Boat Registration Information

General Information

What to Register

Fees

Supporting Documents for Boat Registration

Bill of Sale

Documents if Buying/Selling a Used Boat

Hull Identification Number (HIN)

Registering/Purchasing an Inherited Boat

Temporary Boat Registration

FAQs


General Information

There are three types of vessel registrations:

  • New Registration: The vessel has never been registered in Georgia with the Department of Natural Resources. The vessel may be new or used.
  • Renewal Registration: Renewal of a Georgia registered boat where the registration number and name of the boat owner have not changed since last registered. Registrations may be renewed any time after October 1 the year before expiration. Registrations allowed to lapse will incur a $10 late fee at renewal.
  • Transfer Registration: Change of ownership for a Georgia registered boat. The existing Georgia registration number (if still available) is transferred to the new owner’s name and the new owner receives a new registration period. The new expiration date is the last day of the new owner's month of birth during the third year of registration. Customers should be sure to update address, email address, and other information.

Register a Boat

Online

By Phone — 1.800.366.2661

By Mail — Vessel Registration Application

Registration Help

Renew Boat Registration

Online (requires credit card)

By Phone — 1.800.366.2661 (requires credit card)

By Mail — Vessel Renewal Application (requires mailed payment)

Renewal requires a Georgia-registered boat where the registration number and name of the boat owner have not changed since last registered. Registrations may be renewed any time after October 1 the year before expiration. Registrations allowed to lapse will incur a $10 late fee at renewal.

Boat owners are mailed a renewal registration notice once when they have 60 days or fewer remaining on their Georgia boat registration.

Boat owners should indicate a change of address or change of email online, when talking to the Service Center operator, or on the mailed renewal form.

Marine Toilet

All boats equipped with a marine toilet must be registered with DNR and must have a permit. Customers will be issued a Marine Toilet Certificate decal which must be affixed to the hull adjacent to the boat registration number. The one-time certification fee is $15.00 ($5 certificate fee plus $10 transaction fee). No renewal of the certificate is required and it is transferable to any subsequent owner of the boat.  You may obtain a Marine Toilet Certificate online, by mailing a Vessel Registration Application with payment by check to the address on the form, or by calling 1-800-366-2661 and making payment using a credit card

It is illegal to operate a boat with a marine toilet, galley or sleeping quarters (including houseboats) on the following lakes: Lake Burton, Bull Sluice Lake, Goat Rock Lake, Lake Harding, Lake Jackson, North Highlands Lake, Lake Oliver, Lake Rabun, Seed Lake, Tallulah Falls Lake, Tugalo Lake, Lake Oconee, and Yonah Lake.

If operated on the following lakes, customers with marine toilets must have a marine toilet equipped with a holding tank that is built so that it can be emptied only by being pumped out: Lakes Allatoona, Blackshear, Blue Ridge, Clarks Hill, Hartwell, Russell, Seminole, Sinclair, Sidney Lanier, Walter F. George Reservoir, or West Point.

Customers must maintain a record, going back to at least one year, of the name and location of the pump-out facilities used to empty the holding system and the dates of such use.

Clean Vessel Act Grants

Birthday Bonus for Georgia Boat Owners

Starting July 2013, Georgia residents who have a boat registered with the state can fish on their birthday and for two days after as part of their boat registration fee.

It’s a three-day bonus for the state’s some 300,000 resident boat owners. This offer from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources also covers use of some DNR shooting ranges, plus some other sporting privileges. To take advantage of it, boat owners just have to get outdoors.

The birthday bonus is a three-day resident combination license that not only allows Georgians 16 and older who own a vessel and have a valid, current registration to fish in fresh and saltwater for three consecutive days (starting on their birthday), it covers many other recreational opportunities. These include fishing at public fishing areas, accessing state lands where a Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass is otherwise required, hunting small game and feral hogs on private land, and using shooting ranges where a WMA stamp or GORP is needed.

The license is good for the primary boat owner’s birthday during the three years the boat registration is valid.

Boat owners must carry a Georgia ID, such as a driver’s license, and their plastic vessel registration card to show proof of a valid vessel registration. Activities like trout fishing, big-game hunting and hunting on WMAs require additional paid licenses. Saltwater fishing and migratory bird hunting require additional permits, which are free.


