How to Register Your Boat

Persons who wish to register a boat must complete a registration form, available through a County Clerk's office or from the dealer that sold you the boat.

Because documentation requirements vary from county to county, please call your County Clerk's office prior going there to ensure that you take the proper documentation in order to register your boat.  

Initial Registration

The Tennessee Department of Revenue requires that boats which have never been registered before must show certification that their sales tax was paid when purchased. The owner needs to have the appropriate County Clerk's office or boat dealer stamp the application verifying that the tax was paid. The registration form is then mailed to or taken to the address shown on the form for processing.

Boats built after 1972 are required to have a Hull Identification Number (HIN). 

Registered Boats transferred from one individual to another

Follow the same process as described for previously unregistered boats above. If a dealer is not involved, the county court clerk's office will require a bill of sale from the individuals involved.

Renewing a registration that does not involve a change of ownership

Renewals can be done online. You may also renew instantly by going to any business that sells TWRA hunting and fishing licenses. You must have the boat registration TN number and it is very helpful to have your TWRA ID number with you. You will receive a temporary registration which will allow you to operate your boat until your new decals and registration card arrive by mail, in about 2 weeks.

Registration by Dealers or Manufacturers

Dealers or manufacturers may apply for registration which can be transferred from one vessel to another. A copy of the business license and sales tax number must accompany the application for a dealer or manufacturer number. Such vessels are to be used for demonstration purposes only and more than one vessel may not be operated simultaneously with the same number. In addition, vessels being demonstrated must have the Certificate of Number on board and the registration number must be correctly displayed. However, such vessels may display the number by having it attached to removable signs which can be temporarily but firmly attached to the vessel.