North Carolina boat registration fees will increase Oct. 1

By on September 26, 2013

boat license

You can go online to renew your license.

One of the state laws going into effect next week increases boat registration fees, with a portion of the funds contributing to a new statewide dredging fund.

Starting Oct. 1, vessels under 26 feet will cost $30 per year, $50 for boats 26 feet and larger.

The per-year rate also applies to the three-year registration available from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The title fes for a boat will increase to $30.

An original proposal in the N.C. General Assembly this year was to use funds from increased registration and title fees just to help pay for dredging coastal shallow draft inlets and adjacent waterways.

That bill failed, but the fee increases and including inland waters such as lakes in the dredging fund was added to the state budget approved in July.

“The General Assembly recognized a need to find funding to maintain and dredge shallow draft inlets and navigation channels — many of which have historically been maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Wildlife Resources Commission Executive Director Gordon Myers.

“Over the past 15 years, these federal funds have been reduced or eliminated and other states and local governments have created similar funding sources to maintain their waterways due to the decrease in federal funds,” Myers said. “The funds can be used for dredging in coastal and inland waters and any local government applying for the funds has to provide a 50 percent match.”

Two other vessel registration changes will take effect Oct. 1 as well, according to the commission.

An owner of a vessel documented with the U.S. Coast Guard will have to register it in North Carolina if it is in the state for more than 90 consecutive days.

Federal law prohibits documented vessels from being titled in North Carolina.

The second change eliminates the free, one-year vessel registration renewal for those who have a commercial fishing license.

To renew a vessel registration, commercial fishing license owners will pay the normal rate, which is based on the vessel length.

For additional information about vessel registration and titling, call 800.628.3773 or visit

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