Do You Have to Register a Kayak in Ohio?

Do You Have to Register a Kayak in Ohio

When I was a newbie I had several questions about kayaking. The first place I went kayaking was the Ohio River. At that time I wasn’t well aware of the rules and regulations of kayaking in Ohio. I went through deep research to find out answers to my questions.

There were many different queries in my mind like should I have to register a kayak in Ohio? Where are the Ohio boat registration locations? I was confused about another thing is there any online registration for kayaking in Ohio?

But I figure out all of these things by researching these matters on the web. Let me share some important things you need to know when planning to go to Ohio for Kayaking. Let’s begin!

Do You Have to Register a Kayak in Ohio?

Yes, you need to register for a kayak in Ohio. Registering a kayak in Ohio might seem difficult but the process goes smoothly. Ohio had a hull number requirement. The state of Ohio now offers people an “alternative” registration option that lets the people purchase a mini sticker note with a 7-digit identification figure instead of traditional, large hull numbers. 

Your kayak kit and material receipts are required as proof of ownership. Before receiving tags, you might additionally need to demonstrate that you paid the Ohio State sales tax. Most states, though not all, are only concerned with getting their state sales tax. In Ohio, kayaks are regarded as unpowered watercraft.

What are the Exceptions to Kayak Registration?

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requires a license for any motorized and non-motorized watercraft. 

The following are exceptions to this rule:

  1. Non-residents are not required to register their hand-propelled crafts in Ohio if their home state does not need them. They only demand that the crafts must fulfill the non-resident state’s registration method.
  1. Watercraft registered in other states that have not been kept in for 90 plus regular days.
  1. A boat from another country except the United States that has been in the country for longer than 90 days.
  1. Including recreational vessels, kayaks, and watercraft owned by the Government or other governmental units.
  1. Watercraft registered with the US Coast Guard. (Note: Documentation is a process in which the Coast Guard issues official papers to vessels weighing five net tonnes or more in place of state registration.)
  1. A lifeboat from a ship.
  1. Rice boats during harvest season, duck canoes during duck hunting season, and seaplanes.
  1. The chief of the Division of Parks and Watercraft waived non-motorized kayaks.

Now, I am going to tell you about the registration process for your kayak in Ohio.

How to Register Kayaks in Ohio?

As proof of ownership, you must have the kit and material receipts. Before receiving tags, you may need to show proof of payment of the Ohio State sales tax. The majority, if not all, states are only concerned with collecting the state sales tax.

A person who owns a hand-powered canoe, rowboat, or inflatable watercraft can do one of two things. First is to have it numbered and pay a lower registration price to get square tags Otherwise Do not have it numbered and pay a higher registration charge to get a rectangle tag.

Where to Register a Kayak in Ohio?

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, or ODNR, is in charge of this process. You can take your boat to them otherwise they will come to you if it is too large. All they worry about is that the boat isn’t stolen, that it’s never had a HIN, and that you constructed it yourself.

The HIN (hull identification number) is the starting point for everything. Once you have that, you may receive a title, state registration, documents, insurance, and so on.

The first stage was to transport the boat to the Ohio Division of Watercraft, where it was measured, my identification was validated, and hull numbers were issued. 

Canoes, kayaks, and rowboats fewer than 14 feet in length do not have titles, and if they are in a state that requires registration, such as Ohio, any homebuilt will be assigned hull numbers when registered.

How to Register a Kayak in Ohio Without a Title?

The division of watercraft must inspect your kayaks, even if they do not have titles, but have bills of sale or receipts. Homebuilt kayaks do not have titles. 

A hull number will be issued by the Division of Watercraft, and you then need to take their paperwork to the Division of Titles to get a title. In the event of a transfer of ownership, you will have to submit a signed registration form to the watercraft division, which will issue the registration numbers.

We are not there yet; here I am going to disclose another informative query. Keep reading!

Can I Register My Kayak Online in Ohio?

No, you can just renew your already registered watercraft. For registration, you may be required to transmit copies of paperwork and information on the boat to them along with a Coupon.

After 2 weeks, you will get your MN sticker in the mail. The certificates are valid for three years and can be renewed online.

Is there any fine for unregistered kayaks in Ohio?

That’s how most tickets are. $20 fine and the court fee is $140.


At last, what we got is that yes, you can register all kinds of canoes, sailboats, powerboats, kayaks, pedal boats, and belly boats in Ohio. There are some rules and regulations presented by the department. If you are not done with registration, they may put some fines. You cannot register online, but you can renew your existing registration.

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