How to Register a Boat in Indiana

How to Register a Boat in Indiana
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To register a boat in Indiana, visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) or use their online portal. Provide the required documentation, such as proof of ownership and payment for registration fees.

Navigating the waters of boat registration in Indiana can seem as challenging as a choppy lake on a windy day, but with the right guidance, it’s smooth sailing. Boat enthusiasts and new owners must understand the state’s regulations to legally set sail on Indiana’s picturesque waterways.

Securing your boat’s registration is the first major step after purchase. This process safeguards your vessel’s identification, ensuring it complies with Indiana’s boating laws, as well as contributing to the maintenance of the state’s aquatic resources. With readily available online services and convenient BMV locations, registering your boat in Indiana is a straightforward task. The clear waters of the registration process await, promising peace of mind and countless aquatic adventures.

How to Register a Boat in Indiana


Navigating The Waters Of Boat Registration

Registering your boat in Indiana is a crucial step for lawful sailing. The process ensures your vessel has a unique identification, which aids in safety and regulation adherence. It is also a legal requirement for most watercraft before hitting the waters. This registration helps in tracking in case of theft or accidents.

Not all boats require registration. Those exempt include canoes, kayaks, and small rowboats. Inflatables under 7 feet in length also need no registration. If your craft fits these descriptions, sailing without registration is okay.

Type of Boat Registration Required?
Canoes and Kayaks No
Rowboats No
Inflatables (under 7ft) No
Other Motorized Vessels Yes
How to Register a Boat in Indiana


Starting Your Voyage: Pre-registration Checklist

Ready to register your boat in Indiana? Gather your documents first. You’ll need proof of ownership, like a bill of sale. Don’t forget a photo ID, such as a driver’s license. Is your boat new? Bring the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin. A boat from out of state? Have your last registration certificate handy. To know your registration fees, check the boat’s length. Also, consider its type and your use. Use the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles fee chart to see your cost. It helps to plan your budget before you start.

The Registration Process: Step By Step

Registering a boat in Indiana is simple. First, obtain the Indiana boat registration form. You can find this form online or at any boat registration agent. Fill it out with your details.

After filling the form, decide where to submit it. Two options are available. You may take it to a local Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) branch. Alternatively, mail it to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Ensure all information on the form is correct. This prevents delays. Your registration process will be smooth and quick. Remember to sign the form before submitting. This confirms your details.

Online Or In Person: Choosing Your Registration Path

Boat registration in Indiana can be done online or in person. Both options are easy and quick. To register your boat online, visit the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles website. Complete the required fields and submit electronic payment for fees. Ensure your personal details are accurate and up-to-date.

Prefer a personal touch? No problem. Visit a local BMV branch to register your boat. Don’t forget to bring your boat’s information and payment for registration fees. Helpful BMV staff can assist you through the process. Remember, some offices might need an appointment, so check ahead.

Choose the registration path that works best for you. Whether you register online or in person, enjoy the open waters sooner!

Post-registration Essentials

After you register your boat in Indiana, know your registration cycle. Indiana’s boat registration lasts for three years. The end of your registration period is on March 31, the third year. You must renew your registration before this date. Think of this timeframe much like a car’s license plate renewal.

Your boat registration numbers and decals are important. The numbers on your boat identify it clearly and must follow state rules. They should be bold, in block letters, and at least 3 inches high. Place these numbers on both sides of the boat’s bow. The decal proves your registration is current. Stick it within six inches of your Indiana boat registration number, on the starboard side.

Staying Legal On The Water: Rules And Regulations

Knowing the boating laws in Indiana is crucial for a safe and legal boating experience. Registrants must understand that their boats need specific safety equipment on board. Life jackets for all passengers and a throwable flotation device are mandatory. Boats require fire extinguishers and visual distress signals too.

It is important to have a sound-producing device, like a whistle, in case of emergency. Navigation lights are a must for boating between sunset and sunrise. All these items are checked during boat registration. Non-compliance leads to fines or worse. Secure and display the registration decal on the boat to ensure you’re following the law.

How to Register a Boat in Indiana


Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Register A Boat In Indiana

What Does It Take To Register A Boat In Indiana?

To register a boat in Indiana, provide proof of ownership, complete a registration application, pay applicable fees, and display the provided registration number on your vessel. Visit the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles for details and processing.

Does A Boat Have To Be Titled In Indiana?

Yes, boats in Indiana require titling if they are motorized or sailboats longer than 12 feet. Non-motorized boats are exempt.

Do I Need A Bill Of Sale To Register A Boat In Indiana?

Yes, you need a bill of sale to register a boat in Indiana. This document proves ownership and is required for the registration process.

How Do I Transfer Ownership Of A Boat In Indiana?

To transfer boat ownership in Indiana, complete a Bill of Sale and apply for a title through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles with required fees and identification.


Registering your boat in Indiana doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right documents and a visit to your local BMV, you’ll be navigating Hoosier waters legally in no time. Remember, abiding by registration laws ensures a safer boating experience for everyone.

Set sail confidently, knowing your vessel complies with Indiana state requirements. Happy boating!

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