In Georgia, everything from the sparkling lakes to the glittering coastline — which makes boating a must-do for every Georgian. Since being out on the boat is such an important piece of life for boaters in The Peach State, it’s always important to make sure you’re doing it the right way. 

If you’re going to take your boat out on Georgia waters, registration is required. With BOATsmart!’s guide to getting your boat registered, you can make sure your boat can be legally taken out on the beautiful waters that call Georgia home.

How Do I Know if My Boat Needs to Be Registered?

In Georgia, most motorized boats will need to be registered with the Department of Natural Resources: Wildlife Resources Division. The following must be registered:

  • All mechanically-powered, motorized vessels
  • Sailboats over 12 feet in length

What Boats Are Exempt From Boat Registration in Georgia?

The following boats are exempt from boat registration requirements in Georgia:

  • Boats used exclusively on private property (lakes closed to the public, etc.)
  • Sailboats less than 12 feet without a motor
  • Canoes, kayaks, rafts and rowboats that are paddled, oared or windblown (no motors)

How Do I Register My Boat in the State of Georgia?

In Georgia, you can register a boat both online and by mail, as long as you have the following required documents:

How Much Does Boat Registration Cost in the State of Georgia?

The cost to register your boat in Georgia is as follows:

Boats <16 feet in length$35
Boats 16 feet to <26 feet in length$70
Boats 26 feet to <40 feet in length$140
Boats 40 foot and over in length$210
Duplicate Registration$11
Marine Toilet Certificate with boat registration$5
Standalone Marine Toilet Certificate$15
Late fee for renewal of a lapsed registration (same owner/no transfer) $10

Transaction fees apply to all applications.

  • $10 Transaction Fee (mail, phone, online)
  • $8 Transaction Fee (online renewals)

How Do I Transfer Boat Ownership to My New Boat?

If you’re transferring boat ownership to your new boat, you’ll need two things from the seller: a signed, detailed bill of sale and the seller’s boater registration card. If the boat has been sold several times, you’ll need to be able to show the chain of ownership. Then, fill out a Georgia Vessel Title/Registration Application and proceed with the registration steps.

Will I Need to Take a Boater Safety Education Course?

In Georgia, all boaters born on or after January 1, 1998, have to obtain a boating card — which is where we come in! At BOATsmart!, we educate Georgia boaters with a fully narrated, animated curriculum that’s fun, engaging and packed with insider info on boating safety. 

We like to think of it like this: if you’re going to take a boater safety education course, why not make sure you enjoy it? Our curriculum is the top choice for Georgia boaters and is the top way to get your boating card quickly and enjoyably.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Boat Registration in Georgia?

If you sell or transfer a boat in Georgia, you must notify the DNR within 15 days. 

You’ll also always need to display your validation decal and registration number on the side of your boat. They must be displayed to read from left to right in clear numbering and coloring, and the letters must be separated from the numbers with a hyphen or space.

Every motorized boat and vessel must be currently registered in The Peach State, so keep up with the necessary regulations to stay legal and safe on Georgia waters. There’s nothing as fun as a boat day — especially one where you’re safe, registered and happy — so use BOATsmart! as your boating safety friend to make sure that you can have as many boat days as your heart desires.