Gone Outdoors

How to Register a Boat & Trailer in New Hampshire

by Lisa Bass

For a small, cold, northern state, New Hampshire has a lot of boats. About 101,000 boats -- one for every 13 people in the state -- can be found on its lakes, rivers and ocean. Unless you're visiting or using a very small boat in New Hampshire, you'll probably have to register your boat. Trailers also require registration, and you may need to obtain a title in many circumstances.

Registering Boats

1. Determine if your boat needs to be registered. Sailboats smaller than 12 feet, canoes, kayaks, boats registered in other states that won't be in New Hampshire for 30 consecutive days and boats owned by the federal government don't have to be registered.

2. Collect the necessary paperwork to register your boat in New Hampshire. You'll need a boat-registration application (Form DSMV 157A) and proof of ownership, such as a previous title or bill of sale.

3. Register in person by taking the paperwork to the Division of Motor Vehicles' boat desk in Concord or the Bureau of Marine Patrol in Gilford. Some DMV substations will register your boat, but it's best to check first. You can also mail your paperwork to the Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, 23 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03305.

4. Call the DMV at (603) 271-2251 to determine the fee you'll have to pay. Fees are based on the age, type and model of your boat. Fees range from $10 to $783.84. Be sure to include your payment with your paperwork if you register by mail.

Trailer Registration

1. Determine whether your trailer needs to be registered and titled. A trailer needs to be registered if it's less than 15 years old. It needs a title if it weighs more than 3,001 pounds.

2. Call your town clerk's office to determine the registration fee. Each New Hampshire town sets its own trailer-registration fee. Your clerk's office can also tell you how much a title will cost if your trailer weight exceeds 8,000 pounds. A title for a trailer between 3,001 and 5,000 pounds costs $24; a title for trailers between 5,001 and 8,000 pounds will cost $36.

3. Complete a Homemade Trailer Statement if you made a trailer that weighs more than 3,000 pounds.

4. Take proof of identification and any necessary fees to your town clerk's office to register your trailer.

Photo Credits

  • motor boat. power boat image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com