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Michigan Boat Registration / Title Forms and FAQ

Michigan Frequently Asked Questions

Michigan Registration and Title Information
Summary of boat registration and titling rules in Michigan
How do you register a boat in Michigan?
In Michigan, you can register your boat through any of 131 Secretary of State branch offices or by mail through the Department's Special Services Branch.
Where do you register your boat in Michigan?
In Michigan, you register your boat at the Michigan Department of State
What boats are required to be registered in Michigan?
The following boats are required to be registered in Michigan: All watercraft on Michigan waters, including privately-owned lakes and waterways, must be registered and display a decal except those specifically exempt.
What boats do not require registration in Michigan?
The following boats are not required to be registered in Michigan: 1. Watercraft 16 feet or less, propelled by hand either with oars or paddles, and not used for rental or commercial purposes. NOTES: All sailboats must be registered, regardless of length. All watercraft used by liveries, including paddle boats, must be registered. 2. Non-motorized canoes and kayaks not used for rental or commercial purposes. 3. Watercraft from a foreign country used here temporarily. 4. Watercraft registered in another state in accordance with the U.S. Coast Guard numbering system and used only temporarily in Michigan. (The watercraft would have a number similar to Michigan's MC number.). NOTE: When a watercraft is moved here and Michigan will be the state of principal use, the out-of-state registration is valid for 60 days (unless expired). 5. Watercraft owned by the U.S. government when used for public service (non-recreational) purposes. The vessel must be clearly identified as such. 6. Rafts, sailboards, surfboards, and swim floats (personal flotation devices). Applies to all lengths. 7. All terrain vehicles not used as a vessel. 8. A ship's lifeboat.
Are USCG documented boats required to be registered in Michigan?
USCG documented boats are required to be registered in Michigan
How much does it cost to register a boat in Michigan?
To register a boat in Michigan, the fees are as follows: • Non-motorized sailboats - original and 3-year renewal - $9 • Non-motorized canoes and kayaks used commercially - original and 3-year renewal - $5 • Motorboats less than 12 feet and motorized canoes (all sizes) - original and 3-year renewal - $14 • Motorboats 12 feet or more but less than 16 feet - original and 3-year renewal - $17 • Motorboats 16 feet or more but less than 21 feet - original and 3-year renewal - $42 • Motor Boats 21 feet or more but less than 28 feet - original and 3-year renewal - $115 • Motorboats 28 feet or more but less than 35 feet - original and 3-year renewal - $168 • Motorboats 35 feet or more but less than 42 feet - original and 3-year renewal - $244 • Motor Boats 42 feet or more but less than 50 feet - original and 3-year renewal - $280 • Motorboats 50 feet or more - original and 3-year renewal - $448 • Pontoon boats (regardless of size) - original and 3-year renewal - $23 • Commercial fishing vessels licensed in Michigan (no sport trollers) - original and 3-year renewal - $15
How much does it cost to get a duplicate boat registration in Michigan?
A duplicate boat registration in Michigan costs $2
How much does it cost to get a duplicate boat decal in Michigan?
A duplicate boat decal in Michigan costs $2
How much does it cost to transfer a boat registration in Michigan?
Transfering a boat registration in Michigan will cost you $2 plus prorated fee to update the registration to the current 3-year registration period
Does Michigan title boats?
Boats are titled in Michigan
Where do you title your boat in Michigan?
In Michigan, boats are titled through the Michigan Department of State
What boats are required to be titled in Michigan?
Boats that are required to be titled in Michigan include: All watercraft 20 ft. and over must be titled. Also, all watercraft with a permanently affixed engine, regardless of length, must be tilted. Watercraft not required to be titled may be titled upon request by the owner.
What boats do not require a title in Michigan?
The following boats are not required to be titled in Michigan: 1. A boat properly registered outside of Michigan temporarily using the waters of this state. 2. A boat owned by a governmental unit (federal, state, or local). 3. A ship's lifeboat. 4. Watercraft less than 20 feet in length not having a permanently affixed engine 5. Watercraft documented (registered) by the U.S. Coast Guard. 6. An amphibious vehicle which is titled as a motor vehicle. Amphibious airplanes are also exempt.
How much does it cost to title a boat in Michigan?
It costs $5 to title a boat in Michigan and an additional $5 for instant title service.
How much does it cost to get a duplicate boat title in Michigan?
A duplicate boat title in Michigan costs $5 for regular duplicate title (mailed) and $10 for instant duplicate title (issued on site)
How much does it cost to transfer a boat title in Michigan?
Transferring a title in Michigan will cost you $5 for regular transfer title (mailed), and $10 for an instant transfer title (issued on site)
How much does it cost to record a lien on a boat in Michigan?
There is not cost to record a lien on a boat in Michigan
Does Michigan issue e-titles for boats?
Michigan does not issue e-titles for boats.
Does Michigan require boat inspections?
Michigan does not require an inspection to register a boat.
What is the sales tax rate for boats in Michigan?
The sales tax rate on boats in Michigan is 6% sales tax for retail sales and a 6% use tax for non-retail sales.
What is the sales tax cap for boats in Michigan?
In Michigan, the sales tax cap is 6%
Does Michigan have an annual tax on boats?
Michigan does not have an annual tax on boats.
Helpful Links for Michigan:
SOS - Watercraft

Michigan Forms

Registration Application
Boat Title Application
Title Application
Boat Title Application

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