Most boats must be registered to operate on New Jersey waterways.
- All titled boats must be registered.
- Any boat (including jet skis and non-titled watercraft), mechanically propelled (incl. electric motors), regardless of length, must be registered.
- Boats greater than 12 feet in length, regardless of propulsion means, must be titled and registered at an MVC office.
Boats and marine equipment which need not be registered:
- Those not based in New Jersey or operating here less than 180 consecutive days that are operating under a federally approved numbering system from another state
- Ship’s lifeboats
- Non-motorized vessels used exclusively on small lakes and ponds on private property
- Racing vessels with New Jersey State Marine Police permit
- Non-motorized inflatable device, surfboard, racing shell, dinghy, canoe or kayak
- Non-motorized vessel less than 12 feet in length
For use on New Jersey waterways, all boats more than 12 feet in length must be titled, with the exception of ship’s lifeboat, canoe, kayak, inflatable, surfboard, rowing scull, racing shell, tender/dinghy used for direct transportation between a vessel and shore for no other purposes.
Boat Safety Certificate (NJSP)
A boat safety certificate (from an approved
boat safety course; see NJSP website, below) is required
to operate a personal watercraft or power vessel, including electric motors, in NJ waters (tidal and non-tidal).
Boat Operator License (MVC)
An operator license is required to operate power vessels on fresh, non-tidal waters such as lakes, creeks and rivers. (Minimum age 16 years; with certain exceptions.)
For More Information:
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
(888) 486-3339 toll free in NJ or (609) 292-6500 from out-of-state
New Jersey State Police (NJSP)