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.

Utah State Parks and Recreation (USPR):

The USPR is responsible for regulating the state boating laws in Utah.

Registration/Titling

Sailboats and any vessel equipped with a motor, whether gas or battery powered, must be registered and numbered, unless exempt as noted below. A person may not place, or give permission for the placement of, a motorboat or sailboat on any waters of this state or operate or give permission for the operation of a motorboat or sailboat on the waters of this state, unless the motorboat or sailboat is registered. The following are exempt from this requirement:

  • Canoes, kayaks and other vessels not propelled by motor or sail
  • Vessels that have been properly registered in another state and owned by a resident of another state using Utah state waters for no more than 60 days.

Vessels owned by Utah residents but registered out-of-state must be registered in Utah if they are used on Utah waters.
U.S. Coast Guard documented vessels must register in Utah if they are used on Utah waters. This includes the proper display of both the Month of Expiration Decals and the Yearly Registration Decals.

The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles will issue titles for boats manufactured in 1985 or after. The following are not required to be titled:

  • Boats that were built before 1985.
  • Boats with motors less than 25 horsepower.

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

Certificate of Ownership

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.

Registration Card

Upon receipt of the Registration Card please note the following:

    • It must be carried onboard when operating the vessel.
    • It is valid for one year and expires on of the last day of the month it was registered of the following year.
    • The DMV must be notified within 15 days if the boater changes residences.

Please note that the sale, transfer, destruction or abandonment of a motorboat or sailboat terminates its registration.
The Registration Card, validation decals and title may all be obtained by submitting the proper application and fee to the Utah DMV.

Registration fees

The annual registration fee includes a search and rescue surcharge designated to go to your county of residence/registration. A portion of this registration fee is also allocated to the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles for processing the vessel's registration. The remaining dollars are then allocated to Utah State Parks and Recreation to fund Utah's Boating Program.

The assigned Bow Number must be displayed on the forward half of the vessel, either painted on or affixed to the hull.

The Bow Numbers must be plain, one color, vertical, block characters at least three inches in height that read from left to right. They must contrast with the background color of the hull and be distinctly visible and legible from a distance of approximately 150 feet. Spaces or hyphens, equal to the width of a letter, must separate the number and letter groupings.

The assigned Bow Number consists of the prefix letters UT, four numbers and two suffix letters. For example: UT 1234 BX or UT-1234-BX.

The Yearly Registration Decals must be displayed three inches aft (towards the stern) of the Bow Number on each side of the boat. The Month of Expiration Decals must be displayed immediately aft (towards the stern) of the Yearly Registration Decals.

On documented vessels, the Yearly Registration Decals and the Month of Expiration Decals shall be displayed on each side of the forward half of the vessel.

On boats where the placement of the Bow Number, Yearly Registration Decals and Month of Expiration Decals on the hull or superstructure would not be visible or where the type of hull material used would make it impractical to permanently attach, the Bow Number, Yearly Registration Decals and Month of Expiration Decals may be mounted on a backing plate and displayed as described above.

Utah Insurance Requirements

All motorboats, including PWC, must carry proof of liability insurance while in operation on Utah waters. The minimum liability insurance requirements are $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury/death, $15,000 property damage, and/or a combined $65,000 per accident. Boats equipped with a motor of less than 50 horsepower are exempt from this requirement.

A non-Utah resident with his/her boat registered in their home state must meet their home state's insurance requirements. If their home state does not have an insurance requirement, they are exempt from this requirement if the boat is in Utah for less than 90 days a year. Utah State Parks and Recreation recommends all boat owners to carry liability insurance for their boats.

*Content provided by www.BoaterExam.com