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Washington Boat Registration / Title Forms and FAQ

Washington Frequently Asked Questions

Washington Registration and Title Information
Summary of boat registration and titling rules in Washington
How do you register a boat in Washington?
In Washington, you can register your boat at a boat licensing office or by completing an application and mailing in the required paperwork.
Where do you register your boat in Washington?
In Washington, you register your boat at a boat licensing office.
What boats are required to be registered in Washington?
All boats unless specifically exempted are required to be registered in Washington
What boats do not require registration in Washington?
The following boats are not required to be registered in Washington: • If your vessel is a canoe, kayak, or a vessel not propelled by a motor or sail • If your vessel is less than 16 feet in length and has a motor of 10 horsepower or less and is used on non-federal waters only • If your vessel is properly registered by a resident of another state or country who uses Washington waters for 60 days or fewer
Are USCG documented boats required to be registered in Washington?
USCG documented boats are required to be registered in Washington
How much does it cost to register a boat in Washington?
To register a boat in Washington, the fees vary based on several factors. Please see Washington State Legislature for specific fees
Does Washington title boats?
Boats are titled in Washington
Where do you title your boat in Washington?
In Washington, boats are titled through a boat licensing office
What boats are required to be titled in Washington?
All vessels that require registration must also be titled in Washington
What boats do not require a title in Washington?
The following boats are exempt from titling in Washington: • Military vessels • Public vessels of the United States or the American Red Cross. • Vessels owned by a state, county, or city and used for governmental purposes. • Vessels with a marine document as a vessel of the United States that are primarily engaged in commerce, including Tugs and Barges • Charter vessels (bare vessel charters or timeshare vessels) • Vessels issued a United States Customs Service Cruising License or registered in another country. Vessel is exempt from registration only for the first 60 days of use. On or before the 61st day of use on Washington waters, the owner must obtain a vessel visitor permit as required under RCW 88.02.610. • A vessel primarily engaged in commerce that is owned by a resident of a country other than the United States. • Vessels registered in another state. Vessel is exempt from registration only for the first 60 days of use. On or before the 61st day of use on Washington state waters, the owner must obtain a nonresident vessel permit as required under RCW 88.02.620. If the principal place of use changes to Washington, the vessel must be registered in Washington. • Canoes, kayaks, or vessels that don't have a motor or sail (strictly human powered). • Vessels with propulsion machinery that: Draw 250 watts or less, and Propel the vessel no faster than 10 miles per hour, and are not used on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or the high seas beyond the territorial seas for vessels owned in the United States. • Vessels owned by a nonresident in Washington exclusively for repairs, alteration, or reconstruction. An employee of the repair facility providing these services must be on board the vessel during any testing. The owner must file an affidavit with the Department of revenue by the 61st day to verify the vessel is being serviced. The affidavit must be filed every 60 days thereafter, as long as the vessel is located upon the waters. • Vessels less than 16 feet long with a motor of 10 horsepower or less, if used on non-federal waters only. • Tenders 10 HP or less used for direct transportation between a registered vessel and the shore and for no other purpose. The tender must display the number of the registered vessel followed by the suffix "1". • Vessels 30 ft. or longer purchased by a nonresident that has purchased a use permit issued under RCW 82.08.700 or 82.12.700. • Vessels held for sale by a licensed dealer. • Vessels used exclusively for commercial fishing must be listed with Washington State Department of Revenue.
How much does it cost to title a boat in Washington?
See Washington renewal and registration fee information
How much does it cost to get a duplicate boat title in Washington?
See Washington renewal and registration fee information
How much does it cost to transfer a boat title in Washington?
See Washington renewal and registration fee information
How much does it cost to record a lien on a boat in Washington?
Recording a lien in Washington will cost you a $5 service fee
What is the sales tax rate for boats in Washington?
The sales tax rate on boats in Washington is 6.5%. Local jurisdictions have authority to apply a local sales tax in addition to the state sales tax.
What is the sales tax cap for boats in Washington?
In Washington, the sales tax cap is 6.5%
Does Washington have an annual tax on boats?
Washington has an annual tax on boats. For recreational boats, a watercraft excise tax is .005 of the fair market value.
Helpful Links for Washington:
WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: Boats WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: Official vehicle and boat registration forms

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