Congratulations on purchasing your new boat! Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned boater, one of the essential things you need to know is whether your boat needs to be registered. Fortunately, this guide will help you understand whether your boat needs to be registered and what you need to do to register it in Pennsylvania.
First things first, boat registration and titling in Pennsylvania are managed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). If your boat is powered by a gasoline, diesel, or electric motor, it must be registered, and you'll need to obtain a registration card. This registration is valid for up to two years and allows you to operate your boat across the United States and in Canada. On the other hand, if your boat is unpowered, such as kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, rowboats, sailboats, or inflatable boats, you must register your boat or display a launch permit to use a PFBC or DCNR State Park or State Forest access.
It's important to note that your boat must be registered in the state where you primarily use it. You'll also need to carry your valid registration card with you on the boat, and it must be renewed before its expiration date.
In addition to boat registration, a certificate of title is a legal document that proves ownership and is required for certain boats in Pennsylvania. To obtain a title, you'll need to provide the boat's Hull Identification Number (HIN). The HIN can be found on or near the transom at the upper starboard (right) side above the waterline. If the boat was manufactured before October 31, 1972, a serial number is acceptable. Homemade boats with the necessary documentation will be given a HIN, except for Kit boats with an HIN.
Once you've obtained your registration and/or title, you'll need to display your boat's registration numbers and validation decal. The registration numbers and letters must be painted or permanently affixed to each side of the boat's forward half, be in bold, block letters and numbers, at least 3 inches high, and be of contrasting color to the background. They must be separated by a dash or space equivalent to the width of any letter or number except "I" or "1." A validation decal must be placed within 6 inches of the number, either before or after, on the same level.
If you are looking for a place to register your boat, the Pocono Boat House is here to help. Our experts can assist you with the registration process and answer any questions you may have. We understand that registering a boat can seem overwhelming, but our team will make the process as easy as possible. Additionally, we offer a wide selection of boating equipment, accessories, and services to help make your boating experience enjoyable and safe. Stop by the Pocono Boat House today to get your boat registered and ready for the water!
In conclusion, registering your boat in Pennsylvania is a necessary step to enjoy the waters legally. If you have any doubts or questions about the registration process, come stop by our store or contact the PFBC for more information. We hope this guide has been helpful and wish you happy and safe boating!
*For the most up-to-date information, please visit the official PA Fish and Boat Commission website.