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Bureau of Motor Vehicles

myBMV > Watercraft > Registrations / Decals Registrations / Decals

All motorboats principally used on Indiana waterways must be registered and display valid watercraft decals to operate in Indiana unless otherwise exempt. 

The following are exempt from obtaining an Indiana registration:

  • Non-motorized boats such as canoes, rowboats, and paddleboats.  Non-motorized sailboats must display valid watercraft decals and pay any applicable fees and taxes. 
  • Motorized watercraft from another country that is temporarily operated on Indiana waters.
  • A ship’s lifeboat.
  • Motorized watercraft that is legally registered in another state and:
    • Has not been within Indiana for more than sixty (60) consecutive days; or
    • The owner of the motorboat has paid the required Indiana excise tax. 
  • Watercraft moored on the Indiana part of Lake Michigan for not more than 180 consecutive days.

When registering your watercraft for the first time you will pay the applicable registration fee, a Lake and River Enhancement Fee, and excise tax.   When renewing your watercraft registration you will pay a Department of Natural Resources Fee, a Lake and River Enhancement Fee, and excise tax.  

Watercraft registrations and decals may be processed at any license branch location.  Indiana residents can renew at myBMV.com.   You will receive the Certificate of Registration and watercraft decals in the mail within 14 days.

Out-of-State Watercraft Operated in Indiana

Customers with motorized watercraft that are legally registered in another state but operated, used, or docked in Indiana for twenty-two (22) days or more must display Indiana watercraft decals. 

When purchasing the watercraft decals you will pay an out-of-state resident fee, a Department of Natural Resources Fee, a Lake and River Enhancement Fee, and excise tax.  Out-of-state residents must renew by mail or at any Indiana BMV license branch.