What to Register

Registration Required

Registration is required for:

  • all mechanically-propelled vessels used on "Waters of this state."
  • sailboats over twelve feet in length used on "Waters of this state."

"Waters of this state" means any waters within the territorial limits of this state and the marginal sea adjacent to this state and the high seas when navigated as a part of a journey or ride to or from the shore of this state. This definition shall not include privately-owned ponds or lakes not open to the public. O.C.G.A. §52-7-3(26)

“Vessel” means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water or a sailboard, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water and specifically includes, but is not limited to, inflatable rafts and homemade vessels; provided, however, Code Section 52-7-18, relating to rules of the road for boat traffic, shall be applicable to sailboards. O.C.G.A. §52-7-3(25)

Vessel registrations extend for a period of three calendar years and expire the last day of the vessel owner's month of birth in the last year of registration.

Registration Not Required

Registration is NOT required for the following vessels:

  • Sailboats less than 12 ft. in length with no mechanical propulsion.
  • Canoes, kayaks, rowboats and rubber rafts that have no mechanical propulsion (i.e., are paddled, poled, oared or windblown) and
  • Boats operated exclusively on private ponds or lakes.

Fees

Registration fees are based upon the length of the boat. Current fees:

Boats <16 feet in length $35
Boats 16 feet to <26 feet in length $70
Boats 26 feet to <40 feet in length $140
Boats 40 foot and over in length $210
Duplicate Registration $11
Marine Toilet Certificate with boat registration $5
Standalone Marine Toilet Certificate $15
Late fee for renewal of a lapsed registration (same owner/no transfer) $10

Transaction fees apply to all applications.

$10 Transaction Fee (Mail, Phone, Online)

$8 Transaction Fee (Online Renewals)

ONLINE: Customers may create an account or log into their online account and register or renew with a credit card. The printed receipt and temporary authorization number are issued by the system and are good for 60 days for use in Georgia until the new registration is received*.

BY MAIL: Customers will return the completed application and required registration documents along with payment to the address listed on the application. Customers may retain a copy of the mailed application and proof of payment, and use these copies for 60 days as a temporary registration for use in Georgia until the boat decal and registration are received*. These must be carried on the boat while in use. The date on the application and check or the date the application is received, whichever is earliest, starts the 60 day period. Renewal Registrations - customers are mailed a courtesy renewal registration notice once when they have 60 days or less remaining on their boat registration. Customers may mail the printed form back with payment. Customers may also create an application in their online account, print it, and return the printed application and payment by mail.,

BY TELEPHONE: (1-800-366-2661): The Service Center operator will gather information from the customer based on the completed registration application or renewal notice, and enter credit card payment. The Service Center operator will inform the customer which documents are necessary to complete the application; request the customer mail, email, or fax the application and necessary supporting documents to the Call Center; and give the customer an authorization number that is a temporary registration good for 60 days for use in Georgia*. This number must be carried on the boat while in use.

* Recreational boats built after 1972 require a hull identification number (HIN). If the HIN is missing the boat may not be used on Georgia waters until the HIN is permanently affixed to the vessel.


Supporting Documents for Boat Registration

All documents should have adequate information to identify the boat, such as:

  • registration number
  • hull identification number
  • length
  • make
  • year
  • construction material.

Documents can be submitted 1 of 4 ways:

  1. Online in your customer account by uploading a scanned image or a photo of the document atwww.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com (Fastest)
  2. Emailing scanned image or photo of the document to: documents@GaBoat.com (Faster)
  3. Faxing documents to: 678-515-9470 (Fast)
  4. Mailing documents to: GA Dept. of Natural Resources PO Box 934943 Atlanta, GA 31193-4943 (Normal Processing)

Required Documents

Document 1 (required) - Proof of Ownership

Most often, this is a bill of sale showing sufficient information to identify the vessel, plus the seller’s and owner’s name. See WRD example Bill of Sale. Other proofs of ownership, listed below, may be used. Bills of sale or invoices should show buyer and seller, and be signed by both. If proof of ownership cannot be obtained, a completed and signed Affidavit of Vessel Ownership form may be submitted by the vessel owner.

