Texas’ Boat Registration
Boat registration requirements vary from state to state. According to Texas’ boat registration requiremetns, to legally operate a boat in the state of Texas, you must obtain a Texas Certificate of Number and validation decals.
Texas’ Boat Registration Exemptions:
- Human-powered craft such as canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length).
- Wind-powered sailboats under 14 feet in length.
- Boats that have been registered in another state that are using Texas waterways for 90 consecutive days or less.
Once a boat has been registered, the owner will be provided with a Texas Certificate of Number and validation decals. The Certificate of Number must be carried on board the boat at all times during operation and must be available for inspection by law enforcement.
Certificates of Number are valid for 2 years. Boat owners will receive a renewal notice 3 months prior to the expiration of the certificate.
Registration Number and Decal Placement:
- The numbers must be 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 read from left to right.
- The registration number must be in block letters that are at least 3 inches high, and in a color that contrasts with the color of the boat.
- The letters or numbers of the registration number must be separated from the letters by a hyphen or by an equivalent space.
- Validation decals must be affixed to each side of the boat, in line with the registration number and 3 inches toward the stern.
- The placement requirements also apply to personal watercraft (PWCs).
Other Registration Info
Texas Parks and Wildlife must be notified within 15 days if the owner of a registered boat updates or changes their address.
If a Certificate of Number is lost or damaged and must be replaced, the boat owner must fill out and submit a form, as well as pay a fee, in order to obtain a replacement.
If a boat is abandoned or destroyed, it must be reported to Texas Parks and Wildlife within 15 days. Boat owners must also surrender their current Certificate of Number and title.
You must obtain a title for all outboard motors, just as you would for a boat. Battery-operated trolling motors are an exception.