Boat Registration and Titling Requirements

In order to legally operate a motorized boat or sailboat in the state of Louisiana, you must obtain a Certificate of Number and validation decals. The Certificate of Number must be on board and available for inspection by an enforcement officer during boat operation.

The Certificate of Number and validation decals are obtained by submitting an application and fee to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries District (LWFD) Offices. Application forms are available at most marine dealerships and on the LWFD website. The Certificate of Number is valid for three years and expires on the date of issuance in the third year.

Boat Registration Exemptions:

  • Sailboats under 12 feet in length.
  • Sailboards.
  • Boats registered in another state or country, that are using Louisiana waters for a period of 90 consecutive days or less.
  • Boats documented by the Coast Guard (unless it is a recreational use boat)

Other Boat Registration Info

The LWFD must be notified within 15 days when:

  • A boat is sold, destroyed, lost or abandoned.
  • The owner of the boat changes their address.
  • The certificate of number or decal is lost or destroyed.

Note: The LWFD must be notified within 5 days if the boat has been stolen.

Boat Registration Number and Decal Placement:

  • The numbers must be applied as a decal, painted or permanently affixed to each side of the boat’s bow (boat owners are not permitted to display any other numbers in this area).
  • The numbers must be in bold block letters that are at least 3 inches high and in a color that contrasts with the color of the boat.
  • The numbers must be separated from the letters by a hyphen or by a space equivalent in length to a letter.
  • The numbers must be read from left to right.
  • Validation Decals must be placed on both sides of the boat, within 6 inches of the registration number.
  • These placement requirements also apply to personal watercraft (PWCs).