Do Kayaks Need To Be Registered

You may be in the process of purchasing a kayak and eager to enjoy the adventures that await.

You can have all your gear and, all you can think of is getting out there and making the most of all those rivers, lakes, and ponds.

One thing that can slow down your eagerness is when you find out, “do you have to register a kayak?

It can be something of oversight to find out you may need registration. Therefore, we have more information to make the process of finding out a bit easier.

Kayak registration

Before you dive in, the good thing to know is that there are now more states removing registration requirements and boating laws to a certain degree for kayaks.

Which States Require Kayak Registration?

Here are the leading states that still require kayak registration and a certificate of number. All other states, apart from these don’t, require registration unless they are motorized vessels.


No registration is required for kayaks under 13 feet in length or vessels registered in another state on Waters in Iowa for 60 consecutive days. When your vessel is longer than this, you must pay $10 for kayaks between 10 and 15 ft.

Kayaks 16 to 18 feet are $12 to register. Some states require annual boat registration numbers, yet Iowa registration is suitable for three years.


Illinois registration is also suitable for three years. Unpowered kayaks used to require registration unless owned by an organization or used for sanctioned racing events.

Illinois kayak laws state kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes are unpowered vessels as the Department of Natural Resources deems them.

If you have a trolling motor fitted, then your kayak does require registration.


Any watercraft that are shorter than 10 feet don’t require registration. Many recommend renting to avoid the complicated and costly registration process from the department of licensing.

The base fee is $10.50, and there is a renewal fee and an extra $5 for the Aquatic Invasive Species fee.


All boats and recreational vessels require a registration number from the department of natural resources. Ohio kayak registration decals are suitable for three years, and each costs $3.

Under 16 feet is $22 registration, but for two years, it is $15. The Annual is $9. If your kayak is 16 to 18 feet, $36, $25, or $14 for an annual identification number. (Read Ohio Kayak Registration Sticker Placement)


PA kayak registration comprises a few different factors. Kayaking on State park lakes means you have to send off your application, and they send back your hull identification decal.

If you are not kayaking in these parks or your vessel has no motor, it doesn’t need registering.

Boat registration numbers must be visible on your kayak, especially if you are on the water.


The boat commission in Wisconsin declares all water vessels require registration. However, not all of them need to have a title from a bill of sale.

Kayaks under 16 feet long are $22 and have a $3.75 transfer fee. More extensive than this, and the cost is $37 plus an $8.85 transfer fee.

Boating laws here dictate how you place your decals on your kayak, what size, and how they contrast with your boat. (Find the Best Kayak Car Rack)

Registering Your Kayak to a Certain States

Why Do You Need to Register Kayaks in Certain States?

Kayak registration isn’t required in all but a few states. You may wonder why there are so few that need you to register your boat.

However, you can find motorized boats require registration in more areas because of the use of motors, and they fall into the same groups as motor vehicles. With this also comes age restrictions, so it is a bit more complicated.

The reasoning behind boat registration in these few states is to aid the government and any port authorities regarding some particular aspects. It is worth noting the Coast guard isn’t the same as port authorities.

Coast guards deal mainly with boats over five tons, yet they still state every person should add their contact information to their vessel regardless of size.

States that require registration look at this as a license plate. They help law enforcement know your vessel is registered and legal. (Read our Intex 4 person boat Review)

Depending on where you are kayaking, these authorities will check to see if you can spot current registration decals if you are approached while on the water.

Besides this, it helps identify the kayak as not dumped if docked, and it is a prerequisite if you wish to paddle in some state parks.

Do Kayaks Need To Be Registered

2 thoughts on “Do Kayaks Need To Be Registered”

  1. I bought my kayak at a yard sale and can’t verify ownership. Will this be a problem for getting it registered in Pennsylvania?


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