Examples of Proof of Ownership Documents:

  • Bill of Sale
  • Dealer's Invoice
  • Transferred Title to New Owner’s Name
  • Lottery Prize/Raffle or Gift/Donation: Legal documents, Statement of Gift, or Winner Notification.
  • Divorce with Decree or Spouse Transfer:  Bill of Sale from Seller (spouse owner of boat), or Court Order showing transfer
  • From Deceased Owner or Inherited from Owner: Legal documents showing transfer. See FAQ for list of documents.
  • Lien Holder Repossessions, Bankruptcy, Default on Payment: Court Order or other document giving seller possession and/or authority to sell.
  • Insurance Claim: Bill of Sale from Seller and Theft/Loss Report.
  • Pawn Shop Claim: Bill of Sale from Seller and Pawn Shop Affidavit or Ticket.

Document 2 (required) - A signed Georgia Vessel Registration Application

If a vessel is registered online, the online process allows for electronic agreement without requiring a signed application.

Document 3 (may be required) - New Vessels, Out-of-State Vessels, and Homemade Vessels require additional documents:

  • New Vessels:
    • For new, never before registered vessels, a legible copy of the of the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin is required.
  • Out-of-State Registrations
    • For vessels with Out-of-State Registrations, a legible copy of the title if coming from a Title State OR a copy of out-of-state Registration Card if the vessel is from a non-titling state is required.
  • Homemade Vessels - Never Before Registered,
    • Homemade Vessels - Never Before Registered, will require a HIN number. If no HIN Number, then a DNR HIN inspection is required before the HIN will be issued.

Bill of Sale for Boat

A Bill of Sale (BOS) for a boat must have adequate information to positively link the BOS to the boat, similar to the example WRD BOS posted HERE.

Owners of Georgia registered boats must notify the Department, in writing, of sale or transfer, theft or recovery, or destruction or abandonment of a boat within 15 days. Additional information.

The following should be on the BOS.

  • GA or Other State Registration Number
  • Make
  • Year Built or Model Year
  • HIN #
  • Length
  • Hull Material
  • Color (primary and trim)
  • Seller’s and Buyer’s Signature

However, WRD recognizes that not all BOS will be this complete. It is a judgment call whether WRD believes the BOS received is adequate to link the vessel to the BOS in a reasonably sufficient manner. Whether a BOS is adequate may also depend on other documents submitted such as an out of state title, a manufacturer’s statement of origin, or other information that supports the submitted BOS by positively identifying and linking data or other information to the boat in question.

A BOS does not have to be witnessed OR notarized, although this is acceptable.

If it is determined that a BOS is not available at all or is not adequate, the customer should obtain an adequate BOS. If a BOS cannot be obtained, an Affidavit of Vessel Ownership may be completed.


Selling / Buying a Used Boat: What Documents Do I Give the Buyer / Receive from the Seller?

The documents that will later be used to transfer or register a boat in Georgia from a private sale may vary, depending if the boat is already registered in Georgia, and if the seller is the owner of record on the Georgia registration. There are many possible scenarios, but these below are the most common.

Owners of Georgia registered boats must notify the Department, in writing, of sale or transfer, theft or recovery, or destruction or abandonment of a boat within 15 days. Additional information.

A Bill of Sale (BOS) for a boat must have adequate information to positively link the BOS to the boat, similar to the example WRD BOS posted here.

  • Boat is registered in Georgia: 
    Seller should give the buyer a signed and detailed bill of sale and the Georgia boat registration card. The bill of sale must contain sufficient information to identify the boat, such as hull identification number, year, make, model, Georgia boat registration number, etc. Buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale and the seller’s registration card. If the seller is not the owner of record on the Georgia registration, the seller should also give the buyer copies of bills of sale that form a chain back to the owner of record to show the boat was legally transferred by the owner of record to each subsequent owner if these bills of sale are available. Buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale from the seller and copies of bills of sale going back to the owner of record (if available), and the original registration card (if available). The previous owner’s registration card should be retained by the buyer until their registration card is received – after their registration card is received we suggest the previous owner’s registration card be destroyed.
     
