PENNSYLVANIA BOAT REGISTRATION

                       GENERAL INFORMATION  

 

BOAT REGISTRATION        BOAT TITLING        VOLUNTARY REGISTRATION        REGISTRATION APPLICATION            
CAPACITY PLATE
        FEES        TRANSFER OF REGISTRATION

  LAUNCH USE PERMIT

A.    BOAT REGISTRATIONS - PA Boat Registrations are issued directly to boat owners by the
        Pennsylvania Fish & Boat commission's (PFBC) Licensing and Registration Section in Harrisburg.

       BOATS THAT MUST BE REGISTERED:

        Boats registered in other states meet PA registration requirements if Pennsylvania is not the state of
        principal use.  If PA becomes the state of principal use, a boat must be registered in PA within 60 days.

        BOATS THAT DO NOT HAVE TO BE REGISTERED:

        A PA Boat Registration Card is provided as proof of registration.  The registration card must
        be carried on the boat.

        Registrations are issued on two year cycles ending March 31 of the 2nd year. One year registrations
        are not issued.

    Validation Decals - Registered boats are required to have numbered validation decals displayed.
     These decals are issued by the PFBC and are sent to boat owners with the PA Boat Registration Card.

    Validation decals have a control number  which corresponds with a specific PA Boat Registration number.
    Decals cannot be used on any boat other than the boat for which they were issued.

    Registration Card Validation Decal - Decal used to validate a registration card.  It is the single, smaller
    sticker included with each set of validation decals.  The registration card validation decal must be affixed
    to the back of the PA Boat Registration Card. The card is not valid without the registration card validation
    decal.   

    A registration card validation decal is not required for a duplicate PA Boat Registration Card.

    To contact the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission by telephone call: (717) 705-7940.

B.    BOAT TITLES - Certain boats must be titled in Pennsylvania.  Titles are issued by the PFBC.
        Any boat purchased, transferred, or sold after March 1, 1998, must be titled if the boat is:

    A Certificate of Title is provided to the boat owner or principal lien holder.

C.    VOLUNTARY REGISTRATIONS AND TITLES - Any boat can be voluntarily registered or titled.
        Once a boat
is titled, it must remain titled by all future owners.

        Note:  A boat can be registered and not titled.
                   A boat can be titled and not registered.

D.    OBTAINING A BOAT REGISTRATION AND/OR BOAT TITLE - Both are obtained by 
        completing form  REV-36, Application for Pennsylvania Boat Registration and/or Boat Title, and
        submitting to the PFBC offices and licensed issuing agents of the PFBC, or visit the web site:         

REV - 336  APPLICATION             PFBC -T12 TITLE FORM

        Applicant - Must establish proof of ownership. One of the following is required.

*    New Boats - Proof of ownership must be the original MCO (transferring ownership from the
      manufacturer, distributor or dealer to the applicant) for boats manufactured after January 1, 1993,
      and the bill of sale/sales receipt.

**  Bill of Sale - Bill of sale must include the following:

      A completed REV-336, Application for Pennsylvania Boat Registration and/or Boat Title,
     
signed by both parties, may be used as a bill of sale.        

E.    TEMPORARY REGISTRATIONS - Issued by the PFBC and their designated issuing agents. (The 
        Elk County Treasurer's Office in Elk County) A copy of the REV-336, Application for Pennsylvania 
        Boat Registration and/or Boat Title
when used with a corresponding Temporary Validation Decal
        (T-Sticker), becomes the temporary registration for the boat.

        Temporary registrations are only issued for boats not previously registered, including new boats,
        transfers of ownership and boats previously registered in another state.

        Temporary Validation Decals - Also called T-Stickers. A numbered set of T-Stickers is issued with 
        every temporary registration.  The boat owner must remove any prior validation decals and replace them 
        with the new T-Stickers.

        Temporary registrations and T-Stickers are valid for no less that 60 days and nor more than 90 days.
        See Expiration Table Below.

TEMPORARY REGISTRATION AND T-STICKER
EXPIRATION TABLE

If issued on any day within this month

The temporary registration expires the last day of this month

January

March

February

April

March

May

April

June

May

July

June

August

July

September

August

October

September

November

October

December

November

January

December

February

F.    DISPLAY REQUIREMENTS:

        Display Requirements for Boat Numbering - The registration number shall be displayed
        above the waterline on both sides of the bow of the boat considered to be any part of a boat's
        side forward of a point halfway between the front and the back of the boat.

