Boat Registration and Titling Requirements

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

Which boats require registration?

  • All motorized boats.
  • All sailboats (with or without a motor).

The Certificate of Number and validation decals are obtained by submitting an application and fee to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks (MDWFP). Boat registrations are valid for 3 years and expire on the last day of the month in which the original or transferred certificate was received.

Other Boat Registration Info

The DNR must be notified within 15 days when:

  • The boat is destroyed or abandoned.
  • The owner changes their address.
  • There is a transfer of boat ownership.

If a boat is stolen, you must report the theft to the local authorities who have jurisdiction in that area and then to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

If you lose or destroy your Certificate of Number or decals, you must apply to the MDWFP for replacements  and submit processing fees. 

Boat Registration Numbers 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 an equivalent space
  • The numbers must be read from left to right on both sides of the bow.
  • Validation decals must be affixed on both sides of the boat, preceding the prefix letters of the registration number and 6 inches from the registration number.