  • Boat is registered in another state:
    Seller should give the buyer a signed, detailed and witnessed bill of sale, AND the original title if the boat is coming from a state that titles boats or the current registration card if the boat is coming from a state that does not title boats. The bill of sale must contain sufficient information to identify the boat, such as hull identification number, year, make, model, boat registration number, etc. Buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale from the seller and the original title or original state issued registration card. If the boat is coming from a non-title state and the seller is not the owner of record on the registration, the seller should also give the buyer copies of bills of sale that form a chain back to the owner of record to show the boat was legally transferred by the owner of record to each subsequent owner, if available. Buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale from the seller and copies of bills of sale going back to the owner of record and the original state issued registration card if the boat is registered in a non-title state, or the title if registered in a title state. A list of title and non-title states can be found below.

Title States and Territories (often there are length or model year exceptions): 

  • California
  • District of Columbia 
  • Florida
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana 
  • N. Mariana Islands
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Optional Title State:

  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi

Non-Title States and Territories (Registration Only):

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • American Samoa 
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Puerto Rico 
  • Tennessee
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Hull Identification Number (HIN)

What is a Hull Identification Number (HIN)?

The Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a 12 or 14 character serial number that uniquely identifies a boat. The HIN is analogous to a VIN on a car. All boats manufactured or imported on or after November 1, 1972, must bear a HIN, and this HIN must be identified during the boat registration process. Vessels manufactured or imported before 1972 are EXEMPT because they often do not have a HIN.

The HIN is found on a metal or plastic plate, typically on the transom of the boat, usually on the right starboard (right) side of the transom within two inches of the top of transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. On vessels without transoms, or impractical to use transoms, the HIN is usually affixed to the starboard (right) outboard side of hull, aft, within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of the hull side, gunwale or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. On catamarans and pontoon boats with replaceable hulls, the HIN is usually affixed to the aft crossbeam, within one foot of the starboard (right) hull attachment.

How Do I Get a Hull Identification Number (HIN)?

  • Boat owners should use every effort to determine if a boat has an existing HIN or resolve problems with a HIN for use in the registration process.
  • A HIN is required for boats manufactured after November 1, 1972. If the HIN is unavailable and unknown, the boat owner must first contact the boat manufacturer to obtain a replacement HIN (if they are still in business). A list of boat manufacturers is available by clicking HERE.
  • If the HIN is known but the plate is missing or the HIN not inscribed on the boat, the boat owner is responsible for permanently affixing the HIN to the boat using this guidance.
  • If the HIN is an improper format, the applicant will be asked to electronically upload or send a picture or pencil tracing of the HIN to DNR for verification and further instruction.
  • If the manufacturer is out of business or will not assist the boat owner, a DNR HIN Inspection is necessary. DNR will assign a HIN number during the inspection process and the boat owner is responsible for permanently affixing the HIN to the boat. Information on arranging an inspection can be found Here. (http://gadnrle.org/vessel-inspections)

How Do I Contact My Boat Manufacturer to Get a Hull Identification Number (HIN)?

A HIN is required for boats manufactured after November 1, 1972. If the HIN is unavailable and unknown, the boat owner must first contact the boat manufacturer to obtain a replacement HIN. The U.S. Coast Guard maintains a list of boat manufacturers and contact information at this external web site.

If the manufacturer is out of business or will not assist the boat owner, a DNR HIN Inspection is necessary. DNR will assign a HIN number during the inspection process and the boat owner is responsible for permanently affixing the HIN to the boat.

Hull Identification Number Inspection 

A Hull Identification Number (HIN) Inspection is necessary when boat owners do not have a Hull Identification Number from the Manufacturer on any vessel built after 1972. HIN Inspections are also required for any Homemade vessel. HIN Inspections are handled through the Law Enforcement Division.

How Do I Permanently Affix My Hull Identification Number (HIN) to My Boat?

A HIN is required for recreational boats manufactured after November 1, 1972. If the HIN is assigned by DNR, or if the HIN is known but the plate is missing or the HIN not inscribed on the boat, the boat owner is responsible for permanently affixing the HIN to the boat.

Each hull identification number must be carved, burned, stamped, embossed, molded, bonded, or otherwise permanently affixed to the boat so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious. If the number is on a separate plate, the plate must be fastened in such a manner that its removal would normally cause some scarring of or damage to the surrounding hull area. A hull identification number must not be attached to parts of the boat that are removable. The characters of each hull identification number must be no less than one-fourth of an inch high.

