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Hunting/Fishing/Boating Licensing > Boating > Boating FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Boating Registration


Do I need to be a Rhode Island resident to register my boat in Rhode Island?
No. If the principal mooring area (more than ninety days per year) of your boat is in Rhode Island, it should be registered here.
What is required for me to register a new boat?
  • Bill of Sale on dealer's letterhead
  • MSO- Manufacturer's Statement of Origin
  • Customer is required to fill out proper paperwork to title and register both boat and motor:

    • Boat Registration Application
    • Outboard Motor Registration Application
    • Use Tax Return- if applicable (Sales tax due if applicable- if boat was purchased before July 29, 1993, then sales tax proof is required from the owner.)
    • Application for Initial Vessel Certificate of Title
Is there sales tax due?
There is no sales tax on boats unless the boat was purchased prior to July 29, 1993. If sales tax is due, it must be paid to the RI Division of Taxation, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI (phone 401-222-6278) prior to registration.
What do I need to register a used boat?
  • Notarized Bill of Sale or Notarized Gift Statement
  • Title signed and notarized from bonafide seller, or most current owner
  • Registration certificate if boat is coming from a non-title state. Please remember Rhode Island is a title state.
  • Customer is required to fill out proper paperwork to title and register both boat and motor:
    • Boat Registration Application
    • Outboard Motor Registration Application
    • Application for Initial Vessel Certificate of Title
What do I need to register a documented vessel?
To register a US Coast Guard documented vessel:
Copy of US Coast Guard Documentation Certificate in the owner’s name and a completed documented boat registration application.

USCG Documentation to State Registration:
If the vessel was previously documented with the Coast Guard, a notarized bill of sale from the seller and letter of deletion from the Coast Guard must accompany a copy of seller’s documentation from the previous owner.

Note: Any vessel (new or used) requesting RI registration, entering US through Customs, must provide appropriate paperwork along with registration forms.
What paperwork is required to register an outboard motor?
  • Bill of Sale
  • 7% Sales Tax, if purchased brand new from a dealer
  • Complete Outboard Motor Registration Application
Do I have to register my boat trailer?

Yes. Boat trailers must be registered with the RI Division of Motor Vehicles.

Where can I acquire these forms?
All forms are at the boat registration office, located at 235 Promenade Street in Providence, or online at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bpoladm/manserv/hfb/boating/boating.htm. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. Applications can also be mailed to you if you call (401)222-6647.
How much is registration going to cost me?
Effective January 1, 2013, please be advised there will be an increase in boat registration fees. The increase is to support the Abandoned Boat Act which allows for removal/disposal of derelict vessels in RI waterways. For more information, please visit: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText12/SenateText12/S2610A.pdf
Length Biennial Fee Increased Fee 2013 New Reg Fees Annual Fee
1-15 ft. $30.00 $2.00 $32.00  
16-20 ft. $40.00 $2.00 $42.00  
21-25 ft. $60.00 $6.00 $66.00  
26-30 ft. $100.00 $8.00 $108.00  
31-35 ft.* $200.00 $12.00 $212.00 $106.00
36-40 ft.* $250.00 $14.00 $264.00 $132.00
41-45 ft.* $300.00 $16.00 $316.00 $158.00
46-50 ft.* $400.00 $18.00 $418.00 $209.00
Over 50 ft.* $600.00 $20.00 $620.00 $310.00

(*Boats greater than thirty feet (30') may, upon request, register at the rate of ½ the biennial fee for one year.)
Note: If boat is transferred and currently registered in Rhode Island by the previous owner, then there is a $5.00 transfer fee per remaining registration year. There is also a $2.00 fee for duplicate decals if they were not attached to the boat or otherwise presented at the time of sale.

A boat registration year runs from March 1 through the last day of February of the following year.

Boat Titling Fee Structure:
  • $25 title- initial RI title issued without bank lien
  • $5 title transfer- boat already titled in RI being transferred to another owner titling in RI with no loan
Additional Titling Fees
  • $15 filing fee- per outstanding loan recorded with title
  • $20 title transfer- boat already titled in RI being transferred to another owner titling in RI with a loan
  • $5 duplicate or corrected title
  • $20 duplicate or corrected title to add loan
  • Outboard Motor Registration Fee- $20.00 (one-time registration fee)
What about RVs, Snowmobiles, and Off-road Vehicles?

If purchased from a dealership the following is needed:
  • Bill of Sale from the dealer on their letterhead (Owner is required to have a VIN number and a motor serial number listed on the Bill of Sale.)
  • Proof of Sales Tax paid (7%)
  • Original MSO (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin)
  • If purchased from a private party:
    • Bill of Sale (Owner is required to have a VIN number and a motor serial number listed on the Bill of Sale.)
    • Proof of Sales Tax Paid (7%)
    • Copy of Previous Registration (in-state or out-of-state)
  • RV/Snowmobile Registration Fees:
    • New registration- $25
    • Renewal- $25
    • Transfer/Duplicate- $1
    • Dealer- $25
    • Manufacturer- $100
Still have questions? E-Mail Margaret McGrath, or phone her at 401-222-6647, ext. 2102, or Ray Macera, or phone him at 401-222-6647 ext. 2103.

Marine fisheries questions? E-Mail Margaret McGrath, or phone her at 401-222-6647, ext. 2102.

Title questions? E-Mail Raymond Macera, or phone him at 401-222-6647, ext. 2103.

Hunting and fishing questions? E-Mail Sandra Caliri, or phone her at 401-222-6647, ext. 4931.

Don't forget! Please keep us advised if your address changes. You can do it by phone, or online at https://www.ri.gov/DEM/boataddress/.


rev. 3/15/13