Display Requirements for Validation Decals - Decals shall be displayed at least 3, but not more than
6, inches following the last letter of the registration number's suffix and on the same horizontal level.  No other numbers or letters may be displayed on either side of the bow of the boat.

DISPLAY REQUIREMENTS

Watercraft Description

Pa Boat Numbering
Required

PA Validation
Decals
Required

Powered watercraft

Yes

Yes

Watercraft used at PFBC
lakes and access areas

Yes Yes

Documented Vessels (non-recreational purposes)

No No

Documented Vessels
(recreational purposes)

No No

Kayaks, sculls, sailboards,
float tubes, etc.

No No
Inflatable boats and boats configured in a manner that a number on the hull or superstructure would not be easily visible. Yes - Registration  numbers and validation decals may be displayed on boards (placards) lashed to the bow on each side of the boat.

G.    HULL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (HIN) - An identification number assigned by the 
        manufacturer of a boat.     
        A HIN is required by the U.S. Coast Guard to be permanently affixed, engraved or embossed by the 
        manufacturer or importer to the starboard half of the transom on the outboard or exterior side, so that
        it can be seen from the outside of the vessel.

 

H.    CAPACITY PLATES - An identification plate issued by the manufacturer or PFBC that indicates the
        boat's recommended safe capacities.  Shows that boat's maximum person capacity by the 
        number of people, maximum person capacity by weight of people, maximum weight capacity
        in total pounds (persons, motor and gear) and the maximum horsepower of the engine for a
        particular boat.

        A capacity plate is required on all monohull (single hull) boats, less than 20 feet in length, designed to 
        carry two or more persons and propelled by machinery or oars as their main source of power.
        Boats exempt from having to display a capacity plate include pontoon boats sailboats, canoes, 
        kayaks, inflatables, hydroplanes, personal watercraft, and boats considered by the Commission
        to be of unusual or unique design.  The capacity plate must be positioned close to the operator
        where it can be easily read.

        It is illegal to tamper with or remove a capacity plate. A boat that requires a capacity plate cannot
        be operated unless the capacity plate is displayed and is legible.  If a boat is required to have a
        capacity plate, that boat may not be offered for sale without a properly affixed capacity plate.

        An application for a capacity plate can be obtained from the Commission or the Treasurer's
        Office. Form PFBC-702, Application for Boat Capacity Plate. 

        It is unlawful for a person who has purchased or gained ownership of a boat with a current
        PA Boat Registration to operate or allow operation of that boat until ownership is transferred
        and the boat is registered by the new owner.

REGISTRATION  FEES

Boat Registrations

Category Price (2 yrs)
Un-powered        $18.00
Less than 16 feet        $26.00
16 feet to 20 feet        $39.00
20 feet or greater        $52.00
Commercial Passenger        $50.00
   

TRANSFER OF REGISTRATION PERIOD (SAME PARTY)

The holder of a valid Pennsylvania registration on a boat may transfer the remaining period of time on the current registration to a newly acquired boat.  There is a transfer fee  for multi-year registrations and any difference in registration fees must be paid.

The PA registration number is not transferred.  A new number will be assigned by the PFBC for the newly acquired boat.

If the registration fee for the new boat is greater than the registration fee for the old boat, based on the length of the boat, the applicant will pay the difference between the registration fees for the newly acquired boat and the old boat.

If the registration fee for the newly acquired boat is less than the registration fee for the old boat, no credit or refund will be issued.

TRANSFER OF REGISTRATION UPON DEATH OF OWNER

  1. Joint Owner - If the applicant was a joint owner with the deceased, an original death certificate must
    be submitted along with form REV 336.

  2. Not a Joint Owner - If applicant was not a joint owner with the deceased, one of the following must be submitted along with form REV 336:

Note:  Original death certificates and short certificates are required.  Copies of any kind will not be accepted.

          

LAUNCH/USE PERMITS

               PFBC Use Permit: 
               The Use Permit is designed for non-powered boat owners who choose not to register their
               boat to use on Commission lakes and access areas.  Use permits will be issued in
               the form of decals, showing the expiration date (one or two years).  The decals
               shall be displayed on both sides of the bow of the boat for which the permit is
               issued.  The decals are not transferable to any other boat.

               The initial fees for the Launch/Use Permit are $11.00 for 1-year permit and
               $19.00 for a 2-year permit.  The permits will expire December 31 of the
               year for which it is issued and is available at the Elk County Treasurer's Office.