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Does my boat require a registration?
The law requires you to register any boat that is motor-driven and is operated on public waterways in NYS. The boat requires a registration even if the motor is not the primary source of propulsion. If you operate the boat in NYS, you must register the boat with the DMV. After you register your boat, you receive a registration certificate that indicates the registration number assigned to your boat and a set of registration stickers.
You must paint or attach the registration number to each side of the bow of the boat. The characters must be:
- block letters not less than three inches high,
- a color different from the hull and easy to see,
- legible from 100 ft. away during the daylight hours,
- the only number on the front half of your boat.
You cannot transfer the registration number to another boat.
The registration sticker shows the month and the year that the registration expires. Attach each sticker in line with the registration numbers on each side of the hull, and three inches toward the stern of the boat.
What if my boat is documented by the US Coast Guard?
You must register the boat in NYS if:
If your boat was documented by US Coast Guard, you do not receive a NYS registration number. You receive NYS registration stickers only. Attach the stickers in the position where the registration numbers are normally located.
How do I get a hull identification number (HIN)?
If you have a boat that does not have a hull identification number (HIN), you must get one before you can register the boat if:
- you made the boat
- you got a boat that was manufactured after November 1, 1972.
You can get an application form from the DMV or from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Send the completed form to the OPRHP. The OPRHP arranges your boat inspection for you. Visit the OPRHP web site .
Do boats require title certificates?
The DMV issues title certificates for boats that are:
- model year 1987 and newer,
- at least 14 ft. long, and
- registered in New York State.
The title certificate is used for proof of ownership for these boats instead of the registration. Title certificates are not issued for boats that do not match the description above or for boats registered with the Coast Guard. For a boat that does not receive a title certificate, the transferable registration is proof of ownership.
How do I register my boat?
See the information about boat registration requirements. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader®, see these instructions.
To register your boat, bring the following items to a DMV office:
Remember that if you have a boat trailer you must register the trailer. See the instructions to register a vehicle.
What is the cost of a boat registration?
Boat registrations are issued for three years. There is a registration fee and a surcharge for boating safety. The fees and surcharges are calculated from the length of the boat as follows:
- Less than 16 feet - $22.50 registration fee and $3.75 surcharge ($26.25 total).
- 16 feet to less than 26 feet - $45.00 registration fee and $12.50 surcharge ($57.50 total).
- 26 feet or longer - $75.00 registration fee and $18.75 surcharge ($93.75 total).
How do I renew my boat registration?
You can renew your boat registration online, or you can renew by mail. To renew by mail, use the MV-3B renewal notice mailed to you by the DMV, or use form MV-82B (Boat Registration/Title Application). You can also renew at a local DMV office.
Is it against the law to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
Yes. New York State has laws that prohibit the operation of a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. More information is available from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. On April 1, 1999, the Zero Tolerance Law for vessel operators became effective.
How can I find more information about boating laws and boating safety?
The New York State Boater's Guide is available from the DMV, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, or the NYS Canal Corporation. This handbook contains information about registration, operation and safety. Go to the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation web site to get information about the operation of a vessel or recreational vehicle in NYS.
Does my snowmobile require a registration in New York State?
You must register your snowmobile if you operate the snowmobile in New York State. A registration is not required if the snowmobile is operated on the private property of the owner or private property the owner has a contractual right to use. A snowmobile that is registered in another state and owned by a resident of that state, but is operated in NYS, must get a NYS registration. A non-resident of NYS with a snowmobile registered in another state can apply online for a NYS snowmobile registration. A temporary NYS registration is issued at the end of the transaction for immediate operation of the snowmobile in NYS.
New York State also requires a NYS or out-of-state registration on trailers.
Snowmobile registration numbers are permanently assigned to the snowmobile when it is first registered. If you have a snowmobile that was first registered before August 1995, you must supply the numbers that attach to your snowmobile. You must display those numbers on each side of the snowmobile cowling or hood. The numbers must be:
- made from a reflective material,
- block style and 3 inches high or taller,
- a color different from the hood and easy to see.
