Vessel Registration Period
Washington vessels are registered from July 1st of the year through June 30th of the following year.
The Vessel renewal season begins on April 1st of each year, but a vessel can be renewed up to 90 days before the next registration year.
Unless exempt, no person may own, operate or have on Washington waters any vessel unless the vessel has been registered. "Registered" means applicable registration fees and excise tax were paid for the current period and a validation decal has been issued and is placed on the vessel.
The registration certificate must be signed by at least one registered owner and carried on the vessel for which it is issued. The valid title application becomes the registration when it shows a current expiration date.
Exemption From Titling A Vessel
Although applied for, we will not issue a title in these circumstances:
In order to register a vessel in the State of Washington, the owner(s) must apply for a title. This title must be transferred or issued when:
Sale, gift, inheritance, divorce, lost title, ect.,
The title must be reissued to add, change or delete a lien holder,
To change the owner's name (same owner, different name),
When the vessel Hull Identification Number, make or model year changes, or
When a secondary lien holder is added
Mandatory Boater Education - RCW 79A.60.640
In 2005, a law was passed requiring boat operators to take a boater safety education course in order to operate a boat in Washington State. The law applies to operators of motor boats with 15 horsepower or greater. For more information on obtaining a Washington State Boater Education Card please visit the Washington State Parks Website.
Washington State Parks - Boater Education
Washington State Department of Licensing - Boats
Washington State Department of Licensing - Use Tax
RCW 79A.60.640 Requirements to operate motor driven boats/vessels - Exemptions - Penalty
WAC 308-93 Vessel registration and certificates of title