Boat Registrations

What boat owners need to know about registering a boat or renewing a boat registration.

New Boat Registration

Any boat operated on the public waters of New Hampshire, including tidal and coastal waters and all inland waters, must be registered and must display the bow number issued by the DMV as part of the registration process, unless the boat is exempt as provided in RSA 270-E:4. Boats may be registered at any time of year, but each boat registration expires on December 31st of the year it was registered.

How to Register a Boat in New Hampshire: To register a boat in New Hampshire, the owner of the boat must provide the following:

  • Completed Boat Registration Application.
  • Proof of ownership.  Pursuant to Saf-C 2302.02, each applicant for private or commercial registration of a vessel shall provide proof of ownership of a vessel to the department.  For an initial registration of a vessel, proof of ownership shall include documentation containing both the authorized signature of the applicant and of the person or entity that sold the vessel to the applicant (please view the Vessel tab on the Bill of Sale page for all required information).
  • Owner's valid, current Driver License.
  • The proper boat registration fees. Please call the DMV Boat Registration office at (603) 227-4030 to determine the proper fee for your particular boat, pursuant to New Hampshire law (RSA 270-E:5 Vessel Registration Fees, and RSA 72-A:3 Boat Fees).
  • Verification of Vessel Identification if the boat is homemade or when a 12-digit Hull Identification Number (HIN) was not assigned to a vessel manufactured after 1972 or when there is no HIN present for any vessel manufactured for any given year.

Once a boat is registered, the owner will be issued a registration certificate along with a decal. The registration certificate must be kept on the boat at all times when the boat is being operated. Every New Hampshire registered boat must display a bow number and current registration decal.

Where to Register a Boat in New Hampshire: Registrations for privately-owned boats may be processed in person by utilizing our Drop Box Services, at authorized boat agents, or may be sent by mail to the Concord DMV at:

NH Dept. of Safety
DMV - Boat Registrations
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

Add an Additional Owner: To add an additional owner to your boat registration you need to provide the following:

  • Current boat registration.
  • A letter of request to add an additional owner that includes:
    • the full name, address and date of birth of the additional owner
    • both owners signatures; and
    • a brief description of the boat that includes the Bow Number.
  • Photo copy of the additional owner's driver license, non-driver identification or birth certificate.
  • A completed Application for a Copy of a Registration (RDMV 110).
  • $15.00 fee.

Registering a Homemade Boat: Please provide a bill of sale, a Verification of Vessel Identification, receipts from materials purchased, floor plans or blueprints, and a driver's license when registering a homemade boat.

Registering your Boat if you live in another state: If you live in another state, and if your boat is used primarily in New Hampshire, (51% or more) it may be registered in New Hampshire.

Renew Boat Registration

Boat Renewals: All boat registrations expire on December 31st of the year in which they were registered. The DMV mails renewal notices to boat owners prior to the December 31st expiration. To renew a boat registration, the owner should complete and return the renewal notice along with a check for the proper fee (as indicated on the boat renewal notice) to:

NH Dept. of Safety
DMV - Boat Registrations
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

Privately owned boats may be renewed utilizing our Drop Box Services or at any New Hampshire authorized boat agent or certified marina. If you wish to have another person renew a boat registration on your behalf, you must provide him/her with the current boat renewal notification notice signed by you, the owner. If you did not receive a renewal notice or are unable to locate it, you may provide your previous registration certificate and a completed and signed Boat Registration Application instead.

Additional Boat Information

Hull Identification Numbers (HIN): The Hull Identification Number is a unique 12-digit number assigned by the manufacturer to vessels built in 1973 to present. Owners of older vessels manufactured without a HIN or of homemade vessels that have not been assigned HIN should have a Verification of Vessel Identification completed by a New Hampshire law enforcement officer.

Bow Numbers: Boats are assigned a bow number upon initial registration of that boat in New Hampshire. Boats previously registered in New Hampshire will keep the same Bow number for the life of the boat. Bow numbers begin with "NH" followed by four numbers and either one or two letters. Bow numbers are assigned automatically and sequentially; the DMV does not issue specific bow numbers upon request.

Replacement Decals: A duplicate copy of a registration or a replacement decal is available when a current registration or decal has been misplaced, lost or has been destroyed.

For a replacement boat decal, please complete an Application for Replacement Boat Decals form. You may submit the form utilizing our Drop Box Services, or mail it with your current boat registration to: DMV Concord, 23 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03305 along with the $3.00 fee. Please note: Additional fees may apply for those transactions completed at a Municipal Agent location.

Abandoned Boats: If you encounter an abandoned boat on the water, please contact NH Marine Patrol. If you encounter an abandoned boat on land, please contact the local police department. Please see RSA 270-B:7 for more information.