Two identical hull identification numbers are required to be displayed on each boat hull.

1. Primary Location. If the hull identification number would not be visible, because of rails, fittings, or other accessories, the number must be affixed as near as possible to the location specified below.

a. On boats with transoms, to the starboard outboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. 
b. On boats without transoms or on boats on which it would be impractical to use the transom, to the starboard outboard side of the hull, aft, within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of the hull side, gunwale or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest. 
c. On catamarans and pontoon boats which have readily replaceable hulls, to the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard hull attachment.

2. Duplicate Location. The hull identification number must be affixed in an unexposed location on the interior of the boat or beneath a fitting or item of hardware.

O.C.G.A. § 52-7-7.1. Hull identification numbers required; penalty for violations

(a) No person shall operate on the waters of this state a vessel manufactured after November 1, 1972, unless the vessel displays an assigned hull identification number as required by the United States Coast Guard or by the issuing authority, except any of those vessels exempted by Code Section 52-7-7.6. The hull identification number shall be carved, burned, stamped, embossed, or otherwise permanently affixed to the outboard side of the transom or the starboard side within two feet of the transom above the waterline in accordance with federal law or as directed by the issuing authority.


Registering or Purchasing an Inherited Boat

When a person dies, title to their property, including any vessels they owned, becomes vested in another person(s). A formal legal process guides this action. Legal documents may be available to show who gained ownership of a vessel from the estate, or who has legal authority, such as an Executor or Administrator of an estate, to dispose of a vessel.

By statute, vessels may only be registered by the legal owner (52-7-5). If a living legal owner sells a vessel, a bill of sale from the owner and the owner’s registration card are sufficient to transfer the vessel registration to the new owner. Obviously, when the owner of a vessel is deceased, they are unable to sign a bill of sale. The person gaining the vessel from an estate might desire to transfer the vessel registration into their name, or may desire to sell the vessel to another person and the registration would be transferred from the deceased to the buyer’s name.

To transfer registration, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) must have a legal document reflecting the change in ownership of the vessel. We have past instances where we learn ownership of a vessel is in dispute. For example, someone may have sold a deceased's vessel to a third party and others in the family or spouse claim the seller had no ownership claim to legally sell the vessel. Therefore, the person that sold the boat was not the owner and the buyer is unable to legally transfer registration.

Letters of Testamentary/Administration, Probated Last Will and Testament, and Year’s Support are examples of some legal documents that could show a transfer of vessel ownership from a deceased’s estate to a new owner. An Affidavit of Inheritance form from DNR may be used to transfer registration to the inheritor when the deceased left no will or left a will that is not to be probated because it contains only limited assets. A certified copy of the deceased’s death certificate must accompany this completed and signed form. If the will is not to be probated because it contains only limited assets, a copy of the non-probated will must accompany this form. If there is only one heir, a certified copy of No Administration Necessary from Probate Court may be submitted in lieu of the Affidavit of Inheritance. An Affidavit of Vessel Ownership may also be used to transfer ownership if the documents described above cannot be obtained.


Temporary Boat Registration

Temporary boat registration is available for boats that have a valid hull identification number (HIN), and for boats that are exempt from the HIN requirement including boats manufactured before November 1, 1972.

If done by telephone, the supplied temporary authorization number (TAN) can be used for a period of 60 days in Georgia until the decal and registration number are received by the boat owner (whichever is earlier). The number must be carried on the boat when in use.

If done by mail, a customer can keep a copy of the mailed application or renewal form and a copy of the check as proof of application. These two pieces of information can be carried on the boat and used for 60 days in Georgia until the new registration is received, if the boat has a proper HIN, or was manufactured in 1972 or before. The date of the application and check or the date the application is received, whichever is earliest, is the starting date of the 60-day period.

If done online, a receipt and temporary authorization number (TAN) are issued that are good for 60 days for use in Georgia until the new registration is received.

Use of the vessel can continue in other states for renewal registrations but only if the original registration has not expired.


