Vessel Licenses

All vessel registrations are due on the last day of June. Decals may be purchased at the County Auditor's Office. Check the chart to see if you have to register your boat and pay the excise or property tax. Federal documented vessels are required to purchase registration.

Affected Vessels
Personal property tax applies to most commercial boats.

Sailboats Human Powered Any Length Motorized Vessels Documented Vessels

Under 16 Feet 16 Feet and Over
Under 16 Feet 16 Feet and Over

With Motor Without Motor With Motor Without Motor

Excise Tax Required No No Yes Yes No No Yes **Yes
Registration/Titling Required *Yes No Yes Yes No *Yes Yes Registration Only
*No, for tenders of 10 horsepower or less when owned by the owner of a properly licensed vessel, and displaying the number as that vessel as prescribed by law. See RCW 88.02.570 for additional exemptions.
**Unless vessel qualifies for exemption.

Non-Resident Vessel Owners
Non-resident vessel owners may use their vessels for personal use or enjoyment on Washington waters up to six months in a 12-month period if the vessel is currently registered in the state of principal use. Effective January 1, 1998, a non-resident vessel owner must do the following to legally operate a vessel in Washington waters for more than 60 days:
  • Provide proof of non-residency by showing out-of-state driver's license, or out-of-state photo ID and out-of-state vessel registration.
  • Provide the date of entry/hull identification number or six to seven digit Coast Guard Official Number.
  • Purchase a Vessel 60 Day Temporary Identification Document for $28.75, plus applicable fees on/by the 61st day of use. The Vessel 60 Day Temporary Identification Document can be renewed for an additional 60 days on or before the first 60 days expires. Cost for renewing is $28.75, plus applicable fees.