Registration Requirements

A Texas boat registration is valid for two years.

Vessels Requiring Registration

The following vessels/boats when on Texas public water are required to have current registration, including when docked, moored, or stored:

  • All motorized vessels, regardless of length (including any sailboat with an auxiliary engine);
  • All non-motorized vessels (including sailboats) 14 feet in length or longer; and
  • USCG documented vessels.

Vessels Exempted from Registration

Non-motorized canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length), or other vessels under 14 feet in length when paddled, poled, oared or windblown. Adding an outboard or trolling motor to one of these vessel types requires titling and registration.

A non-motorized vessel may have previously been titled as a motorboat. You can query ownership to check whether a title has been issued.

Registration of USCG Documented Vessels

Effective January 1, 2004, vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard are required to have state registration.

Exempted USCG Documented Vessels

  • Commercial tugboats;
  • Vessels exceeding 115 feet in length; and
  • Pilot or crew boats transporting freight, supplies, or personnel to or from cargo ships, freighters, or offshore oil infrastructure.