Vessel Registration FAQs

  1. Does a boat using just a trolling motor have to be registered?
  2. I have a sailboat without a motor. Does it have to be registered?
  3. How long does a boat registration last?
  4. How long does it take to receive a boat registration?
  5. How do I obtain a duplicate boat registration (registration card or decals)?
  6. I received a letter asking for additional documents. Can I fax or email these documents?
  7. How do I get a refund for my boat registration?
  8. Can I keep my existing boat registration numbers if they expire?
  9. Do I need to notify DNR if I sell or no longer have my boat?
  10. Do I need to notify DNR if I change address?
  11. My boat is registered in another state. Can I use it in Georgia?
  12. Why does DNR require the use of the owner’s social security number for boat registration?
  13. Why do I have to pay a transaction fee to register my boat?
  14. My registration expired and now I’m told the registration numbers on my boat aren’t available and must be changed. Why?
  15. My out-of-state boat title is held by lien holder - how do I get the lien holder to release the title so I can register my boat?
  16. A boat has been left on my property. How do I take control of the boat (abandoned vessel)?
  17. Why did you cash my check for boat registration before sending my registration decals?
  18. Does Georgia register or title outboard motors?
  19. How do I register my boat trailer?
  20. I built a homemade boat. How do I register it?
  21. Do I have to keep my boat registered?
  22. I am absolutely unable to get proof of ownership documents to support my Georgia boat registration. What are my options? 
  23. Information for lien holders, lenders and others regarding original titles and original Manufacturers Statement of Origin (MSO) / Uniform Commercial Code Georgia
  24. What is the Fishing Birthday Bonus program for boat owners?

Does a boat using just a trolling motor have to be registered?

Yes, any boat with mechanical propulsion must be registered if it is being operated in waters of the State of Georgia. If the boat is used exclusively on private ponds, then it does not need to be registered.


I have a sailboat without a motor. Does it have to be registered?

All sailboats with mechanical propulsion must be registered regardless of length. Sailboats less than 12 feet in length without mechanical prolusion do not require registration. Sailboats 12 feet or longer must be registered whether or not they have mechanical propulsion. Boats operated exclusively on private ponds or lakes do not have to be registered.


How long does a boat registration last?

Vessel registrations extend for a period of three calendar years and expire the last day of the vessel owner's month of birth in the last year of registration.


How long does it take to receive a boat registration?

Customers will receive their decals and registration card within two weeks of completing payment and after all required documents are received.


How do I obtain a duplicate boat registration (registration card or decals)?

A duplicate registration card with duplicate decals can be requested by MAIL, TELEPHONE at 1-800-366-2661, or ONLINE following the procedures for boat registration. Duplicate Registration cards and decals are purchased / printed together. The registration cannot be expired. The cost is $1.00 plus an $8.00 service charge if done online, $10.00 service charge by phone, or $10 service change by mail using the boat registration application. If you choose to do this online, go through the screens as if you are registering your boat, and you will get to a choice to purchase a duplicate registration.


I received a letter asking for additional documents. Can I fax or email these documents?

If you receive a notification stating additional documents are needed to process your boat registration, the documents may be uploaded using your online account, or sent by fax or email. Make sure to send only copies and keep the original for your records.

The email address for documents is:
GAVesselRegistration@outdoorlicensingsolutions.com

The fax number for documents is:
678-515-9470 (fax)

The mailing address for documents is:
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 934943
Atlanta, GA 31193-4943


How do I get a refund for my boat registration?

Refund requests are processed by DNR. Only under limited conditions are fees paid to WRD refundable or reversible. Customers may receive a refund for charges related to electronic system errors or for payment where they do not receive any privilege or other consideration such as for overpayment.

REFUND REQUEST FORM


Can I keep my existing boat registration numbers if they expire?

Once a boat registration has expired, the numbers may be reassigned. Generally if the boat registration expired within the last calendar year, it is likely that the numbers have not been reassigned. The longer a boat goes unregistered, the more likely it is that the numbers will be reassigned and no longer available for the previous customer’s use. 


Do I need to notify DNR if I sell or no longer have my boat?

