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.


The NDGF is responsible for regulating the state boating laws of North Dakota.


All vessels propelled by machinery, including gasoline, diesel and electric motors, and principally operated on North Dakota waters must be registered and issued a North Dakota Certificate of Number (Registration) by the NDGF.


Boat owners must keep their Certificate of Ownership in a safe place.

NOTE On the reverse of the Certificate of Ownership there is an application for the transfer of ownership.


Boat owners must have at least a temporary Certificate of Number before they can operate in state waters. Upon receipt of the Certificate of Number please note the following:

  • It must be signed and carried on board when operating the vessel.
  • Registration period is from January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2007. Fees are prorated.
  • The NDGF must be notified within 15 days if the boater changes residences, the boat changes ownership, the boat is destroyed, abandoned, stolen or recovered.

The Certificate of Number, validation decals and title obtained by submitting the proper application and fee to:

North Dakota Game & Fish Department 
100 North Bismarck Expressway 
Bismarck, ND 58501-5095

Successful registration results in a Certificate of Number,physical boat numbers and a decal. Boat numbers must:

  • Be affixed on both sides of the bow;
  • Be block letters, three inches high and contrasting with the color of your boat;
  • Letters must be separated from the numbers by a space or a hyphen.


For example: ND 123BX or ND-123-BX. This is a federal and state requirement.

The decal which is provided to you by the NDGF should be displayed on both sides of the boat toward the stern and within 6inches of the registration number.

Lack of the correct documentation may result in delays and fines.

Make sure all boats are properly marked and documented. It's important to keep your papers with the boat - be particularly aware when transferring ownership of your vessel.

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