Whether it’s for recreational or commercial purposes and no matter which state or territory, all motorized boats in Australia must be registered. The Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory are the only exceptions.

The registration process is pretty straightforward but differs depending on where you live. So, if you are planning to purchase a watercraft, here’s how to register your boat per state.

New South Wales

In NSW, all powered boats with an engine of at least 4.0kW power or at least 5.5 metres long or subject to a mooring license, must be registered annually. Those commercial boats under the Marine Safety National Law Act 2012 do not need an NSW registration.

To apply for initial boat registration, you must be at least 16 years old and carry the following: a completed Vessel Registration Application, proof of the boat acquisition, HIN Certificate, registration fee, and proof of identity. You should go to any service centre near you and submit the application in person.

Once registered, your boat must display the registration number on both sides of the boat.

You can renew the registration 90 days prior to the expiry date. Apply for the renewal online, in person at a service centre, over the phone, or by post. You will have to pay a late registration fee if your boat registration has been expired for more than 90 days,

Do I Need A Boat Licence in NSW?


All recreational boats, including PWCs, powered by at least a 3kW engine must be registered in Queensland. Also, commercial boats (including the boats used by schools, community groups, and lifesaving clubs) must be certified under the Marine Safety National Law Act 2012.

To register your boat in Queensland, you must go to any transport and motoring customer service centre. You can also register at Magistrates Court, QGAP office, or local police stations. This is only if you live in the rural areas. Make sure you have the complete requirements including:

  • fully-accomplished boat registration application form
  • evidence of boat acquisition
  • proof of identity
  • registration fee

Registration of boats that are 15 metres or longer requires an endorsement from Maritime Safety Queensland. You will be given an online registration certificate and a registration number once the boat is registered. These must be displayed or printed on the hull of the boat so it can be read from 30 metres away.

A renewal notice will be sent to you four weeks before expiration. You have up to three months from the expiry date to renew your registration.

Do I Need A Boat Licence in QLD?


All boats, except for domestic commercial boats, operating in Victorian waters must be registered every year. The vessel can be registered under a person who’s at least 14 years old, a company, or an incorporated association. To be eligible for registration, your boat must be in seaworthy condition.

Start by sending your completed application form and registration fee to VicRoads at GPO Box 1644, Melbourne, VIC 3001. You can also call 13 11 71 to make an appointment at VicRoads Customer Service Centre. During your appointment, you must submit the application form, proof of identity, and registration fee.

Once completed, a registration certificate and label will be given to you with a vessel identification number. You must display the registration label on your boat, along with the vessel ID number.

South Australia

You must register all newly acquired motorboats in SA within 14 days. To do so, you have to submit a completed application form, payment for the registration fee and facilities levy. You also need proof of boat ownership, and proof of identity. You can submit all documents to any Service SA customer service centre. The registration fee and facilities levy will depend on your motorboat’s length. You will receive a registration label and certificate once approved.

When your registration is about to expire, a registration renewal notice will be sent to you. This will include a seven-digit payment number you need to pay online. After payment, you need to send a copy of the receipt via email to a nominated email address.

Boats with registration from another state will be recognised in South Australian waters for 90 days. After this period, you will need to register your boat.

Western Australia

Recreational boats that are propelled by mechanical power must be registered with the Department of Transport annually. This is regardless of how often you use them. You need to submit a registration application personally at any DoT Driver and Vehicle Service Centre. You can also go to the Regional Centre or apply to a Regional Authorised Agent.

Your application must include a completed application form, Hull Identification Number (HIN) Certificate, proof of identity, and proof of boat acquisition. You are also required to pay a registration fee depending on the length of your boat. Once registered, you’ll receive a registration label and certificate. The registration label and number must be displayed on the port side of the boat and measure 150mm tall.

When it’s time to renew your registration, you will receive a renewal account notice with your renewal account number. You can pay the registration renewal online with a credit card or with your DOT Direct account.


You are required to register all recreational boats with a motor of 4hp or higher and PWCs in Tasmania This is unless your boat already has a valid registration from another state. If you are planning to settle in Tasmania, however, your boat must also be registered. You can register within the Marine and Safety Tasmania Office or Service Tasmania. Here you must accomplish a registration form and pay the registration fee. This fee varies per month of registration.

After successful registration, you will receive the boat registration number, certificate, and label via mail. Each registration is valid until the last day of the year. Registration renewals will be mailed to you annually in November. The renewal fee is $81.

Australian General Shipping Register

All boats registered on the Australian General Shipping Register (AGSR) bear the Australian nationality and have internationally-recognised ownership. You need to register your boat on the AGSR if it’s a commercial vessel measuring 24 metres or more in tonnage length. You must secure a registration before leaving the port of Australia.

To register on the AGSR, you will need to mail the completed registration form, declaration of ownership and nationality, notice of appointment of registered agent, builder’s certificate, bill of sale, boat ownership history, You must also pay the registration fee that depends on the type of your boat.

Once registered, you will receive instructions on how to mark your boat and the registration certificate, which should be kept in the boat when travelling.

Contact Aussie

If you are planning to purchase a boat this year, make sure to acquire the required registrations so you can operate with your state, interstate, or overseas.

We are currently not taking any new applications as result of COVID-19 but will be keeping a close watch on the situation and will be re-assessing soon. In the mean time if you have any questions, just call Aussie Boat Loans on 1300 889 669 or send us an enquiry online.