Have you been holding off on registering your boat? Might not want to hold out much longer. Georgia boat owners with expired registrations are encouraged to renew their boat decals before Oct. 24, 2013 when a new state law adding a $10 late fee for registration renewal after expiration will be implemented.
"The 2013 legislature passed a new law that encourages timely registration," says Dan Forster, Director of the Wildlife Resources Division. "Often boat owners put off registration until just before July 4th or other major summer holidays, and the resulting rush create a backlog for all wishing to renew their registrations and for persons trying to register a new boat to use for the holidays. This new law will help encourage boat owners to register throughout the year, resulting in better service for all."
Boat registrations are good for three years, and expire on the last day of the owner's birth month in the third year of registration. The new law adds a $10 fee if the registration renewal is mailed or completed by telephone or using the online registration after the expiration date. This requirement will be enforced beginning October 24.
In an effort to notify boat owners about their expiring registrations, the Wildlife Resources Division mails a renewal notice the first week of the month before expiration (approximately 55 days in advance). Registration renewal notices mailed September 1st for October 31st boat expirations will have a notice about the new late fee.
Transferring ownership of a vessel?
This law additionally allows new owners of used boats that have an existing Georgia registration to receive three full years of registration at transfer and eliminates the transfer fee. This transfer provision also begins October 24.
"This new transfer provision giving three full years of registration at transfer will save money for most boat owners," says Forster.
How to Renew, Transfer or Register a New Boat
New boat registrations and transfers of ownership for boats with existing Georgia registrations may be done by mail or telephone (1-800-366-2661). The late fee does not apply to ownership transfers or new Georgia boat registrations.
Owners of Georgia boats must notify DNR within 15 days if their address changes from that shown on their boat registration card, or if they sell their boat. Address changes and notification of boat sale may be done by calling 1-800-366-2661. Boat owners can also change their address by logging into their customer account at www.GoBoatGeorgia.com/boating/registration.