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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.

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 (401-574-8824) prior to registration.

What is required for me to register a new boat?

  1. Bill of Sale on dealer's letterhead
  2. MSO - Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (First Assignment must be completed by Dealer/Manufacturer)
  3. Customer is required to fill out proper paperwork to title and register both boat and motor:
    RI forms must be notarized
    • Boat Registration Application & fee
    • Outboard Motor Registration Application & fee
    • Application for Initial Vessel Certificate of Title (RIGL §46-22.1-3 vessels 14' in length or less are not required to be titled) & fee
    • Pencil tracing of Hull identification number (HIN); to conform to USCG requirements for verification of hull numbers

What do I need to register a used boat?

  1. NOTARIZED bill of sale or gift statement from seller(s)
  2. Title signed and notarized from bonafide seller or most current registration certificate (in seller's name) if the boat is coming from a non-title state.
  3. Registration certificate if boat is coming from a non-title state.
    Please remember Rhode Island is a title state.
  4. Customer is required to fill out proper paperwork to title and register both boat and motor:
    RI forms must be notarized
    • Boat Registration Application & fee
    • Outboard Motor Registration Application & fee
    • Application for Initial Vessel Certificate of Title (RIGL §46-22.1-3 vessels 14' in length or less are not required to be titled) & fee
    • Pencil tracing of Hull identification number (HIN); to conform to USCG requirements for verification of hull numbers

What do I need to register a documented vessel?

A copy of US Coast Guard Documentation Certificate in the owner’s name and 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, (may include custom forms: 7501 or 368), must provide appropriate paperwork along with registration forms.

What do I need register a homemade boat?

  • Copies of all building material receipts including sales tax paid on materials
  • Picture of Boat (finished product)
  • Notarized statement including (cost of all material, full description, construction plans, etc.)
  • Boat inspection through our RI DEM Enforcement Division if boat is larger than 14 feet in length. Please contact 401-222-3070

How much is registration going to cost me?

Length Registration Fee
2-Year Registration
Annual Fee
1 Year
1-15 ft. $32.00
16-20 ft. $42.00
21-25 ft. $66.00
26-30 ft. $108.00
31-35 ft.* $212.00 $106.00
36-40 ft.* $264.00 $132.00
41-45 ft.* $316.00 $158.00
46-50 ft.* $418.00 $209.00
Over 50 ft.* $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 paperwork is required to register an outboard motor?

  • Sellers signature to be Notarized on Bill of Sale or Gift Statement
  • 7% Sales Tax Receipt (on motors purchased from Retailer, if purchased from private party, tax exempt. Please note, all taxes must be paid prior to registration AT rid IV of Taxation One Capitol Hill Providence, RI 02908, phone 401-574-8824). If motor is a gift, must provide documentation that donor had motor registered or proof of tax payment by donor must be provided.
  • Completed Outboard Motor Registration Application & fee

Do I have to register my boat trailer?

Yes. Boat trailers must be registered with the RI Division of Motor Vehicles, 600 New London Ave., Cranston, RI 02920 401-462-4368.

I have lost my registration card and or decals. How do I obtain new ones?

Fill out a Duplicate Boat Registration & Decal Application and mail it along with the proper fee or visit the RI DEM Office of Boat Registration, 235 Promenade St., Room 360, Providence, RI 02908, during Office hours, M-F, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

  • Duplicate registration card $5.00
  • Duplicate set of decals $2.00

Does the notarized paperwork have to be a RI Notary?

No. A notary can be from any state.

Are personal watercrafts aka Jet Skis required to be registered?

Yes, Personal watercrafts are registered in the same way as vessels.

  • New (bill of sale on dealers letterhead, MSO)
  • Used: Notarized Bill of Sale, a title (if applicable) signed and notarized from bonafide seller, and or most current registration from a non-title state.

I am operating a personal watercraft or Jet Ski, do I need a Safe Boating Course?

On January 1, 2002, a new law took effect making it mandatory for boaters to be certified in order to operate vessels on the waters of this State.

  • Anyone born after January 1, 1986, who operates a vessel with a motor that exceeds 10-horse power is required to complete a Safe Boating Course.
  • Anyone who operates a personal watercraft (Jet Ski) regardless of age.

NOTE: Boating Exams are offered through RI DEM Law Enforcement at 401-222-3070 or visit the Boating Safety Topics page.

Where can I acquire these forms?

All forms are at the boat registration office, located at 235 Promenade Street in Providence, or visit the Boating Registration page. 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.

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). signed & notarized

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, 401-222-6647, ext. 2102, or Ray Macera, 401-222-6647 ext. 2103.

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

Title questions?
E-Mail Ray Macera, 401-222-6647, ext. 2103.

Hunting and fishing questions?
E-Mail Sharon Garrick, 401-222-3576, ext. 4931 or 401-222-6647.

Contact
Boat Registration & Licenses (Hunting, Fishing, Shellfishing)
235 Promenade St.
Providence, RI 02908
Office Hours: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Phone: 401-222-6647 (Boating)
Phone: 401-222-3576 (Licenses)

Marine Fisheries:

Title Questions:

Hunting & Fishing:

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