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Boat Registration Requirements in Idaho

To operate a vessel in Idaho, you must obtain a Certificate of Number and validation stickers. The Certificate of Number must be on board during operation and must be available for inspection by a law enforcement officer.

Boat Registration Exemptions:

  • Human-powered craft (such as canoes and kayaks).
  • Non-motorized float tubes.
  • Sailboards.
  • Vessels registered in another state and using Idaho waters for 60 consecutive days or less.
  • Vessels federally documented by the Coast Guard.

Certificate of Number expires on December 31st of each year. Renewal notices will be mailed out to vessel owners. You may renew by mail, online, or at a retail vendor or County Motor Vehicle office. You can obtain a Certificate of Number by submitting an application and fee to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation at the following address:

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

Registration Section

P.O. Box 83720

Boise, ID


Boat Registration Number and Sticker Placement:

  • Numbers must be applied as a decal, painted or permanently affixed to both sides of the bow, as high above the waterline as possible. ( (No other numbers may be displayed on either side of the bow).
  • Numbers must be in at least three-inch high vertical block letters in a color that contrasts sharply with the vessel’s background.
  • Numbers must be separated from the letters by a space or hyphen equal to the letter width.
  • Numbers must be read from left to right on both sides of the bow.
  • Validation stickers must be affixed on both sides of the vessel, placed within six inches, and in line with the vessel number.
  • Expired stickers must be removed or completely covered by the new sticker.

Titling Requirements

In Idaho, the following vessels are required to be titled:

  • Any vessel with a model year of 2000 or newer and a permanently attached mode of propulsion (i.e. sterndrives, inboards, PWCs and sailboats).
  • Any vessel with an outboard motor that is over 12 feet in length.

Idaho’s Hull Identification Numbers (HIN)

All vessels manufactured after 1972 (with or without a motor), must have a Hull Identification Number (HIN).

The 12-digit Hull Identification Number must be permanently affixed to the starboard (or right) side of the transom. Like the VIN number on your car, your vessel’s Hull Identification Number differentiates your vessel from other vessels. This helps if your vessel is lost or stolen or helps manufacturers locate your vessel in case warranty problems arise. Remember, it’s illegal to deface, alter or remove the HIN.

The Hull Identification Number identifies:

  • The model of your vessel.
  • The serial number of your vessel.
  • The month and year the vessel was manufactured.
  • The name of the vessel manufacturer.

Other Boat Registration Information

Vessel owners are required to notify the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) within 15 days if they change their address, if their vessel is abandoned, destroyed or sold, or if the vessel is stolen.

If the Certificate of Number or validation stickers are lost or destroyed you must submit a fee and application to the IDPR in order to obtain a replacement.