Recreational boat registration

Find out what boats need to be registered in Western Australia, and how to register a new boat or transfer ownership.

  Boats that must be registered

Boats moored at Rottnest Island

With the exception of a recreational tender, every recreational boat that is in WA Navigable Waters (all waters of the State) and has a motor, or can be fitted with one including boats with electric motors and boats which are ordinarily propelled by sail, must be registered with the Department of Transport and will be subject to an annual registration fee. Registration fees contribute towards launching ramps, jetties, navigation aids, safety patrols and boating safety education.

Recreational boats within Navigable Waters such as those on moorings, in pens or berthed at jetties are also required to be registered and this is regardless of how regularly they are being used.

Boats currently registered in another state receive a three month period of grace after first being used in Western Australia waters. Vessels entering from the Northern Territory have 30 days. After this period of grace the vessel must be registered with Department of Transport.

If you have a foreign pleasure vessel which is owned by a person who is not a permanent resident of Western Australia (but does not include a registered interstate pleasure vessel) and it is temporarily within navigable waters for a period greater than 30 days, then the vessel must be registered as a foreign pleasure vessel.

MAC_F_RB-RFPV-1014a.pdf icon Kb

  Boats that do not need to be registered

Yachts, canoes, surf skis and other craft without motors are not required to be registered.

Tenders to larger vessels are also exempted, provided they:

  • Are no longer than 3.1 metres.
  • Have engines no bigger than 3.73kW (5hp).
  • Are used only as lifeboats and for ship-to-shore transport.

  How to register a new boat/vessel

In order to register a new boat, you will need to submit:

* Proof of acquisition may include any of the following:

  • Bill of Sale.
  • Detailed receipt.
  • Consignment note.
  • Offer to purchase.
  • Any document that provides evidence of ownership.
  • Statutory declaration.

You will also be required to pay a registration fee as well as annual fees. For more information on fees, please go to Recreational boating fees.


Purchases of boats with expired registrations will be treated as transfers rather than new boat registrations.

Please download the registration form below:

MAC-F-RB-NewBoatTfr_AddOwners.pdf icon Kb
MAC-F-RBNewBoatRegistration.pdf icon Kb
MAC-F-RBStatDeclarationBoatOwner0112.pdf icon Kb

  Transfer of ownership

Seller's responsibility

The seller of a recreational boat must give the new owner:

  • Boat Registration Certificate.
  • Receipt, consignment note or bill of sale (with the purchaser's name, address, date, boat registration number, description of the boat and the signatures of all owners).
  • Hull Identification Number (HIN) certificate (if HIN is not recorded on the registration certificate).

The seller should also complete the Boat Transfer form (below) for the purchaser and submit the seller's copy to the Department of Transport. The rest of the form is for the purchaser to keep.

Purchaser's responsibility

The purchaser must submit the following to the Department within 15 days:

  • Purchaser's copy of the Boat Transfer form.
  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of acquisition.
  • HIN certificate (if required).

The new owner will also be required to pay a registration fee as well as annual fees. For more information on fees, please go to Recreational boating fees.

Please download the transfer of ownership form below.

MAC-F-RB-NewBoatTfr_AddOwners.pdf icon Kb
MAC-F-RBBoatTransfer.pdf icon Kb

  Where to place registration numbers and sticker

Registration numbers must be fixed as follows:

  • Power boats: Midship on the side or superstructure, clearly visible and not under the flare of the bow (numbers to be 150 mm tall).
  • Yachts fitted for motors: On the side of the hull immediately forward of the transom (numbers to be 50 mm tall).
  • Tenders: Must have parent vessel's number on each side, forward of the transom.

The registration identification label is to be fixed to the port (left) side of the vessel, next to the registration number.

Please download the Recreational Registration Numbers Regulations brochure below.

MAC-P-RBRegistrationNumbers0610.pdf icon Kb

  Updating registration details

Please use the forms below to update your boat registration information.

MAC_F_AppRelaceCertRegistration.pdf icon Kb
MAC-F-RBChangeOfBoatRegistrationDetails0512.pdf icon Kb
MAC-F-RBChangeOfAddress.pdf icon Kb


Page last updated: Thu Dec 31 2015 10:41:54 AM