California Inflatable Boat Registration Regulations

California Inflatable Boat Registration Regulations
California requires certain inflatable boats to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Know your watercraft and the applicable regulations.


Any watercraft that is documented with the U.S. Coast Guard does not require DMV registration. Also, any visiting watercraft that is registered in another state does not require California registration.


Inflatable watercraft is required to register with the DMV if it is sail-powered, driven by a motor, or is over 8 feet long.


Inflatable boats that move through the use of oars or paddles are not required to register with the DMV.


Boats that require registration are not exempt if used on private lakes, ponds, or rivers.


Unregistered vessels are subject to California fines. When registering your watercraft, pay the appropriate fees and carry documentation aboard.

Expert Insight

When operating a boat, wear life jackets and follow safety guidelines.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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