Any boat with a motor or sail operated in Colorado on any public waters must be registered with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Effective 1/1/2017 (Requirement for CO Residents): New Regulations for What Constitutes Acceptable Proof of Ownership
Who must register:
- Colorado residents and non-residents are required to register their boats and must provide acceptable proof.
What constitutes acceptable proof?
Colorado Parks & Wildlife regulations now state that a registration applicant must provide acceptable proof of ownership for boat, snowmobile and off-highway vehicle registrations in the form of one of the following:
Bill of sale* that includes both the seller and buyer's printed names and signatures, the vessel/vehicle identification number (if any), the vessel/vehicle make, model and year (if known), and the date of the sale;
Previous registration certificate issued by a governmental entity that lists the applicant as registered owner;
Manufacturers Certificate of Origin (MCO)/Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO);
Certificate of Title;
Any court issued document proving ownership;
A collection of personal property by affidavit form pursuant to 15-12-1201, C.R.S.;
*An acceptable private party to private party
Bill of Sale Template can be downloaded here for your use.
To register your boat, complete the Boat Registration form and return it, along with your proof of ownership, to:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife-Registration Unit
13787 S Highway 85
Littleton, CO 80125
You may also register your boat at many CPW offices. See a list of potential authorized registration locations. Always call ahead to ensure services are available.
The annual registration fees are determined by the length of the boat. Current fees are as follows:
- Less than 20 feet in length - $35.25
- 20 feet to less than 30 feet - $45.25
- 30 feet or greater - $75.25
Registrations are valid from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 each year. This is a flat administrative transaction fee - it cannot be prorated for a partial year's registration and will not be subject to refund if the boat is sold or stolen.
Registration renewal cards are mailed to currently registered owners each November. Registrations are valid from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 each year. You may also renew your registration online. You MUST have your registration number to renew online or please call 303-791-1920 to get your information.
Purchasing a Boat
When you purchase a boat, you may use your Bill of Sale as a temporary registration for 30 days. If purchasing a boat from a private party, have the seller provide you with a Bill of Sale to serve as your proof of ownership. An acceptable bill of sale includes:
- both the seller and buyer’s printed names and signatures,
- the boat hull identification number (if any),
- the boat make, model and year (if known) and
- the date of the sale.
An acceptable private party to private party Bill of Sale template can be downloaded here for your use. The Bill of Sale must be carried on the boat while operating until the registration decals and card get to you in the mail.
Sorry, at this time, on-line registration for a newly purchased boat is not available.
Vessels from other states may be operated in Colorado for up to 60 days with a current registration from the owner's state.
Canoes and kayaks, and other craft that do not require registration must be legibly marked with the name and address of the owner.
The Colorado Registration Number assigned to your boat must be painted or attached to each side of the bow on the forward half of the vessel. For general decal placement instructions, see the Registration Decal Placement Brochure.
For boat decal placement, see:
These numbers must be a minimum of 3 inches in height and be of contrasting color to the boat. The yearly decals needs to be placed to the left of the Registration number on both sides of the boat.