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Maine Boating Laws
Where can I register a boat?
The Fish & Wildlife Office in Augusta is the central office for boat registrations and registration records. Many Maine municipal tax collectors or town clerks are Recreational Vehicle Agents for the Fish & Wildlife Department.
Boat registrations may now be renewed online if your town is part of the program. This online service allows you to register your Boat (vessel) with the State of Maine. Following your transaction, you will receive a confirmation page to print for immediate use. Your official registration and stickers will arrive at the shipping address specified within ten business days.
If you are registering a watercraft at the Augusta Office or in a town other than your town of legal residence, you must first pay your excise tax in your town of residence. Be sure you have a receipt that shows the annual excise tax has been paid on your watercraft or your watercraft cannot be registered at another location.
- All motorboats of any size, including airmobiles and personal watercraft, must be registered in Maine to be used on the waters of this State, except the following:
- Watercraft required to have a valid marine document as a watercraft of the United States. Vessels over 5 net ton used for commercial fishing must be documented. Call the U.S. Coast Guard at 1-800-799-8362 for further information;
- Watercraft with valid registration from another state, provided the watercraft registration number is displayed on the motorboat and the motorboat will not be in Maine over 60 consecutive days after the state of principal use has been changed;
- Military or public watercraft, except recreational type watercraft of the United States;
- A motorboat owned by the United States, a state, or subdivision thereof, which is used for governmental purposes and clearly identifiable as such;
- A ship's lifeboat;
- Motorboats from another country which are not within Maine over 60 consecutive days; and
- Motorboats used exclusively for racing purposes and displaying a valid boat number issued by a recognized racing association.
Fees (*Fee includes $1.00 agent fee.)
0-10 Horsepower Motor - $26.00* with lake and river protection sticker
0-10 Horsepower Motor - $16.00* without lake and river protection sticker
11-50 Horsepower Motor - $31.00* with lake and river protection sticker
11-50 Horsepower Motor - $21.00* without lake and river protection sticker
51-115 Horsepower Motor - $37.00* with lake and river protection sticker
51-115 Horsepower Motor - $27.00* without lake and river protection sticker
Over 116 Horsepower Motor - $45.00* with lake and river protection sticker
Over 116 Horsepower Motor - $35.00* without lake and river protection sticker
Personal Watercraft - $45.00* with lake and river protection sticker
Personal Watercraft - $35.00* without lake and river protection sticker
Duplicate Boat Registration - $1.00 agent fee
Duplicate Boat Registration & Sticker - $2.00
Boat Temporary Transfer - $4.00
Agents may charge a fee of $1.00 for renewals and duplicates, and $2.00 for new registrations, rollovers, or transfers.
Boat excise tax must be paid by a resident to the tax collector of their town before registration. A nonresident, prior to registering a motorboat which is located in Maine more than 75 days during a calendar year, must pay an excise tax to the Maine town where the boat is principally moored, docked or located. If the boat is exempt from tax, a tax exemption form must be completed by the owner and submitted with registration application and registration fee.
Proof of payment of sales tax is required for new registrations (resident and nonresident).
Registrations may be obtained from licensing agents or by mail. For applications and agent information please call (207) 287-8000.
Watercraft registrations are issued for a specific calendar year and are valid through December 31st of the year issued.
Lake and River Protection Sticker required.
Lake and River Protection Sticker
Laws and Rules
Public Boat Launches
Boating Facility Site List
Stand Up Paddleboard Laws and Rules(PDF)
Other Boating Links
Maine has some of the most beautiful lakes
and rivers in the country to enjoy open water
boating. Come experience the waters of Maine.
Registration Information -
All motorboats of any size, including airmobiles and personal watercraft, must be registered in Maine to be used on the waters of this State, except the following….
Motor Size Restrictions On Internal Waters -
The Commissioner of Inland Fisheries & wildlife may adopt and amend rules governing the horsepower (manufacturer's rated horse-power of the machinery; includes the aggregate of all such propellant machinery) of motors used to propel watercraft on all internal waters of this State.
Navigational Requirements -
These requirements cover all navigational requirements for all waters in the State of Maine.
Personal Watercraft Requirements -
•Any person under 16 years of age may not operate a personal watercraft which includes jet-skis.
•A person between 16 & 18 years of age may operate a personal watecraft if they have successfully completed an approved education course, or if they are accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older. Proof of age and course completion must be possessed while operating a personal watercraft.
•Anyone operating or riding on a personal watercraft must wear a Type I, II or III PFD.
•The parent or guardian of a minor under 18 years of age is responsible for the minor’s actions while operating a personal watercraft.
•Personal watercraft may not be operated during the hours between sunset and sunrise.
Liability Laws -
No person may throw, drop, deposit, discard or otherwise dispose of litter in any manner or amount: in or on any public highway, road, street, alley, public right-of-way or other public lands, except in containers, receptacles, or on property that is designated for disposal of garbage and refuse; or in any fresh water lake, river, stream, tidal or coastal water or on ice over the water. When any litter is thrown or discarded from a watercraft both the operator of the watercraft, unless it is a watercraft being used for the carriage of passengers for hire, and the person actually disposing of the litter are in violation of this section. This subsection does not prohibit persons who fish, lobster or otherwise harvest from the water from returning to the water harvested products, bait and similar materials that naturally originate in the water.