VERMONT BOATING SAFETY

OPERATING LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Howard Dean, M.D., Governor
A. James Walton, Jr., Commissioner

DOCUMENTS

Who Must Register?
Any boat owner who operates a boat with a motor attached on the waters of this state. Registered owners may be any age.

Who must Obtain a Validation Sticker?
Any non-Vermont registered vessel owner who uses their vessel in Vermont waters for 30 days or more.

Where Can I Register My Boat or Obtain a Validation Sticker?
Boats can be registered by sending an application with the correct fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles, 120 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05603- 0001.

Forms are available at any Motor Vehicle office or State Police office.

Boats can also be registered by going to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Montpelier.

Boats purchased from a dealer can be registered by the dealer. You will pay the fees required to the dealer and the dealer will issue a temporary registration to you which will be valid for 30 days. You will receive a permanent registration from the department in the mail.

What Do I Need to Register a Boat?

New registration.

1. Application for Motorboat Registration.
2. Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return or proof that Vermont Sales and Use Tax has been paid, or proof of tax paid in another state.
3. Proper fees.
4. Title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), if required.

Transfer registration.

1. Application for Motorboat Registration
2. Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return or proof that Vermont Sales and Use Tax has been paid, or proof of tax paid in another state.
3. Previous registration certificate showing to whom your old boat was sold or assigned.
4. Title or MCO, if required.

What Do I Need to Obtain a Validation Sticker?

1. Application for vessel validation.
2. Proof of valid registration or documentation from another state or province.
3. Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return or proof that Vermont Sales and Use Tax has been paid, or proof of tax paid in another state.
4. Proper fees.

How Much Does it Cost to Register a Motorboat?

How Much Does it Cost to Obtain a Validation Sticker?

Where Do I Put The Number?
The numbers must be displayed on both sides of the bow of your boat. They must be not less than 3 inches in height and of a color that will contrast with the color of your boat. Example, black on white. The same number will remain with your craft from year to year unless it is allowed to lapse by failure to renew.

Where Do I Put The Validation Sticker?
The sticker must be displayed on or about the forward half of the vessel.

Where Do I Carry My Registration Certificate?
The certificate must be on the craft when in operation. We suggest a waterproof container attached to the vessel.

I Live out of State and My Boat Is Already Registered in My Home State.
You may operate in Vermont for a period of 90 consecutive days if your home state grants like privileges to Vermont boaters.

You must obtain a validation sticker if your vessel is used in Vermont waters for 30 days or more even if it is currently registered in some other state or province. This validation sticker will be valid through December 31 each year.

I Sold My Boat. What Do I Need to Do?
Give the new owner a bill of sale which completely describes the boat. This bill of sale must include the hull identification number (HIN).

Complete the reverse side of your current boat registration and send it to the Department of Motor Vehicles, 120 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05603-0001 within 15 days. If you are buying another boat, read the next section.

If your vessel has or should have a validation sticker affixed to it you must notify the commissioner within 30 days.

Can I Transfer My Registration to a New Boat.
Registration of a motorboat ends when the owner transfers title thereto to another. The former owner shall immediately return to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles the registration certificate previously assigned to the transferred motorboat. The date of the sale and the name and address of the new owner must be completed on the back of the registration certificate. If the new owner wishes to retain the registration number on the motorboat purchased, the new owner must complete a new application, Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return and send, with the correct fees, to the Department of Motor Vehicles, 120 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05603-0001.

When a person transfers the ownership of a registered motorboat to another, files a new application, a Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return and pays a transfer fee of $5.00 plus any additional fee for change in class, such person may have the new motorboat registered for the remainder of the current registration year. EXAMPLE: A person has a Class "A" boat and trades for a Class "1" boat, the fee difference is $10.00 plus a $5.00 transfer fee.

The validation sticker is not transferable to a new vessel, and the new owner must make application for another validation sticker.

Can I Register a Motorboat for less than One Year?
No. All motorboat registrations shall be void one year from the first day of the month of issue. The fee required is not prorated for any portion of a registration year.

Do I Have to Register My Rowboat, Canoe or Sailboard (Boat)?
If you attach any type of motor to the vessel, registration is required.

A validation sticker is required on all vessels registered or documented in any other state or province.

Where Can I Get the Actual Numbers Assigned by the Department of Motor Vehicles Put on the Boat?
Boat dealers and hardware stores are the common places where these numbers can be bought.

I Lost My Registration Certificate.
To replace a lost motorboat registration certificate, pick up an Application for Replacement of Snowmobile/Motorboat Registration form from any Department of Motor Vehicles office. Mail the completed form and $2.00 fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Is Proof of Insurance Required on My Motorboat?
No. It is recommended that you carry insurance to protect yourself and your motorboat in case of an accident or loss of the vessel.

Who must Obtain Title to Vessels?
Any vessel registered in Vermont that is:

Where Can I Obtain a Title to My Vessel?
The application to obtain title to your vessel is a part of the same form used to register the vessel. It must be properly completed and brought or submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles, 120 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05603-0001. Forms are available at any Motor Vehicle or State Police office.

Vessels purchased from a dealer can be titled by the dealer. You will pay the fees required to the dealer and the dealer will forward the application to the Department.

What Do I Need in Order to Obtain a Title to My Vessel?

New Vessels

1. Registration and title application, properly completed.
2. Manufacturer’s statement of origin, properly assigned.
3. Proper fees.

Vessels Previously Registered And/or Titled

1. Registration and title application.
2. Previous title, properly assigned or, if none had been issued, the last valid registration certificate for that vessel or a certified copy.
3. Visual verification of the (HIN) Hull Identification Number by a certified law enforcement officer.
4. Proper fees.

Homemade Vessel

1. Application for registration and title.
2. Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin to a Homemade Vessel (available at Department of Motor Vehicles, Montpelier).
3. Application for assignment of VT (HIN) Hull Identification Number to a vessel.
4. Proper fees.

How Much Does the Title Cost?

Where Should I Keep the Title
If there is a lien on the vessel the title will be mailed directly to the lienholder until the lien is repaid. If there is no lien the Department will mail the title directly to the owner of the vessel. This is an important document that shows ownership and should be kept in a secure location. You should not leave your title in the vessel.

I Sold My Vessel. What Do I Need to Do with the Title?
Since the title is the document that shows proof of ownership, each owner shown on the front of the title should properly sign the back of the title selling it to the new owner.

I Lost My Title, How Do I Obtain a Duplicate?
You can obtain a duplicate title by completing an application for duplicate title (available at the Department of Motor Vehicles offices and at the State Police offices) and submitting to the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Montpelier.

How Do I Obtain a (HIN) Hull Identification Number If the Original Number Is Lost or If it Is a Homemade Vessel?
You can obtain a HIN by properly completing an application for Vermont assigned hull identification number (available at the Department of Motor Vehicles offices or State Police offices), and submitting it to the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Montpelier. If it is a non-title vessel or a vessel valued at less than $1,000, a number will be assigned and mailed to you to be attached by you. If it is a vessel requiring title or a vessel valued at $1,000 or more, a Motor Vehicle Inspector will attach the HIN.



Summary of Vermont Boating Laws

Operations and Related Vermont Statutes

Rules for Vermont Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs