More More

Boat registration

Most boats must be registered in New Jersey to operate on waterways.

If you need to register a boat more than 12 feet in length
  • Visit your local MVC Agency
  • Bring the title and acceptable proof of age and identification
  • Complete the application for boat registration (form BA-51)
  • Pay the required registration fee

If you need to register a boat 12 feet or less in length (including jet skis and other non-titled watercrafts)
  • Visit your local MVC Agency and bring the title and acceptable proof of age and identification. Complete the application for boat registration (form BA-51) and pay the required registration fee
  • You must bring:
    • At least one proof of ownership
    • A notarized bill of sale
    • A notarized statement of receipt from the seller
    • An out-of-state certificate of ownership and registration certificate
    • A certificate of ownership by sworn affidavit (before a New Jersey notary public)
    • Proof of Social Security number or proof of exemption
    • Your driver license number (If you don't have a New Jersey driver license, a number will be created for you.)
  • For more information contact:

    Motor Vehicle Commission
    Customer Advocacy Office
    P.O. Box 403
    Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0403

Boats and marine equipment that do not have to be registered
  • Those not based in New Jersey or operating for less than 180 consecutive days
  • Foreign vessels
  • U.S. public vessels
  • Ship's lifeboats
  • Non-motorized vessels used exclusively on small lakes and ponds on private property
  • Racing vessels with New Jersey State Marine Police permit
  • Non-motorized inflatable devices, surfboards, racing shells, dinghies, canoes and kayaks
  • Non-motorized vessels less than 12 feet in length

Sales tax exemptions
A $1 tax exemption certificate fee applies to all commercially registered boats.
Certain commercial fishing, shell fishing and party boats (sport fishing vessels) are exempt from sales tax, including equipment necessary for harvesting fish and shellfish:
  • This exemption only applies to commercial fishing boats and commercial party boats that are subject to annual inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard
  • You need to have a U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection with current expiration date (required only when the vessel is capable of carrying more than six passengers) to qualify

Boat decals
  • All vessels registered for the calendar year are issued two decals with the month of renewal punched out, for each side of the boat
  • All livery boats, documented boats and commercial boats receive only one decal