PA Boat Registration Process – A Conclusive Guide

A boat trip with your family is always fun and relaxing. It is the best outdoor activity that allows you to sit back and enjoy nature. But did you know you have to get your boat registered before going for a trip?

Yes, you heard it right. There are some boating rules and regulations you have to follow, and PA boat registration is one of them. Every vessel types that use diesel, gasoline, or electric motors need to be registered.

If you go for a trip without registering your vessel, then you have to pay fine to the coast guards. Below I have explained the process of how to get your boat registered in Pennsylvania.

How to Get the PA Boat Registration Done?

The first step is to visit the Pennsylvania boat registration website and download the application form. Next, fill the application form and attach proof of ownership with it, then mail it to the given address.

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Pay the registration fees according to the size of the vessel, and you are done. The commission will send you the registration documents once the process is completed. The boat registration should be renewed every two years.

You have to carry the card with you every time you use the boat. If you need to use the boat, while the permanent registration is being processed, then you can go for temporary registration.

Temporary Registration

Temporary registration is applicable if you haven’t received the permanent registration documents yet, as this will allow you to use your boat till you get your registered card. Approved boat registration commission and agents, can issue the temporary registration.


Once you get the permanent registration card, the short term registration will become invalid.

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How to Renew the Registration?

The boat registration card comes with 2-year validity and expires on March 31 (2nd year).  Before the expiry date of the registration, the boat commission will send the renewal form to the boat’s owner. The owner can renew the card before or after the expiration date.

After completing the renewal registration process, the owner has to send it back to the commission and have to pay the renewal fees. If everything is okay, then the registration card gets renewed for another two years.

Is Kayak Registration PA Mandatory?

Tandem kayak, beginner kayak, canoe, and other boats that are small and unpowered doesn’t require any registration. But, if you want to paddle your kayak in Pennsylvania fish state parks or state forests and Boat commission access lakes, then you have to register your kayak in PA. Plus, registering motorized kayak is mandatory.

Can I Use the Boat or Kayak in Pennsylvania which Is Registered in My State?

Yes, if you have already registered the boat or kayak in your home state, then you can use them on the lakes of PA. You will get the opportunity to use your boat/kayak in PA for 60 days. But if you are planning for a boating/kayaking trip in PA for more than 60 days, then you have to register the vessel in Pennsylvania.

I hope this article has helped in knowing the proper steps to register a boat in Pennsylvania.