Arizona Boat Registration: Setting Sail Smoothly

Hitting the open water on a bright Arizona day sounds idyllic. But before you cast off and chase some sunshine on your new vessel, there’s an important first step: registering your boat with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). Don’t worry, the process is straightforward, and this guide will navigate you through everything you need to know about AZ boat registration.

Do I Need to Register My Boat in Arizona?

In Arizona, most motorized watercraft require registration with the AZGFD. This applies to any boat with a motor, regardless of size. Here are some exceptions:

  • Lifeboats: These are solely for emergencies and don’t need registration.
  • Coast Guard Documented Vessels: These larger vessels are registered with the US Coast Guard and not subject to Arizona registration.
  • Temporary Use: If you’re using a boat from another state for a short period (less than 30 days), you might not need to register it in Arizona. However, it’s always best to check with the AZGFD for specific regulations.

What Documents Do I Need for AZ Boat Registration?

Gather these documents before you apply:

  • Proof of Ownership: This could be a bill of sale, title, or manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO).
  • Boater Safety Course Completion Certificate (optional): If you were born after July 1, 1985 and your boat is powered by a motor exceeding 15 horsepower, you’ll need to complete an approved boater safety course.
  • Hull Identification Number (HIN): This unique 12-character number identifies your boat, similar to a vehicle VIN. You’ll find it etched on the boat’s transom (the flat back section).

How to Register Your Boat in Arizona

There are two ways to register your boat in Arizona:

  1. Online Registration: The AZGFD offers a convenient online registration system This is the fastest and easiest method, allowing you to pay fees and receive your registration decals electronically.
  2. In-Person Registration: Visit any AZGFD office with your documents and fees. You can find a list of office locations on the AZGFD website

Arizona Boat Registration Fees

The registration fee for your boat depends on its length and whether you’re a resident or non-resident. Here’s a breakdown of the fees:

LengthResident FeeNon-Resident Fee
Up to 12 feet$20$20 + Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee
12 ft. 1 in. – 16 feet$22$22 + Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee
16 ft. 1 in. – 20 feet$30$30 + Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee
20 ft. 1 in. – 26 feet$35$35 + Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee
26 ft. 1 in. – 39 feet$39$39 + Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee
39 ft. 1 in. – 64 feet$44$44 + Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee
Over 64 feet$66$66 + Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee

The Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee

Non-resident boat owners who register their watercraft in Arizona as their primary state of operation must pay an additional Boat Safety Infrastructure Fee. This fee helps fund boating safety programs and infrastructure in the state.

How Long Does AZ Boat Registration Last?

Boat registration in Arizona is valid for three years. You’ll receive a renewal notice before your registration expires.

Keeping Your Registration Up-to-Date

It’s crucial to renew your boat registration on time to avoid penalties. You can renew online or by mail using the renewal notice you receive from the AZGFD. Additionally, if you sell your boat, transfer ownership, or change your address, you must notify the AZGFD within 30 days.

Hitting the Water with Confidence

With your Arizona boat registration complete, you’re ready to explore the state’s many waterways responsibly. Remember to always prioritize safety by following boating regulations, wearing life jackets, and being aware of weather conditions. Now, get out there, cast a line, and enjoy all that Arizona’s aquatic adventures have to offer!

Happy Boating!

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