In anticipation of the warm summer months, many people are thinking about buying, selling, or trading boats. Among the first questions new boat owners have are, "Do I have to register my boat?” and “”How do I register my boat?"

Kansas law requires that all mechanically-powered vessels (including personal watercraft) and all sailboats which are principally used in Kansas must be registered through the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP). Mechanically-powered vessels include those propelled by electric trolling motors and gas- or diesel-powered motors. Boats which meet these criteria must be properly registered before using them on any public waters in Kansas. Registration is not required for boats powered by oars or paddles.

An application form can be obtained at the nearest marine dealer, county clerk’s office, or KDWP office. Fill out the application completely and mail it along with the required fee. Boat owners may also renew their boat registrations online.

The boat registration fee is $31. A registration is valid for three years from the date of issuance. After making application for registration, you will receive a pocket-sized certificate of numbers and registration decal showing the year of expiration. The pocket-sized card must be on board any time the vessel is in use. It is the responsibility of the boat owner to paint on or permanently attach the registration numbers to the forward top half of the boat. Numbers must be three-inch BLOCK characters in a color which contrasts with the color of the boat to which they’re affixed.

If the vessel is lost, stolen, and/or recovered, destroyed, abandoned, or transferred to another person, the person whose name appears on the Certificate of Number must notify KDWP within 15 days of the event..

For more information, contact KDWP Boating Division at 620-672-5911 or check the KDWP website's boating pages .