How to Register a Boat in Michigan?

Do you have a boat that you need to register in Michigan? Don’t worry, registering your boat is an easy process. You can register your boat with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

We will walk you through the steps of how registering your boat in Michigan. Plus, we’ll give you some helpful tips on what to do before you register your boat. So, let’s get started!

How to Register Boats in Michigan?

  • Gather the required documents.
  • In order to register your boat, you will need to provide proof of ownership, as well as a completed application form.
  • Bring the documents to your local county clerk’s office or the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office.
  • Pay the registration fee. The fee for registering a boat in Michigan is $30 for boats that are 16 feet long or less and $45 for boats that are longer than 16 feet.
  • There may be additional fees if you choose to renew your registration for more than one year at a time.
  • receive your registration decals and certificate of number.
  • You will need to display the decals on your boat in plain view; the certificate of number should be kept on board at all times while operating the vessel.

Do I Need a Title to Register a Boat in Michigan?

You do not need a title to register your boat in Michigan, but you will need to provide proof of ownership. This can be done by providing a bill of sale or the previous registration certificate. If you are registering your boat for the first time, you will also need to pay a registration fee.

What Paperwork Do You Need on a Boat in Michigan?

There are a few different types of paperwork that you need on a boat in Michigan. The first is the Certificate of Number, which is also called the Hull Identification Number (HIN). 

This number is assigned to your boat by the Department of Natural Resources and it must be displayed on the hull of the vessel in plain view.

The second type of paperwork is the registration, which is valid for three years and needs to be renewed every year. Finally, you will need a bill of sale if you have purchased the vessel within the past 12 months.

Does a 12-Foot Boat Need to Be Registered in Michigan?

Yes, a 12-foot boat needs to be registered in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources requires all boats to be registered, with the exception of canoes, kayaks, and sailboats under 12 feet in length. You can register your boat online at the DNR website or at a DNR office.

How to Register a Boat in Michigan?

How to Register a Boat in Michigan Without a Title?

Boat registration in Michigan is a two-part process. First, you must register your boat with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Second, you must obtain insurance for your boat. Registration with the DNR is valid for three years and must be renewed prior to its expiration date. 

To register your boat without a title, you will need: 

1. A completed Application for Certificate of Number and Registration decal  (form number BA-11) which can be obtained from any DNR office or online at www.michigan.gov/dnr;

2. A notarized Bill of Sale if the vessel is used; OR an original Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin if the vessel is new; AND one photocopy;  

3. For The proper fee, see form BA-11 for fee information. 

4. Proof of liability insurance on the vessel in an amount not less than $10,000 per person/$20,000 per occurrence of bodily injury and $5,000 property damage coverage (a binder printout or “Declaration Page” from your agent is acceptable). Insurance forms are available at any DNR office or online at www.michigan.gov/dnr under “Boating Safety & Regulations.” 

After completing these steps, you will receive a Certificate of Number which must be displayed on both sides of the forward half of your vessel as well as validation decals that expire three years from the date of issue.

Michigan Boat Registration Online

If you’re a Michigan resident and you want to register your boat, you can do so online through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website. The process is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete. 

First, you’ll need to create an account on the DNR website.

Once you’ve done that, log in and click on the “Boat Registration” link. From there, you’ll be prompted to enter your boat’s information, including its make, model, length, hull identification number (HIN), and more. 

Now that you’ve entered all of the required information, review it for accuracy and then submit your payment.

That’s it! Your boat will now be registered in the state of Michigan.

Michigan Boat Registration Requirements

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources requires all motorized boats and sailboats to be registered in the state. Registrations are valid for three years and must be renewed prior to expiration. The DNR offers a variety of registration options, including online, by mail, and in person at a DNR office or license dealer.

To register your boat, you will need to provide the following information: 

  • The Hull Identification Number (HIN) from your boat. This can usually be found on the stern (rear) of the vessel. If your boat does not have a HIN, you will need to obtain one from a DNR office or licensed dealer before registering. 
  • Your personal information, including name, address, phone number, and email address. 
  • The make, model, length, width, and year of your boat.
  • The name and address of the lienholder (if applicable). A lienholder is a financial institution that has an interest in your boat as collateral for a loan. 

After completing the registration process, you will receive two validation decals that must be affixed to your vessel, one on each side of the hull; within six inches of the bow (front).

You will also receive a registration certificate that must be kept on board at all times while operating the vessel.

Conclusion

So now you know how you can easily register a Boat in Michigan. All you need to register your boat in Michigan, you will need the following items: the vessel’s title or bill of sale, proof of insurance, and your driver’s license or identification card. 

If you have any questions about boat registration, you can contact the Department of Natural Resources at (517) 373-1263. 

James Pope

James Pope is a marine engineer and an ex-navy. He is the owner and chief editor of this site, Worldofboats. After retiring from the navy, James spent most of his time researching different types of boats, marine resources, etc. And he created this site to share his knowledge and finding with a wide range of people who are new on this journey and looking for experts guideline for purchasing new boats.

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