About the Licensing Process

All motorized watercraft regardless of length and non-motorized watercraft over 10 feet must be licensed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The types of watercraft that must be licensed include, but are not limited to, motorboats, rowboats, sailboats, sailboards, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, rowing shells or sculls, all-terrain vehicles used in the water and inflatable craft.

Exceptions to this law are as follows:

  • Watercraft currently registered in another state and not kept in Minnesota for more than 90 consecutive days.
  • Watercraft from a country other than the United States and not kept in Minnesota for more than 90 consecutive days.
  • Watercraft owned by the United States government or other specified governmental units, except those boats used for recreational purposes.
  • Watercraft documented with the United
  • States Coast Guard (official papers on craft 5 net tons or larger are issued by the Coast Guard instead of state registration.)
  • A ship’s lifeboat.
  • Waterfowl boats used during the waterfowl hunting season, rice boats used during the harvest season and seaplanes.
  • Non-motorized watercraft 10 feet in length or less.  

View the Minnesota Boating Guide (PDF).

Application Process

New, Renewal or transfer registration

  1. To begin, print and fill out the Universal Registration Form (PDF).
  2. Apply in person at the Scott County Customer Service Center

Duplicate decal or registration card

The owner of the vehicle must be present and have valid identification.

Remember to Bring

  • The completed Universal Registration Form (download at the link above).
  • The certificate of origin from the dealer (if a new vehicle.)
  • Receipt from dealer showing payment of sales tax (also if new.)


Check the Minnesota DNR fee schedule (Link)  for current prices.

You can pay with cash, check (payable to Scott County) or credit card. If you pay with a credit card you will be paying a 2.45% convenience fee.