- Be sure to include a hyphen or a space between the last number and the capital letters.
- Displayed on a vertical plane of the cowling or hood so it is easy to view from either side of the snowmobile.
New snowmobile registrations receive a Registration Decal set. Attach the decals to each side of the cowling or hood. Validation stickers are issued annually. Put the stickers on the upper left-hand corner of the decal. Put the annual validation stickers to the left of the numbers on snowmobiles registered before 1995.
DMV Commissioner's Regulation section 107.11 requires that any registration decal issued on or after December 24, 2008 must be displayed on a vertical plane of the snowmobile's cowling or hood so it is easily viewed from either side of the snowmobile. You can be subject to a $200 fine if you do not display your registration decal in compliance with this regulation.
The registration fee is $45 if you certify on form MV-82SN that you are a member of a NYS Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) club and show proof of membership. The only acceptable proof of membership is a valid membership voucher issued by the NYSSA, and your certification on form MV-82SN.
If you are not a member of an NYSSA club, the registration fee is $100.
Visit the NYSSA web site for more information about NYSSA clubs.
How do I register my snowmobile?
To register your snowmobile, bring the following items to a DMV office:
- A completed form MV-82SN (Snowmobile Registration Application).
- A completed form DTF-802 (Statement of Transaction for Sales Tax ) or proof of exemption or tax paid. The requirements and forms for snowmobiles are the same as those for motor vehicles. See the information about sales tax.
- Proof of ownership and bill of sale. Non-residents can use photocopies of proof of ownership and are not required to pay the NYS sales tax if the snowmobile is registered in another state.
- Proof of identity.
- Cash, check or credit card for the fee. Pay the registration fee of $45.
How do I renew my snowmobile registration?
You can renew your snowmobile registration online. Have your registration and your snowmobile club membership voucher (if you have one) available when you go to the snowmobile renewal transaction. You can also use your form MV-3SN renewal notice to renew by mail. If you do not have a renewal notice, apply for the renewal with form MV-82SN or visit your local DMV office.
The renewal fee is $45 if you certify on form MV-3SN or MV-82SN that you are a member of a NYS Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) club and show proof of membership.
If you are not a member of an NYSSA club, the fee is $100.
Visit the NYSSA web site for more information about NYSSA clubs.
Are helmets required when on a snowmobile?
Yes. Since April 1, 1998, NYS has required each operator and passenger on a snowmobile to wear protective headgear approved by the Commissioner of the NYS
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation . You are not required to wear a helmet if:
- the snowmobile is operated on property where the operator or passenger is the property owner
- the snowmobile is operated on private property which the operator or passenger has a contractual right to use. This exemption does not apply if the owner or passenger is a member of a club or association and the owner does not receive compensation for snowmobile operation.
Is it against the law to operate a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
Yes. A court can suspend the privilege of a person to operate a snowmobile if the person is convicted of snowmobiling under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The court can also suspend the snowmobile registration. The law also provides for strict penalties and enforcement for these offenses. A person who refuses to take a chemical test (breath test) immediately receives a suspension of the privilege to operate a snowmobile, pending a DMV hearing.
How can I get more information about snowmobile operation in NYS?
The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation web site has information about snowmobile insurance, safety training and other information.
Mopeds (Limited Use Motorcycles)
Are there any special requirements to operate a limited use motorcycle (moped) in NYS?
The Vehicle and Traffic Law defines a limited use motorcycle as "a low-speed vehicle with two or three wheels." Terms frequently used for limited use motorcycles are "mopeds" and "motor scooters."
The requirements to operate a moped are like those for motorcycles. You must have a driver license and you must register a moped to drive it on streets and highways. The exceptions to these requirements are listed in the table below. You can never operate a moped on a sidewalk.
The DMV certifies a moped as a Class A, Class B or Class C limited use motorcycle according to top speed. The manufacturer requests the certification through the DMV Technical Services Bureau. Only a DMV-certified model of limited-use motorcycle can get a registration in NYS. The phone number for the Technical Services Bureau is (518) 474-5282.
To register your moped, bring the following to a DMV office:
- A completed form MV-82 (Registration / Title Application).
