Buying and registering your vessel

Any boat with an engine capable of being used for propulsion in Victorian waters must be registered and in a seaworthy condition. Certain vessels are exempt from this requirement.

Registration must be renewed with VicRoads every 12 months. VicRoads will notify you when your registration is due for renewal. The trailer used to tow your vessel will need to be registered separately.

Purpose of registration

The Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) sets out the purposes of registration:

36 Purposes of registration

The purposes of registration are—

(a)  to enable the operation of vessels on State waters to be regulated for reasons of safety;

(b)  to ensure that vessels which are used on State waters meet prescribed safety standards;

(c)  to provide a method of establishing the identity of each vessel which is used on State waters and of the person who is responsible for it.

Who can register a vessel?

A boat can be registered in the name of a person who is fourteen years old or more, or in the name of a corporation or incorporated body. Joint names or unincorporated bodies are not acceptable.

How to register your boat

To register a vessel, visit the vessel registration page on the VicRoads website.

Vessel registration fees

Visit the vessel registration and transfer fees page of the VicRoads website for a list of registration fees.

Your fee will depend on the length of the boat. There are two categories:

  • Boats 4 metres or under in length
  • Boats over 4 metres in length.

Vessels exempt from registration

Vessels exempt from registration are listed here:

  • Paddlers of certain low-powered kayaks and canoes are permanently exempt from licensing and registration rules in Victoria from 1 July 2020. Read more: Exemption for low-powered kayaks and canoes now permanent
  • Recreational tenders
  • Vessels that do not have an engine
  • Commercial vessels
  • Vessels which are temporarily being operated on State waters, registered in another State or a Territory and displaying an identifying plate, mark or number issued by the corresponding authority
  • Vessels that are temporarily being operated on State waters and are exempt from registration in another State or Territory in which the owner of the vessel ordinarily resides
  • Recreational vessels with an engine capable of being used for propulsion, under the control of a manufacturer or dealer who has a special identification plate issued under regulation 25.

Registration labels

The owner of a registered recreational vessel must ensure that the registration label for that vessel, issued by VicRoads on behalf of TSV, is fixed and remains fixed in an obvious position on the outside or upper part of the vessel.

Register or renew boat trailer registration

The trailer used to tow your vessel will need to be registered separately. You can do this on the VicRoads website: Trailer registration information

Registration does not include insurance

Boat registration in Victoria does not include any insurance cover. We recommend that boat owners and operators consider taking out cover with an insurance provider.

How to update your details

If you change any of your personal details, such as address, notify VicRoads.

Two men on a boat