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.

Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW):

The NDOW is responsible for regulating the state boating laws in Nevada.


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


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.


Boaters must have a Nevada Certificate of Number and validation decals to legally operate a vessel on Nevada's waters. The only exceptions are:

  • Manually propelled vessels (i.e. canoe, kayak, sailboat without motor)
  • Vessels that are currently registered and kept in another state(after more than 90 days of use, Nevada should be considered the state of principal use)

Boat owners must at least have 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.
  • It expires on December 31st on the year issued

Submit the application and appropriate fees to the NDOW for the:Certificate of Number, registration and boat title. 

Nevada Department of Wildlife 
1100 Valley Rd 
Reno, NV 
phone: 1-775-688-1500 
fax: 1-775-688-1595 

Application forms are obtained by writing to the address above,calling 1-775-688-1500 or visiting one of the Department of Wildlife offices in Reno, Fallon, Elko, Ely, Las Vegas or Henderson.


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;
  • Numbers and letters must be separated by a space or a hyphen.

For example: NV 1234BX or NV-1234-BX. This is a federal and state requirement.


When received, decals must be placed within 6 inches of the registration numbers on each side of the boat. The decal must be inline with the registration numbers and extend toward the rear of the boat.

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

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

*Content provided by www.BoaterExam.com