How Do I Get Licensed to Drive a Recreational Boat in Massachusetts?

New Englanders love to rent and buy boats in order to enjoy their weekends or vacations on the freshwater rivers and lakes. As the weather gets warmer, you and your family might be interested in buying a boat to use near the Boston harbors. It’s important to know the process behind buying a boat and acquiring the proper licensing. If you do not properly register and license your boat in Massachusetts, you could face expensive fines and other legal problems, and you also risk getting you or someone else badly injured in an accident.

What Is the Licensing and Registration Process in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the Boat, OHV and Snowmobile Registration Bureau oversees all titles and registrations for relevant vessels in the state. For any watercraft you wish to operate, you must know the requirements for driving, as well as the process for titling and registering your boat. Massachusetts boater requirements states that anyone under 12 years old can only drive a motorized boat if directly supervised by an adult, and anyone younger than 16 years old cannot use personal watercraft (PWC). If you are under 16 years old, you must complete a boater education course if you wish to operate a motorboat by yourself. For titling and registering your boat, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. First, make sure you have a valid hull identification number for your boat, or HIN. Use this to fill out your application, which will also ask for a bill of sale, proof that you paid state sales tax, the boat title, the boat manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (if your boat is brand new) and any other necessary title and registration fees. Registration fees range from $44 to $110, depending on the length of your boat.

The state of Massachusetts has strict licensing and registering regulations for their boats because they want to ensure that mature and responsible residents are operating these vessels and not putting anyone in danger. If you have been injured in a recreational boating accident, our maritime attorneys at Latti & Anderson LLP can help you receive compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.