How to Register a Boat in Maryland?

Last Updated on October 1, 2022

If you are a boat owner and live in Maryland, you may be wondering how to go about registering your boat. The process can seem confusing at first, but it is actually relatively simple. 

There are a few ways to clean a boat’s fuel tank. One is to use a commercially available tank cleaning product that you can buy at an auto parts store. We will walk you through the registration process step-by-step. We will also provide some tips on choosing the right type of registration and coverage for your boat. 

So, whether you are a new boat owner or just need a refresher course, read on for all the information you need to know about registering your boat in Maryland.

Maryland Boat Registration

If you are registering a vessel that is less than 16 feet long, you will also need to provide a bill of sale.

  • You must have the title of the boat in your name before you can register it.
  • Go to your local Maryland Department of Natural Resources office with the title, a completed application, and the registration fee.
  • You will also need to provide proof of insurance for the boat. The DNR will issue you a Maryland Certificate of Number and decals for your boat.
  • You must display these on the boat as required by law.
  • You must renew your boat registration every two years in order to keep it valid.

Maryland Dnr Boat Registration Online

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers online boat registration for boats that will be used in the state of Maryland. This process is available for both new and renewing registrations. 

In order to register a boat in Maryland, the owner must have a valid email address and credit card. The online application will ask for the boat’s Hull Identification Number (HIN), length, type, model year, and engine information. 

The owner will also need to provide their contact information, including mailing address and phone number. Once the application is complete, the owner will receive their registration certificate and decals via email within 5-7 business days.

Boat Registration Renewal Maryland

It’s that time of year again when water enthusiasts across the state of Maryland must renew their boat registration. The process is simple and can be completed online, by mail, or in person. 

Those who choose to renew online will need to provide their vessel identification number, last name, and date of birth. Those renewing by mail will need to complete and sign a renewal application, which can be obtained through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website. 

Finally, those renewing in person will need to present their boat registration card and photo ID at any Maryland DNR office or approved agent location. 

Once the renewal is complete, boaters will receive a new registration decal to display on their vessel. With that, they can once again enjoy exploring all that Maryland’s waterways have to offer.

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Boat in Maryland?

Assuming you would like a blog post about registering a boat in Maryland:  “So you’ve finally done it. You took the plunge and bought yourself a boat!

Whether you’re an experienced sailor or a first-time boater, owning a boat comes with a lot of responsibilities and one of the first is registering your vessel with the state. 

In Maryland, all boats must be registered through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The process is pretty simple, fill out some paperwork, pay a fee, and you’re good to go!

But what exactly does that process entail, and how much will it cost you? The application for registration can be found on the DNR website. You’ll need to provide information about the vessel itself, as well as yourself as the owner.

Once that’s completed, you’ll need to submit the application along with payment for the registration fee. The base registration fee in Maryland is $24 for vessels under 16 feet long. For each additional foot over 16 feet, there is an additional charge of $3.

So if your vessel is 20 feet long, your total fee would be $36. There are also other fees that may apply depending on the type of vessel being registered.

How Do I Transfer a Boat Title in Maryland?

When you purchase a boat in Maryland, the title must be transferred within 30 days to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The process is relatively simple and can be done by mail or in person. 

To transfer the title by mail, you will need to send the following items to the DNR:

  • The completed Application for Certificate of Title.
  • The original out-of-state certificate of title (if applicable).
  • A notarized Bill of Sale.
  • The appropriate fees ($10 for titling, and $15 for registration). 

All of these items can also be brought in person to any DNR Service Center. 

Once the DNR has processed your paperwork, they will issue you a new Maryland certificate of title and registration decals for your boat. Make sure to affix the decals to your boat as required by law. And that’s it! 

How to Register a Boat in Maryland?

Can I Register a Boat in Md Without a Title?

Technically, you can register a boat in Maryland without a title, but it’s not recommended. Without a title, you’ll have to provide a notarized bill of sale from the previous owner as proof of ownership. This can be tricky if the boat is old or if there’s no paper trail documenting its history.

Additionally, if you ever decide to sell the boat, it will be much more difficult to do so without a title. In short, while it’s possible to register a boat in Maryland without a title, it’s not advisable and could cause headaches down the road.

Do You Have to Have a Title for a Boat in Maryland?

The boating laws in Maryland are very specific about the need for boats to have titles. In fact, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, all watercraft that is propelled by machinery must be titled with the state. 

This includes everything from canoes and kayaks to jet skis and pontoon boats. The only exception to this rule is if the boat is registered in another state and that registration is still valid.

How Do I Register My Boat Trailer in Md?

In order to register your boat trailer in Maryland, you will need to provide the following information: 

  • The make, model, and year of your trailer 
  • The length and width of your trailer
  • The weight of your trailer 
  • The number of axles on your trailer 
  • Your contact information

Once you have gathered this information, you can begin the registration process by visiting the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website. From there, you will be able to complete an online application and pay the required fees.

What is Required on a Boat in Md?

In Maryland, boats are required to have registration and titling through the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR also requires proof of insurance, a valid ID, and a boater safety course completion certificate if born after July 1, 1972. 

All motorized vessels must display valid registration decals and numbers. Operators of any vessel towed behind a motorized vessel must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device while the vessel is underway. 

Vessels 16 feet and longer must also carry at least one throwable Type IV PFD onboard in addition to the wearable PFDs required for each person onboard. Children under the age of 13 must wear an approved PFD at all times while onboard any vessel less than 26 feet long that is underway.

All vessels operated on Maryland waters must have visual distress signals on board if they are operated more than 100 yards from shore during daylight hours or within 50 yards of shore during nighttime hours. 

A daytime signal consists of three pyrotechnic devices such as flares or three handheld orange smoke bombs; a nighttime signal consists of three handheld red flares; both daytime and nighttime signals require one electric distress light visible for 360 degrees if used alone as a signal device Vessel operators should know that it is illegal to operate:

  • A boat while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .08% 
  • A boat with an open container of alcohol unless it is stored in a locked compartment. 
  • A boat without proper navigation lights between sunset and sunrise. 

Registration & titling through DNR with fee Insurance Valid ID Boater safety course completion certificate (if born after 7/1/1972) Display registration decals & numbers   


To register a boat in Maryland, you will need to provide the MVA with some basic information about the vessel and yourself. This can be done online, or in person at an MVA office. 

You will also need to have the boat inspected by the Department of Natural Resources Police (DNR). Boats must be registered annually, and there are various fees associated with registration. 

If you have any questions about registering your boat in Maryland, or would like help completing the process, please contact our team today. We would be happy to assist you!