Owners of Georgia registered boats must notify DNR of the sale or transfer, theft or recovery, or destruction or abandonment of a boat within 15 days. This may be done three ways:

(Fastest)

1. Online at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com. Press “Vessel Registration & Renewal,” log into your account, select the boat, and Press “Sold Your Boat?” and follow the steps; OR 

(Fast)

2. Call (706) 664-0037 for interactive voice response; OR

(Normal Processing)

3. In writing. A notification form is located HERE. The signed form may be returned to DNR by:

The email address for documents is: documents@GaBoat.com

The fax number for documents is: 678-515-9470 (fax)

The mailing address for documents is:

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

P.O. Box 934943

Atlanta, GA 31193-4943


Do I need to notify DNR if I change address?

Owners of Georgia registered boats must notify the Department of a change in address from that shown on their boat registration card within 15 days. This notification must be sent to the address below. Or owners may log onto their online account or call the Service Center at 1-800-366-2661 to notify the Department of their change of address.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 934943
Atlanta, GA 31193-4943 


My boat is registered in another state. Can I use it in Georgia?

If a boat is fully registered and valid in another state, the boat may be used in Georgia. However, after 60 days of continuous use in Georgia, the boat must have Georgia registration.


Why does DNR require the use of the owner’s social security number for boat registration?

Federal Coast Guard regulations (CFR Title 33, Section 187.101) require that SSN or individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN) be reported for each owner or owners of a vessel, if the person has one of these numbers. If an owner does not have a SSN or ITIN number, other information can be collected and reported.


Why do I have to pay a transaction fee to register my boat?

In December 2007, DNR first entered into a contract with an outside vendor to design and manage an automated hunting and fishing license and boat registration system. The new license system was required to replace a failing automated licensing system that was not going to be licensed and available to DNR after December 2008. In short, the system was failing and had to be replaced. Absent of a significant funding source to develop and manage a new system “in-house”, DNR explored contractual options for obtaining a “no cost to state” contract like those adopted in many other states. Funding for this type of system would be recovered by the addition of a service charge paid by the buyer at the time of the purchase. The current contract includes: boat registration and renewal online, by telephone, and by mail, and requires mailing registration cards and decals to vessel owners. A Service Center operated by the vendor receives about 200,000 calls per year and registers boat, sells licenses and answers questions about boat registration and recreational hunting and fishing licenses.


My registration expired and now I’m told the registration numbers on my boat aren’t available and must be changed. Why?

When boat registration numbers expire, they become available to be reused. We do this because of the limited quantity of numbers available. While the odds favor that an expired registration number won’t be quickly selected by the computer once it expires, it is available upon expiration and if reassigned is no longer available to the previous registrant. We suggest maintaining boat registrations rather than letting them expire. An expired registration incurs an additional $10 late fee at renewal.


My out-of-state boat title is held by lien holder - what action, if any, should I take?

In Georgia, in order for a lien holder to record your outstanding debt against the vessel, the lien holder may file a UCC-1 form. A checklist and procedures can be found at https://www.gsccca.org/filesandforms/uccforms.asp. This is done at the Georgia county level through the county's Clerk of Superior Court where the boat owner resides and is not available through the License and Boat Registration Unit. Lien holders are often aware of this procedure, and will take the necessary steps to ensure their lien is secure against a Georgia registered boat.

Once the lien holder releases the lien against the out-of-state title, they may provide the title to the boat owner. Georgia will accept the original title or a legible copy for registration purposes.


A boat has been left on my property. How do I take control of the boat (abandoned vessel)?

Georgia’s Abandoned Vessel Code, O.C.G.A 52-7-70 through O.C.G.A. 52-7-77, details the steps required in order to declare a vessel abandoned by the State of Georgia. An Abandoned Vessel Package put together by WRD Law Enforcement Section is a helpful guide that contains required forms and outlines processes that may be used to declare a vessel abandoned under Georgia law.

The two key forms to initiate the process, the Abandoned Vessel Notice and Information Request directed to both Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia Bureau of Investigation can be found in the Abandoned Vessel Package. These must be completed with as much information as is known and submitted to the Agency and addresses noted at the top of each form.

If the vessel was abandoned at a storage facility and you have a copy of a contract with the individual that stored the vessel indicating that the vessel was "Specified collateral" and the individual defaulted on that contract, then all you have to do is complete the Default of Security Interest / Transfer Statement to transfer the vessel into your name. It will not be necessary to go through the "Abandoned Vessel" process whenever self-storage facilities contract with individuals and the property stored is "Specified Collateral" and the customer defaults on that security interest.


