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Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Extending Validity of Existing Watercraft Registration


May 22, 2020 Media



Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Extending Validity of Existing Watercraft Registration  


LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-101, extending the validity of watercraft registrations that expired after February 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.  


“As temperatures continue to warm up, recreational boaters should not have to worry about their watercraft registration expiring at no fault of their own,” Governor Whitmer said. “This Executive Order will allow all watercraft users to safely take full advantage of this beautiful weather and Michigan’s pristine lakes and rivers, while minimizing in-person work in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve.”   


“I appreciate Governor Gretchen Whitmer extending these expirations,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “It will give flexibility and peace of mind to watercraft owners across the state, and reduce in-person interactions at Secretary of State branch offices. 


New watercraft can be operated in Michigan waters until July 31, 2020 without displaying an identifying number and decal, provided the operator of the vessel possesses a proof of purchase or equivalent evidence that the vessel was acquired after January 1, 2020. Additionally, law enforcement cannot issue tickets as a result of watercraft decals that expired after September 30, 2019. The state cannot assess late fees for expired decals as long as boaters renew their registration by July 31. 


Boaters are asked to complete their watercraft registration renewals during the state’s emergency and disaster declarations at  


The order takes effect immediately. Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and     


To view executive order 2020-101, click the link below: