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Texas Boat Insurance Registration Requirements

  • Texas Registration Requirements

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

  • All motorized boats, regardless of length;
  • All sailboats 14 feet in length or longer or any sailboat with an auxiliary engine(s); and
  • USCG Documented vessels (New see section below).

    Exempted vessels All (non-motorized) canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length) when paddled, poled, or oared and sailboats under 14 feet in length when windblown.
    Registration of USCG Documented Vessels

    Effective January 1, 2004, vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard are no longer exempt from state registration requirements.

    Requirements for registering a documented vessel:
  • Vessel/Boat Application form PWD 143 media download(PDF 649.2 KB);
  • Current USCG Documentation Certificate (or copy);
  • Verification of sales tax payment * or proof that vessel purchase date occurred more than four years prior to the date of application; and
  • Payment of registration fee. (Note: Do not submit title fee. A Texas title cannot be issued for a USCG documented vessel.)
  • If sales tax has not been paid, a Bill of Sale or Invoice is required and sales tax fee will be assessed at the time of registration. Tax will not be collected for vessels purchased more than four years prior to the date of application for registration. A Bill of Sale or Invoice must contain:
  • The date of sale;
  • Sales price;
  • Description of the vessel and/or outboard motor (make, TX or serial number and year built);
  • Purchaser(s) name; and
  • Seller(s) signature.

    Exempted vessels:
  • Documented commercial vessels used in coastal shipping; and
  • Documented vessels exceeding 115 in length

    Placement of Decal on Documented Vessels:
  • Validation Decal to be placed on both sides of the bow.
  • Display of Registration (TX) Number not required if current USCG Documentation remains in effect.
  • Certificate of Number ID Card must be carried on board the vessel while in use.

    Registration Fees:
  • Less than 16 feet in length $30.00
  • 16 feet but less than 26 feet in length $50.00
  • 26 feet but less than 40 feet in length $70.00
  • 40 feet or more in length $90.00
  • Livery Boat less than 16 feet in length $30.00

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