immediately. Your mail-in renewal check will then be returned to you.

For people that are about to renew: We encourage you to renew your watercraft registration online or at your local deputy registrar's office. If you renew online, you will receive a temporary permit/conformation page to print out for immediate use. Or, you may write down your temporary authorization number from you confirmation page. Your registration card and expiration decals will then be mailed to you.

Registration procedures

Register your new watercraft:

  • Options are limited for in-person registrations so check the deputy registrar of motor vehicles listings (where you license your car). You can also visit the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.

    If your new boat (except kayaks or canoes) is longer than 16', your dealer will apply for title and registration (license) on your behalf, and is responsible for providing you with license materials.

    When you register your boat for the first time, know its length, manufacturer, type of hull material (wood, metal, or plastic), type of propulsion, model, year, serial or hull identification number (HIN) and have a sales receipt that shows you have paid the sales tax.

    Length is the straight-line distance from the foremost part of the boat (bow) to the rearmost part of the boat (stern). Bowsprits, outboard motor brackets, rudders and other attachments are not included in the measurement.

    A watercraft license is not required for:
    Non-motorized watercraft 10 ft or less, or a watercraft owned by a person from another state and that state does not require licensing of that type of watercraft and it is not within Minnesota for more than 90 consecutive days. See MN Boating Guide for more information.

    Boat registrations are good for 3 calendar years (for example 1/1/2003 through 12/31/2005).

Renew your watercraft registration:

Duplicate cards are available:

Transfer from a private seller:

Review the procedures below for transferring a boat purchased through a private seller.

Boats titled in Minnesota
Minnesota Watercraft Title sign by the seller on the front of the title. Buyer will complete and sign the back of the title. Transfer fee is $17.00.
Boats previously registered and title in another state
Original signed Certificate of Title if the boat is coming from a state that titles boats or a registration card and bill of sale if the boat is coming from a state that does not title boats.
Boats never registered before (i.e. new boats)
Applications to register new boats, or boats that have never been registered in any state, require the original Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO) to be submitted in lieu of Certificate of Title. If this is a home-built boat, copies of the materials, supplies receipt should be submitted, 4 photos of the finish product, and complete and sign the Statement of Facts.
Lien release
If the Certificate of Title identifies lien(s), your application must include a lien release from the listed lien holder to transfer ownership. Lien release documents must identify the lien holder listed on the title, the boat owner on account, and the boat by hull ID number. A lien release can include a signed letter (on company letterhead) from the lien holder or the signed lien notice provided by the department.
Minnesota registered non-titled boat
Bill of sale from an owner listing the year, make, Hull ID Number (HIN) of the watercraft, sellers printed name and signature. Universal registration form completed and signed.
How to submit documentation
Submit documents at your local deputy registrar office. Find their local deputy registrar office. Or submit the title and completed application by mail to:


Minnesota DNR Box 26 - Watercraft
500 Lafayette Rd.
St. Paul, MN 55155-4026


Note: You must wait until your new registration card and decals arrive in the mail before you can legally operate your watercraft. The only exception is if the application was completed and submitted on their behalf by a DNR authorized boat dealer and they provide the customer with a permit.



Watercraft title fees


Fees for boat registrations effective 12/01/2023

Type of watercraftRegistration feeAquatic invasive species surcharge

[Invasive species info]

Issuing fee

If new or transfer only $8.50, if renewing and transferring $4.50+$8.50.
If renewal only or duplicate card and decals: $6.00.

Watercraft owned by non-profit organization
(Used for teaching water safety camp, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, etc.)
$8$10.60+ issuing fee*
Rental or lease watercraft up to and including 19 feet
(over 19 feet same as pleasure craft);
$14$10.60+ issuing fee*
Rental or lease personal watercraft
(Jet Skis, etc.)
$85$10.60+ issuing fee*
Canoes, kayaks, sailboats, sailboards, rowing shells (not rowboats) paddleboards and paddleboats (sailboats over 19 feet same as pleasure craft)
Non-motorized watercraft 10ft or less do not require registration
$23$10.60+ issuing fee*
Personal watercraft
(Jet Skis, etc.)
$85$10.60+ issuing fee*
Pleasure craft less than 17 feet$36$10.60+ issuing fee*
Pleasure craft 17 feet up to and including 19 feet$59$10.60+ issuing fee*
Pleasure craft over 19 feet but less than 26 feet$113$10.60+ issuing fee*
Pleasure craft 26 feet but less than 40 feet$164$10.60+ issuing fee*
Pleasure craft 40 feet in length and over$209$10.60+ issuing fee*
Dealer's license$142$10.60+ issuing fee*
Watercraft for commercial use$164$10.60+ issuing fee*
Transfer without renewal$4.50$0.00+ issuing fee*
Duplicate registration card$4.50$0.00+ issuing fee*
Duplicate decal only$0.00$0.00+ issuing fee*
Boats for hireContact the Department of Labor and Industry: Code Administration and Boiler Inspection Services


Back to top