- A completed form DTF-802 (Statement of Transaction for Sales Tax ) or proof of exemption or tax paid. The requirements and forms for mopeds are the same as those for motor vehicles. See the information about sales tax.
- Proof of ownership, normally the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO), a bill of sale or a previous registration that was transferred to you.
- Proof of identity.
- Cash, check or credit card for the fee. Pay the fees and required sales tax.
|Guide to Limited-use Motorcycle Requirements
Determined by Range of Top Speed
Over 30 mph
to 40 mph
Over 20 mph to
20 mph or less
||Class M/MJ 1
||Any Class 1
||Any Class 1
|Headlight on When Operating?
|Helmet and Eye Protection Required?
|May Operate On
||Any Traffic Lane
||Right-hand Lane or Shoulder Only 2
||Right-hand Lane or Shoulder Only 2
- Learner permit restrictions apply to all permit classes. Junior operator restrictions apply to class DJ and MJ permits and driver licenses. See Graduated License Law (Junior Drivers).
- Except when making a left turn.
- Class C moped used in a rental business must be insured.
Motorized Scooters, Mini-Bikes, Dirt Bikes, Go-Karts, Motor Assisted Bicycles
You cannot register any of the motorized devices from the list below in NYS. You cannot operate these devices on sidewalks, public streets or highways in NYS. These devices are motor vehicles, but they do not have the correct equipment or design for operation on roadways.
- Motorized Scooter - a device with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider. An example of a motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.
- Mini-bike - a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road use. A mini-bike does not qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.
- Dirt Bike - a motorized device like a motorcycle, but created for and used for off-road use. Some "dirt bikes" qualify as an ATV. These vehicles can register and operate off-road as an ATV.
- Go-Kart - a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You cannot register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart does not have the same equipment.
- Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment.
These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment. The DMV can not provide any information about operation of these devices on private property. Contact the local authorities and property owners.
Does an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) require a vehicle registration?
An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is any self-propelled vehicle that is manufactured for use on off-highway trails. These vehicles are less than 70 inches wide and weigh less than 1,000 pounds.
You must register an ATV to drive the vehicle on public property or private property in NYS. An ATV that is only used for agricultural purposes or not-for-hire snow removal on private property does not require a registration. A registration for an ATV that was issued in another state to a resident of that state is valid in NYS.
If you purchase an ATV from a NYS ATV dealer on or after April 1, 2005, the dealer is required to register your ATV before it is delivered to you.
To register an ATV not purchased from a NYS ATV dealer, bring the following items to a DMV office:
- Acceptable proof of ownership. (Read the information that appears below).
- Proof that the NYS sales tax was paid or proof of the purchase price of the ATV. If you purchased the ATV from an out-of-state ATV dealer, and the bill of sale indicates that the dealer collected the NYS sales tax, no additional sales tax is due. If the out-of-state dealer collects out-of-state sales tax, you can apply for credit toward the payment of the NYS sales tax when you apply for registration in NYS. You an be eligible for credit only if NYS and the other state have a reciprocal sales tax agreement (See form DTF-804 for more information). If you purchased the ATV from a private seller, the seller and the buyer complete form DTF-802 (Statement of Transaction for Sales Tax). You can also show your proof of exemption or proof that the tax was paid.
- A completed form MV-82 (Registration / Title Application). The instructions are on form MV-82.1 (Registering/Titling a Vehicle in New York State)
- Proofs of your identity and your date of birth. See form ID-82 (Proofs of Identity for Registration and Title)
- Cash, a check or a credit card to pay the registration fee and the required sales tax.
Acceptable proof of ownership
If you purchased the ATV from a NYS ATV dealer on or after April 1, 2005, the dealer must register your ATV before it is delivered to you. Your proof of ownership is the NYS transferable ATV registration.
If you purchase the ATV from an out-of-state ATV dealer, acceptable proof of ownership to apply for registration at a DMV office can be:
- a manufacturer's certificate of origin or a manufacturer's statement of origin, and the bill of sale from the dealer, or
- the registration or the title certificate signed by the previous owner that transfers the ownership to the dealer, and a bill of sale from the dealer that transfers the ownership to you.
