Watercraft licenses - registration procedures & fees

Registration procedures

Register your new watercraft:

  • In person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles (where you license your car) or at the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN.

    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.

    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:



Watercraft title fees


Fees for boat registrations effective 1/1/2006

Type of watercraft Registration fee Aquatic invasive species surcharge

[Invasive species info]

Issuing fee

If new, renewal & transfer or transfer only: $8.50
If renewal only or duplicate card & decals: $6.00

Watercraft owned by non-profit organization
(Used for teaching water safety camp, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, etc.)
$4.50 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Rental or lease watercraft up to and including 19 feet
(over 19 feet same as pleasure craft);
$9.00 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Rental or lease personal watercraft
(Jet Skis, etc.)
$37.50 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Canoes, kayaks, sailboats, sailboards, rowing shells (not rowboats) paddleboards and paddleboats (sailboats over 19 feet same as pleasurecraft) $10.50 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Personal watercraft
(Jet Skis, etc.)
$37.50 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Pleasure craft less than 17 feet $18.00 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Pleasure craft 17 feet up to and including 19 feet $27.00 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Pleasure craft over 19 feet but less than 26 feet $45.00 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Pleasure craft 26 feet but less than 40 feet $67.50 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Pleasure craft 40 feet in length and over $90.00 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Dealer's license $67.50 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Any watercraft more than 19 feet
in length for hire with an operator
$75.00 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Transfer without renewal $4.50 $0.00 + issuing fee*
Transfer with renewal $4.50 $5.00 + issuing fee*
Duplicate registration card $4.50 $0.00 + issuing fee*
Duplicate decal only $0.00 $0.00 + issuing fee*
Boats for hire Contact the Department of Labor and Industry: Code Administration and Boiler Inspection Services