Outdoor recreation can play a vital role in protecting our natural resources. When you register your boat, you do your part in sustaining resources that promote safe and responsible use of our nation's waters. Your registration dollars also help pay for marinas, boat ramps, lake clean up and much more.
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR): The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is responsible for regulating the state boating laws in Kentucky.
All mechanically powered vessels used primarily in this state must have a Kentucky registration. Boats are registered at the country clerk's office. Persons may register in the county of their residence of the county of principal use.
Boat registrations expire April 30th each year.
Boats registered in other states may be used for up to 60 consecutive days in Kentucky without registering here.
All boats operated in Kentucky must have the registration certificate on board. Boats that are rented from a marina or boat livery must have a lease agreement on board.
Once boats are assigned a registration number and decals, they must be displayed properly. The number assigned, and no other,shall be displayed on the bow or forward half, of EACH side of the vessel, read from left to right, and in a position to be distinctly visible. The letters and numbers must be of a plain block design,at least three (3) inches in height, and of a color that will provide maximum contrast to the background - meaning light numbers on a dark hull or vice versa). There must be a letter size space between letter and number groups:
Correct: KY 1234 BX Incorrect:KY1234BX
Registration decals are to be placed within six (6) inches behind (aft) and in line with the registration number. Upon renewal every year, old registration decals are to be removed and the current ones applied.
When ownership of a currently registered boat changes, it is the responsibility of the purchaser to take the endorsed title to the county clerk and have the boat transferred into the name of the new owner. This procedure must be done upon completion of the transaction.
Whenever a vessel is transferred, the seller shall, within 15 days, give the county clerk notice of the transfer of his interest in the vessel.
Whenever a vessel is destroyed or abandoned, the owner shall,within 15 days, give notice to the county clerk to terminate the registration. The owner shall remove the numbers and decals from the vessel.
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