How to Register a Kayak in Ohio?

How to Register a Kayak in Ohio?In order to legally use a kayak in Ohio, it is required to register the kayak with the state. This registration applies to all recreational boats, including kayaks. The registration is valid for three years and expires on March 1. However, it is important to note that kiteboards, paddleboards, and belly boats do not need to be registered in Ohio.

To register a kayak, you will need proof of ownership, detailed information about the kayak, information about the owner, a driver’s license or ID, and the registration fee. Boat registrations can be renewed either in person at a Boat Registration Agent or online, as long as the necessary information is up-to-date. If there is a change of ownership, official documentation of the ownership change is required. New boats can be registered at a Boat Registration Agent or Watercraft Office.

The cost of registration depends on the length of the boat and the type of registration being purchased. Proof of ownership can be an Ohio title for titled boats, or manufacturers statement of origin, bill of sale, signed-over registration from previous owner, or notarized affidavit of ownership for non-titled boats like kayaks. A detailed boat information form needs to be filled out, including the hull identification number, boat number (if previously registered in Ohio), make, length, year of vessel, hull material, boat type, propulsion type, engine type, and fuel type.

Boat Registration Options in Ohio

When registering a kayak in Ohio, there are two registration options available: Traditional Registration for Hand-powered Vessels and Alternative Registration for Hand-powered Vessels.

The Traditional Registration option costs $20 and is valid for three years. This registration requires the boat owner to provide two decals and apply and display Ohio numbers. It is available for all hand-powered vessels, including kayaks.

On the other hand, the Alternative Registration option costs $17 plus a $3 writing fee and a $5 waterway conservation fee, totaling $25 for three years. This option only requires the boat owner to provide one decal and does not require Ohio numbers. Alternative Registration is available for non-motorized rowing shells, racing sculls, canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and inflatables.

Table: Comparison of Boat Registration Options in Ohio

Registration Option Cost Decals Ohio Numbers Required
Traditional Registration $20 for three years Two decals Yes
Alternative Registration $17 + $3 writing fee + $5 waterway conservation fee = $25 for three years One decal No

Both registration options can be obtained at designated Boat Registration Agents located throughout the state. The Ohio Division of Parks and Watercraft provides a list of authorized agents. It is important to choose the registration option that best suits your needs and comply with the relevant requirements to ensure legal and hassle-free boating in Ohio.

Registering a Kayak in Ohio as a Visitor

If you are visiting Ohio and plan to bring your kayak with you, it is important to understand the registration requirements for out-of-state visitors. The registration process may vary depending on your state of residence and whether or not your kayak is already registered.

If your kayak is legally registered in your state of primary use and you are not a resident of Ohio, you can use your kayak on Ohio waters for up to 60 days without getting an Ohio registration. However, it is crucial to carry your primary-use-state registration with you and adhere to all Ohio boating laws and rules.

On the other hand, if your kayak is not required to be registered in your state of residence, you will need to carry proof of residency to show that you are an out-of-state visitor. This proof is necessary to demonstrate that your kayak does not need to be registered in your home state and that you are exempt from the registration requirement in Ohio.

Visitor Type Registration Requirement
Kayak registered in primary-use state No Ohio registration required for up to 60 days
Kayak not required to be registered in primary-use state Proof of residency required; exempt from Ohio registration

While the registration requirement may be waived for visitors, it is essential to note that all other boating laws and rules in Ohio still apply. Visitors should familiarize themselves with Ohio’s boating regulations, including safety requirements, navigational rules, and any specific restrictions or guidelines for the waterways they plan to explore.

Ohio Kayak Registration and Invasive Species

When registering your kayak in Ohio, it is important to be aware of the state’s requirements regarding invasive species. All motorized and non-motorized boats, including kayaks, are required to have an Ohio Invasive Species Fund sticker in order to legally launch and operate the boat in Ohio waters. This sticker can be purchased and displayed on the vessel, and the registration paper needs to be carried onboard while paddling in Ohio waters.

However, it is worth noting that non-motorized vessels that are less than 10 feet long, such as small inflatable kayaks, are exempt from the sticker requirement. This exemption recognizes that these smaller vessels are less likely to contribute to the spread of invasive species.

In addition to the sticker requirement, it is also important to be aware of any specific regulations for invasive species in Ohio. Some lakes or managing organizations may have additional requirements for stickers or inspections. By staying informed and following these regulations, kayakers can help protect Ohio’s waters from the harmful effects of invasive species.

Boat Type Invasive Species Sticker Required
Motorized Boats Yes
Non-Motorized Boats < 10 feet long No
Non-Motorized Boats >= 10 feet long Yes

It is important for kayak owners to understand and comply with Ohio’s registration and invasive species requirements. By doing so, we can all contribute to the conservation and preservation of Ohio’s beautiful waterways.


Registering a kayak in Ohio is a necessary step to ensure compliance with state regulations. While some non-motorized vessels may be exempt from registration, kayaks are generally required to be registered. There are two registration options available, Traditional Registration and Alternative Registration, each with its own requirements and fees.

If you are visiting Ohio with a registered kayak from another state, you may be exempt from the registration requirement for up to 60 days. However, it is important to carry proof of registration or residency and abide by all Ohio boating laws and rules. Additionally, Ohio has requirements for an invasive species sticker that applies to all boats, including kayaks, but exemptions may apply for certain non-motorized vessels.

By understanding and following the registration and invasive species regulations, kayakers can enjoy their time on Ohio waters while staying compliant with the law.

Richard Dodds

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