Register a vessel

A vessel including a boat and PWC, that uses (or is capable of using) an engine for propulsion in Victorian waters must be registered and seaworthy.  Registration renewal is required every 12 months.

Eligibility

To register a vessel in your name, you must be at least 14 years old.

A company or incorporated association can have a vessel registered in its name.

A vessel can only be registered in one name.

Registering your vessel

Your vessel must be in a seaworthy condition.

Check steps below on how to register your vessel and information about those vessels that are exempt from registration.

The trailer used to tow your vessel will also need to be registered. Check the requirements for registering your trailer.

You will need to complete a Vessel (Boat & PWC) registration form [PDF 247 Kb] and include the following information about your vessel:

  • the type, make and model of the vessel
  • the date of manufacture
  • the length, breadth and colour
  • the construction material
  • the number of hulls
  • the Hull Identification Number, where fitted
  • the number of engines and their serial number, type, make, horsepower and fuel type
  • any registration number previously assigned to the vessel
  • whether an Australian Builders Plate has been affixed to the vessel.

Club Identification Number

If you are a member of an approved club and wish to have a club identification number assigned to your vessel, you will need a letter from your club allocating a number to your vessel.

This letter must be submitted along with your registration form.

To register your vessel in Victoria, you can submit your registration application to VicRoads by posting your completed Vessel (Boat & PWC) registration form [PDF 247 Kb]and the registration fee to VicRoads, GPO Box 1644, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

Alternatively you can make an appointment to attend a VicRoads Customer Service Centre by calling us on 13 11 71. 

Your vessel does not need to be inspected as part of the appointment.

When you attend your appointment to register your vessel, you will need to:

* A card payment fee applies

You will be given a registration certificate and label with the assigned vessel identification number.

If you can’t attend the appointment

You can appoint someone else to attend the appointment on your behalf. You will need to provide them with an original and signed Authority to act as an agent form [PDF 253 Kb]. Your representative will also need show their evidence of identity when attending the appointment on your behalf.

The registration label must be kept fixed in a clearly visible position on the outside or upper portion of the vessel.

The vessel identification number must be displayed on each side of the hull of the vessel, forward of the beam, so that the highest part of each digit starts at a point no more than 75 millimetres (25 millimetres for personal watercraft) below the gunwale, and:

  • no less than 150 millimetres high (100mm for personal watercraft)
  • in proportionate breadth and
  • coloured in contrast to the surface on which they are displayed.

The following vessels are exempted from registration:

  • a recreational tender
  • a vessel that does not have an engine that is used or is capable of being used for propulsion
  • a domestic commercial vessel  (a domestic commercial vessel is defined as a vessel used with a commercial, governmental or research activity)
  • a vessel which:
    • is temporarily being operated on State waters
    • is registered in another State or a Territory and
    • displays in accordance with an Act or regulation of another State or Territory an identifying plate, mark or number issued or allocated by the corresponding authority in that State or Territory for the vessel
  • a recreational vessel with an engine used or capable of being used for propulsion that is under the control of a manufacturer or dealer who has a special identification plate issued under regulation 26
  • vessel that is:
    • temporarily being operated on State waters and
    • is exempt from registration as a vessel in another State or a Territory in which the owner the vessel ordinarily resides.

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