Buying and registering your vessel
Any boat with an engine capable of being used for propulsion in Victorian waters must be registered and in a seaworthy condition.
This section has important information on which vessels need to be registered in Victoria, how to apply for registration; how much vessel registration costs; how to update your details; how to register a boat trailer; and tips on buying a boat.
Registration must be renewed every 12 months. The trailer used to tow your vessel will need to be registered separately.
Purpose of registration
The Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) sets out the purposes of registration:
36 Purposes of registration
The purposes of registration are—
(a) to enable the operation of vessels on State waters to be regulated for reasons of safety;
(b) to ensure that vessels which are used on State waters meet prescribed safety standards;
(c) to provide a method of establishing the identity of each vessel which is used on State waters and of the person who is responsible for it.
Who can register a vessel?
A boat can be registered in the name of a person who is fourteen years old or more, or in the name of a corporation or incorporated body. Joint names or unincorporated bodies are not acceptable.
How to register your boat
The administration of vessel registrations in Victoria is carried out by VicRoads. Visit the vessel registration page on the VicRoads website for information on the registration process, the information you need to provide, how to display your registration number and to download a Vessel Registration form.
Vessel registration fees
Visit the vessel registration and transfer fees page of the VicRoads website for a list of registration fees.
- Boats 4 metres or under in length
- Boats over 4 metres in length.
Vessels exempt from registration
Vessels exempt from registration are listed here:
- Recreational tenders
- Vessels that do not have an engine
- Commercial vessels
- Vessels which are temporarily being operated on State waters, registered in another State or a Territory and displaying an identifying plate, mark or number issued by the corresponding authority
- Vessels that are temporarily being operated on State waters and are exempt from registration in another State or Territory in which the owner of the vessel ordinarily resides
- Recreational vessels with an engine capable of being used for propulsion, under the control of a manufacturer or dealer who has a special identification plate issued under regulation 25.
How to update your boat registration details
To update the address details for a vessel you have registered in Victoria or your marine licence, you may advise VicRoads by:
- Calling 131171 within Australia or 61 3 9854 7763 from overseas
- Faxing (03) 9854 2308. This letter must be signed
- Mailing to VicRoads GPO Box 1644 Melbourne 3001. This letter must be signed
- Visiting a VicRoads Customer Service Centre
- Filling out the online form on the VicRoads website.
Registering your boat trailer
The trailer used to tow your vessel will need to be registered separately. You can do this on the VicRoads website.
Registration does not include insurance
Boat registration in Victoria does not include any insurance cover. We recommend that boat owners and operators consider taking out cover with an insurance provider.