Why did you cash my check for boat registration before sending my registration decals?

Our mail-in boat registration procedures were established to meet our fiduciary responsibility to both the State of Georgia and to our customers. The first objective for mail-in payments is to ensure that customer’s fees are processed and recorded in such a manner to prevent mishandling of payments, in part accomplished by keeping the number of individuals handling your payment to the lowest level possible. The P.O. Box that receives your boat registration application and payment are physically located at a bank processing center used by the State of Georgia so that your payment is deposited immediately upon receipt. A scanned image of your check or money order is generated as a reference, and your boat registration application is sent from the bank to our license vendor for processing and fulfillment. If the application is complete and all necessary documents are present, the application is completely processed within 48 hours. Decals are created and mailed twice each week. It typically takes about two weeks from the time we receive your application at the P.O. Box until you receive your decals, or receive a letter stating that the application is not complete or documents are missing.
 


Does Georgia register or title outboard motors?

The State of Georgia does not and has never titled or registered outboard motors. The National Vessel Numbering & Titling Manual, Third Edition, published by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in 2011 gives information on each state’s vessel numbering and titling practices including which states title and/or register outboard motors. 


How do I register my boat trailer?

All boat trailers must be registered with the Georgia Motor Vehicle Division. Registration is done through your local County Tax Commissioners Office (Tag Office). Here is a link that shows Tax Office locations: https://mvd.dor.ga.gov/motor/tagoffices/SelectTagOffice.aspx.


I built a homemade boat. How do I register it?

Homemade boats must be assigned a hull identification number (HIN). To get a HIN, persons should initiate the boat registration process and pay for registration using the normal process (mail or phone) so that a record of the boat is in our system. Trailerable boats must be taken to a WRD inspection location to receive a HIN. HIN Inspections are conducted at locations statewide on a varying schedule. Inspections will not be performed if customers have not paid for a registration in advance of the inspection.

Boat owners should bring receipts for materials used to construct the boat, and any documents and correspondence that relate to the boat, boat construction, or registration process that may be helpful during the HIN Inspection that support registration.

For large boats moored at marinas that cannot be trailered, customers should call the office that handles the county where the boat is located to arrange for a HIN Inspection. A list of WRD offices by county can be found here.


Do I have to keep my boat registered?

There is no requirement that the boat remain registered. However, there is a possibility that the registration number on the boat may be reassigned if the registration is allowed to lapse. Registrations allowed to lapse will incur a $10 late fee at renewal. 


I am absolutely unable to get proof of ownership documents to support my Georgia boat registration. What are my options?

 

Boat owners should use every effort to obtain the required supporting documents for boat registration. to avoid costs to themselves and the state. If all options have been exhausted, an Affidavit of Vessel Ownership may be provided by the owner of the vessel.


Information for lien holders, lenders and others regarding original titles and original Manufacturers Statement of Origin (MSO) / Uniform Commercial Code Georgia

Georgia is not a title state for vessels, and therefore does not record liens against vessel titles. In order for an in-state or out-of-state lender to record outstanding debt against a vessel and an individual, the lender will file a Georgia UCC-1 form through the Georgia Superior Court Clerk’s Cooperative Authority. Refer to the following site for information and a checklist: http://www.gsccca.org/learn/projects-programs/ucc-system

A direct link to UCC forms is:
https://www.gsccca.org/filesandforms/uccforms.asp

This process is done at the Georgia county level through the resident's county Clerk of Superior Court and is not available through the WRD License and Boat Registration Unit. Many lenders are aware of this process.

The original manufacturer's statement of origin (MSO) or vessel title (if coming from another state) is not needed for the UCC process. After filing a Georgia UCC-1 form, the lender may give the original MSO or original title to the vessel owner.


What is the Fishing Birthday Bonus program for boat owners?

As part of their boat registration fee, Georgia residents 16 and older who own a vessel with a current, valid registration can fish and use some DNR sites such as shooting ranges where a WMA stamp or GORP would be required to hunt small game for three consecutive days starting on their birthday. This law change takes effect July 1, 2013.

Boat owners must carry personal ID and their vessel registration card (as proof of a valid vessel registration) when taking advantage of this outdoors birthday bonus. Some activities require additional licenses or permits.