A bill of sale from an ATV dealer must include this information:
- the name and the address of the dealer and the registration number of the dealer
- your name and your address
- the vehicle identification number of the ATV, the year, the make, the model, and the number of wheels
- an indication that the ATV is either used or new
- an indication that the dealer collected the correct NYS sales tax.
If the ATV is transferred by a private individual, acceptable proof of ownership is:
- a NYS or out-of-state transferable registration or title certificate signed by the previous owner to transfer ownership to you, or
- if the current owner did not register the ATV, a transferrable registration and bill of sale that transferred ownership to the current owner, and a bill of sale that transfers ownership to you. For more information, read the information about acceptable proofs of ownership and bills of sale from private ATV owners.
Do I need insurance coverage for my ATV?
Insurance coverage is required unless you drive the ATV on your private property only. You must show your proof of insurance to a judge, a police officer, or any person who makes a claim of injury or property damage.
Do I need a driver license to drive an ATV?
You do not need a driver license to drive an ATV, but restrictions apply to ATV drivers under the age of 16:
Children 10 to 15 years of age can drive an ATV only:
- with adult supervision, or
- without adult supervision on property where their parent or guardian is the owner or tenant, or
- without adult supervision on property where ATV use is permitted and the child completed an ATV safety-training course approved by the DMV. (Carry your course certificate with you when you drive.)
Children under the age of 10 may drive an ATV only:
- with adult supervision, or
- without adult supervision on property where their parent or guardian is the owner or tenant.
You can operate an ATV on public lands where signs indicate that ATV use is allowed. Only operate an ATV on private property if you have permission from the property owner.
Bicycles, In-Line Skates and Scooters
Does NYS law require bicyclists and in-line skaters to wear helmets?
New York State law requires that bicyclists and in-line skaters 14 years old or younger wear bicycle safety helmets. The parents or guardians of children who break the helmet laws can pay a fine of up to $50.
Does NYS law require scooter riders to wear helmets?
A law that began in July of 2002 now requires scooter riders to wear a helmet. A parent or legal guardian of a young person that rides a scooter and who does not wear a helmet can receive a warning for the first violation and a fine of up to $50 for following violations.
Are there special traffic laws for bicyclists and in-line skaters?
Bicyclists, in-line skaters, and motor vehicle drivers must all use and obey the same traffic laws. A motorist must recognize that a bicyclist or in-line skater has the same rights as any another motor vehicle driver. Bicyclists and skaters must obey all traffic signals, signs and pavement markings. The bicyclists must use a signal to turn on a roadway, a bike lane or bike path. The bicyclists and skaters who break the law are subject to traffic tickets. Parents are responsible for the violations committed by their children who less than the age of 18.
On what types of roads can I ride a bicycle or glide with in-line skates?
Bicyclists and skaters have the legal right to share the road on most public highways. Bicyclists and skaters are not allowed on interstate highways and expressways. The jurisdictions that manage other controlled-access highways, for example parkways, can prohibit all bicycles.
Must bicyclists and in-line skaters move in the same direction that vehicle traffic moves?
The law requires that bicyclists ride or in-line skaters glide with the traffic. The main cause of accidents is bicyclists or skaters that ride against traffic. The bicyclists and skaters that move with traffic are easier for motorists to see and their actions are easier to predict. Bicyclists and skaters that move with traffic also prevent interference with the flow of traffic and pedestrians.
Can bicyclists and in-line skaters travel side-by-side on the road?
Bicyclists or in-line skaters can travel side-by-side on the road, but must ride in single-file when other vehicles need to pass. If there is enough space, more than two bicyclists can travel side-by-side on a shoulder, lane or bicycle path that is for bicyclists and skaters. When bicyclists or in-line skaters overtake the other bikers and in-line skaters, they must ride in single-file.
Where can I get more information about using bicycles, in-line skates and scooters in NYS?
The web site of the NYS Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) has more information about bicycles, in-line skates and scooters.