How to register your amphibious ATV as a boat.

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Thread: How to register your amphibious ATV as a boat.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kings Mountain, NC

    Post How to register your amphibious ATV as a boat.

    If you are planning on taking your amphibious ATV into public lakes and waterways in the U.S. then you will need to register it as a boat in order to be legal. This is a fairly simple (and cheap) process but it varies slightly from state to state. Use this article as a basic guide but always be sure to check your local and state laws as well.

    I will list a couple of states below and the procedures that they require but you can always check your states laws by visiting Boat Registration at

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    North Carolina vessel registration - NC is probably one of the more difficult states to register an AATV . I just registered both of my Max's and I was told that in the past 19 years the state supervisor had registered only 1 AATV before.

    Anyway, in NC, vessel registration is governed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Division of Engineering Services. WOW, what a mouthful! Here's what you do:

    - First, you will need to fill out a VL1 vessel registration form . I didn't have a title with one Max and I did with the other so instead of sending the title in on one, I just applied for a Vessel title for both of them. It is $45 for a three year registration that way. That is your choice though and if you want to use your actual title as the vessel title, registration is only $25 for three years but you have to send the title in.

    Note: Since we don't have Hull I.D. numbers I was told to just use the VIN number instead.

    - If you don't have a title then you also have to fill out a Sworn Statement of Vessel Purchase and have it notarized.

    - Finally, you need to attach a note with all of these forms that simply says "This is an amphibious ATV"

    I was told that I had to mail all of these forms in simply because the main supervisor was the only one that knew how to handle the AATVs. You could try going in person to your local NCWRC department though.

    I mailed mine in on Monday and got everything back that Saturday so it was a pretty quick process.
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    New York boat registration - Thanks to jpswift1 for letting us know how it's done in NY!

    In NY, boat registration is governed by the DMV and it only cost $21 for three years. Just head to your local DMV and take your title, license, and the VIN number in order to register your AATV. If you don't have a title, they should be able to provide you with a "sworn statement of purchase" . You have to fill it out and get it notarized.

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    So, you are registered, now what?

    You are almost ready to (legally) hit the water. You just need a few things to take with you and most of the time these are outlined in the information you get during the registration process. Use this article as a guide but be sure to check your state's regulations.

    1) Apply your ID numbers. Most states require the letters (stickers) to be at least 3" tall and have contrasting colors from the background. They normally have to be applied on both sides of the body and can easily be found at you local hardware or Wal-Mart.
    2) Apply your registration sticker where instructed. (usually on the starboard side)
    3) Have one life jacket on board for every passenger
    4) Have some rope on board
    5) Some states also require a whistle or any other device for making a noise (ie. airhorn).

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    Last edited by Mike; 02-12-2010 at 08:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Vicksburg, Michigan

    Post What is involved for the Michigan Watercraft Registration Stickers

    Hello Michigan member,

    I just got my watercraft registration and thought I would share what I had to do. I went there with a bill of sale because my machine being a 1970 Attex didn't have a title. That wasn't enough. You will need a title so you will also need to bring your VIN#. Then they will then run it to make sure it isn't stolen and create a vehicle title for it, as an orv. Then they will give you a watercraft title using your VIN# as a Hull ID#. So you then can get the Watercraft Registration stickers. Kinda confusing huh, well so were they and they had to look everything up in a book and ask all sorts of question. So go when your not busy. They where real curious about it all and asked if I would bring picture next time I am in there. Here is the prices.

    Application for Michigan Vehicle Title
    -reg. fee -$0 (not required for orv)
    -title fee -$11.00
    -tax is 6% of value/price

    Application for Michigan Watercraft Title
    -reg. fee-$14
    -title fee-$0 (not needed with vehicle title, I had to initial saying I already paid for vehicle title)

    So I had to pay $25.00 + 6% sales tax on what I paid for it.

    I got a brochure on the stickers/ numbers and it states---

    Watercraft registration Number-
    The watercraft registration number is assigned by the Department of State. The owner must paint or permanently attach the numbers on each side of the forward half of the vessel as high above the water line as possible. The number must contrast with the color of the background so it is visible and legible. All letters and numbers must be plain block characters at least 3 inches high, reading from left to right. Place a hyphen or leave a space equivalent to the width of your letter "M" between the letters and numbers.

    Registration Decals-
    The three-year watercraft registration decals must be attached to the forward half of the vessel on the same level as the registration number. Place each decal three inches to the right of the last letter in the registration number, reading left to right, on both sides of the vessel.

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