Brand new boat? Congratulations! You should have a title or bill of sale for your boat (either new or new to you!) With that in hand, you will need to visit the Secretary of State office to get your initial registration. Once you have that, you’ll be issued a 3-year decal (this year, 2021, the decals are RED and say 24 for 2024 on them). THEN, you’ll take the MC numbers issued to you and order your custom Michigan MC Number boat registration decals right here. Pick your typeface, color and go!
All things boat related in Michigan are here.
How do you look up a boat number using the MC number? You have to do this in person.
How much is a boat title or registration? All the fees are here: https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127–75432–,00.html
How do you renew your boat in Michigan? The secretary of state will send you a renewal every 3 years, but if you miss it, you can renew by going right here online.
What boats need to be registered? See our FAQ page here.
How do you register an old boat that you don’t have a bill of sale for?
Bring the Hull ID (and a photo of the boat) with you to the Secretary of State. If it’s never been registered before or the MC number is lapsed (and in your name), they will issue you a new title, and re activate your MC number. If it’s not you, you’ll need a bill of sale from the owner. This happens a lot – the rowboat at the family cottage, or the sailboat in the neighbor’s yard. Just simply draft up a bill of sale from the original owner and sign it (both of you) to transfer this to your name. If you don’t have any documentation and the boat has never been registered, you can still bring in the Hull ID and whatever documentation you have about the boat (a photo, for instance) and register it. If it’s been registered by someone else, you WILL need a bill of sale to transfer ownership (or other documents listed on the watercraft registration page.)
We aren’t the Secretary of State! But we ARE boaters, and we have a few boats….so we’ve seen how things work. We also belong to a sailing club, so we know how to look up old boat numbers and get boats re-registered that have long since expired.