DGIF Updates Related to COVID-19

Boat Registration & Titling FAQs

  1. I just bought a used boat that is currently registered in Virginia. How do I register it?
  2. Do I have to register a canoe?
  3. Do I have to register a small john boat propelled by an electric trolling motor?
  4. My Virginia registration has expired. How do I renew it? Are there any late fees?
  5. How do I get a replacement registration card, replacement decals or replacement title?
  6. How do I find out the status of an application or renewal form that I have already mailed in?
  7. I just bought a used boat, which is registered in Virginia. Can I legally use the boat before I receive my own registration and title?
  8. Where can I get the various forms needed to register my boat and/or obtain  duplicate registration card, decals and title?
  9. I received a personal property tax bill on a boat I no longer own. How do I  correct this situation?
  10. I recently purchased a boat and trailer. Where do I register and title the trailer?
  11. I purchased a boat that is documented by the US Coast Guard and want to register and title it in Virginia. How do I do this?
  12. Where do I find boating forms to print or download?

1. I just bought a used boat that is currently registered in Virginia. How do I register it?

You may begin the process of titling and registering your boat by creating or logging into your Go Outdoors Virginia customer account. After completing the online application, you may need to provide physical proof of ownership.

  • If it was titled: Send
    • the original title signed over to you by the previous owners,
    • if not begun online, the completed “Boat Title and Registration” form, and appropriate fees to this department, attention the Boat Section.

2. Do I have to register a canoe?

If you propel the canoe by any type of motor, including an electric motor, then you must register and title it if it is used on the public waters of Virginia. Otherwise, you are not required to register or title a canoe in Virginia.

3. Do I have to register a small john boat propelled by an electric trolling motor?

Yes, if you propel the john boat by any type of motor including electric, then you must register and title it if used on the public waters of Virginia.

4. My Virginia registration has expired. How do I renew it? Are there any late fees?

There are no late fees for registering a past due boat registration. Most registrations can be renewed quickly online through your Go Outdoors Virginia customer account. If you are unable to renew online, call us at 866-721-6911 during normal business hours or email us at boat-reg@dgif.virginia.gov.

5. How do I get a replacement registration card, replacement decals or replacement title?

Duplicate registration cards, decals and titles are available online through your Go Outdoors Virginia customer account. If you are unable to access your account, call us at 866-721-6911 during normal business hours, email us at boat-reg@dgif.virginia.gov, or see our forms section to print and mail.

6. How do I find out the status of an application or renewal form that I have already mailed in?

Visit Go Outdoors Virginia and review the current status.

7. I just bought a used boat, which is registered in Virginia. Can I legally use the boat before I receive my own registration and title?

  • You may use the boat with a dated copy of the bill of sale and the previous owner’s registration card (if it has not expired) for a period of 30 days after the date of the sale.

8. Where can I get the various forms needed to register my boat and/or obtain  duplicate registration card, decals and title?

All forms may be obtained from the Richmond office of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Most forms can be downloaded from this website.  The Boat Title and Registration form, the form used to report a change in status of a numbered vessel, and the form used to request duplicate registration, decals and title may be obtained from Hunting and Fishing License Agents, most marine dealers and at all DMV offices.

9. I received a personal property tax bill on a boat I no longer own. How do I  correct this situation?

If a registered watercraft is sold, destroyed, abandoned, or stolen, or if there is a change in your mailing address, you are required by law to report this information within 15 days. You may do this through your Go Outdoors Virginia account or in writing to the Boat Registration & Titling Section, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. (You may submit an e-mail message with the necessary information to the Department at boat-reg@dgif.virginia.gov.)

10. I recently purchased a boat and trailer. Where do I register and title the trailer?

VDGIF’s Richmond Office is able to process Boat Trailer Applications and issue the Title, Registration, and Plates for those who come into the office. (VDGIF does not accept mail-in applications for boat trailers). Trailers may also be registered and titled at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Additionally, DMV now accepts the application for Boat Registration and Title with the previous title and appropriate fee. DMV will issue a 90-Day Temporary and forward the Boat Registration/Title documentation to VDGIF for processing. (DMV does not accept mail-in applications for Boat Registration and Titles). Please Note: DMV will only accept payment by check or money order made out to the “Treasurer of Virginia.”

11. I purchased a boat that is documented by the US Coast Guard and want to register and title it in Virginia. How do I do this?

  1. Complete a “Boat Title and Registration” form
  2. include the Certificate of Documentation and Abstract of title,
  3. provide proof of lien release in the documented owner’s name
  4. include a bill of sale signed by the documented owner/owners and
  5. pay the appropriate fees. Send to this department, attention Boat Section.

12. Where do I find boating forms to print or download?

Many forms may be found on this website and are available to print or download.


Call the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at 866-721-6911 or email us at boat-reg@dgif.virginia.gov to receive information on:

  • Registration and Titling.
  • Replacement cards, decals or titles.
  • Incorrect personal property tax on boats.
  • The status of an application you’ve already mailed.
  • Reaching a Boating Services technician to help you.