Watercraft registrations can be renewed online ahead of March deadline

watercraft renewalFEBRUARY 18, 2021

Online portal and self-service stations offer quick and convenient service

Ahead of this year’s boating season, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson reminds watercraft users to renew their registrations online or at a self-service station.

“Customers can renew their watercraft registration from the safety and comfort of their home on our website or at one of the many self-service stations located across our state,” Benson said. “As we roll out upgrades to our online services this spring, customers will find it even more convenient to do business with the Secretary of State.”

Customers can visit Michigan.gov/SOS, click the link for online services, and chose from two options for renewing watercraft:

  • An online express option for quick renewals.
  • An online authenticated renewal process, which allows customers to access their customer record and conduct other transactions along with their watercraft renewal. They also may print a copy of their renewed registration.

 Michigan residents can also locate a self-service station at Michigan.gov/SOS by clicking the link for self service stations.

Watercraft registrations are renewed on a three-year cycle and expire on March 31 of the third year. The Department of State will send out approximately 248,523 renewal notices to boat owners this spring. There are 797,706 registered watercrafts on file with the Secretary of State.

All watercraft, including those on privately owned lakes and waterways, must be registered except for the following:

  • Watercraft 16 feet or less, propelled by oars or paddles that aren’t used for rental or commercial purposes.
  • Nonmotorized canoes and kayaks not used for rental or commercial purposes.
  • Rafts, surfboards, sailboards and swim floats, regardless of length.
  • Watercraft registered in another state and used only temporarily in Michigan.

For media questions, contact
Aneta Kiersnowski at 517-342-4592.

We welcome questions and comments at the Contact the Secretary of State page.

Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to
speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).