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Spend your time on the water, not in line

Renew watercraft registrations online or at a self-service station

March is the time of year to renew watercraft registrations and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is urging customers to renew online or at a self-service station.

“Renewing online or at a self-service station is convenient and it saves time,” Benson said. “Our new user-friendly self-service stations are getting rave reviews from customers. There are more than 100 of the new stations in place to help you renew your watercraft or vehicle registration in minutes. By April, we should have a total of 150 of them in locations across the state, including many Meijer and Kroger grocery stores.”

Michigan residents can check to find a kiosk near them.

Customers also may renew online at The site provides 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.

There are about 892,000 current watercraft registrations on file with the Secretary of State. Nearly 245,000 watercraft renewal notices will be mailed. Watercraft registrations are renewed every three years and expire on March 31 of the third year.

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.

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