Georgia Boat Registration

Georgia Boat Registration HIN Check

Example where to find the Boat Registration Number and title Decal sticker
Example where to find the Boat State Registration Number and title Decal sticker. State letters differ.

Georgia boat registration FAQs are found below and can be downloaded as PDF. We have written this page to inform the boating community about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of Georgia. We also cover the titling fees if applicable.

We will cover information about the Boat Registration Agency in this state and if you are wondering about Registration and marking requirements we have an overview of that as well. We also talk about Registration Requirements for boats in Georgia along with things you need to know about boat Ownership and Liens so you can better perform Boat Title Searches or boat history lookups in GA.

Where are Georgia Boats Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. Georgia issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the GA STATE Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Atlanta. Titling and registration is not required in Georgia for outboard boat motors. Boat trailers are registered in Georgia but not titled. Sales tax applies on boat transactions and there is a yearly personal property tax. They even have a handbook you can read.

Does Georgia have clean titles? Boat titles are always “clean” unless a state has enacted UCOTVA. All other states will not have any indication on the title that the boat has a salvage or total loss brand like cars have on their titles.

Did you know that 350,000 boats registered in the State of Georgia make up 3% of all USA vessel registrations?

Chart: Georgia Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year
Chart: Georgia Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year

For more boating statistics see: Volume of Recreational boating vessels in the U.S.

Podcast: Georgia boat registration

Georgia Boat Registration Numbers

Georgia boat registration numbers begin with a “GA”. The GA designation is followed by four numbers and then two letters like in most states. You will have to display these as shown above, if your boat is not documented at the USCG. Put the GA boat registration sticker tab next to it. The state reg. number should not be confused with the 12 character Hull ID (HIN).

All boats manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with the letters “GAZ” are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Hull number inspections are not required in Georgia unless there is a discrepancy. (use to validate your HIN formatting is good)

Order engraved HIN Tag ID Plate from ebay here.

Sample HIN Tag ID Plate
Sample HIN Tag ID Plate

Exceptionally, a Coast Guard documented vessel does not need to display the state registration number but instead they would display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. The USCG Official documentation number must also be affixed on other locations on the boat: interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.

Boat Liens Database In Georgia

Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in GA. These will be shown on both the registration and title certificates if there are any. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or USCG documented are recorded with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender’s security interests will be recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) and are indexed on the boat’s abstract of title. This is different from state registration lookups and can be ordered at

Tax liens may be flagged on boat registration records, recorded as UCC filings, shown on state revenue records, or filed with a county clerk’s office. There are no provisions for recording mechanic’s liens or other non-secured claims against state titled boats. Uniform Commercial Code searches are available online from the Secretary of State.

Boat title and registration records in Georgia are maintained by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This agency does facilitate online searches on their website on a temporary basis but you can search the database.

Georgia Boat Registration Lookup

The database combines 72+ nationwide databases into a single place so you can search in a matter of minutes. These include records for stolen boats, marine lien claims, boating accidents, pollution incidents, auctioned boats, factory recalls, and boat manufacturers.

Search a Boat Hull ID history report with
Click to Order a HIN Search

Titling & Registration Requirements in Georgia

    • REQUIRED: No EFFECTIVE DATE : 2/2/2019
    • FEES: NA. Current we do not title. A bill is being considered that would implement titling 1/1/2018
    • VESSEL TYPES: Registration is required for all mechanically propelled vessels AND sailboats over twelve feet in length that are used on “Waters of this state.” “Waters of this state” means any waters within the territorial limits of this state and the marginal sea adjacent to this state and the high seas when navigated as a part of a journey or ride to or from the shore of this state. This definition shall not include privately-owned ponds or lakes not open to the public. O.C.G.A. §52-7-3(26) Vessel means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water or a sailboard, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water and specifically includes, but is not limited to, inflatable rafts and homemade vessels; provided, however, Code Section 52-7-18, relating to rules of the road for boat traffic, shall be applicable to sailboards. O.C.G.A. §52-7-3(25) Registration is NOT required for the following vessels: Sailboats less than 12 ft. in length with no mechanical propulsion. Canoes, kayaks, rowboats and rubber rafts that have no mechanical propulsion (i.e., are paddled, poled, oared or windblown) and Boats operated exclusively on private ponds or lakes.
    • EXEMPTIONS: Registration is NOT required for the following vessels: Sailboats less than 12 ft. in length with no mechanical propulsion. Canoes, kayaks, rowboats and rubber rafts that have no mechanical propulsion (i.e., are paddled, poled, oared or windblown) and Boats operated exclusively on private ponds or lakes.
    • FEES: $15 for boats <16 feet in length $36 for boats 16 feet to <26 feet in length $90 for boats 26 feet to <40 feet in length $150 for boats 40 foot and over in length $1.00 for Duplicate Registration $5.00 for Marine Toilet Certificate $10 late fee for renewal of a lapsed registration (same owner/no transfer). Transaction fees apply to all applications. $10 Transaction Fee (Mail, Phone, Online) $8 Transaction Fee (Online Renewals)
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: $1.00 plus applicable transaction fee. $10 Transaction Fee (Mail, Phone) $8 Transaction Fee (Online)
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: $1.00 plus applicable transaction fee. $10 Transaction Fee (Mail, Phone) $8 Transaction Fee (Online)
    • TRANSFER FEE: We consider this a new 3-yr registration at the full rate. Transfer of an existing registration at a lower fee is not available.
    • LATE FEE: $10 at renewal if the registration is allowed to lapse
Infographic Georgia Boat Registration
Infographic Georgia Boat Registration

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