You just purchased a SUP! Now what?
For a few states, that means registering your board. Since the language surrounding watercraft registration in the U.S. refers mostly to “motorized” water transport vessels, most states do not need you to register a SUP. In fact, only three states require registration: Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa. With all three states, however, there are length distinctions on which boards need to be formally registered.
Lengths for registration:
- Minnesota: >10’
- South Dakota: >12’
- Iowa: >13’
Since we are a Minnesota company, we will detail what you need to do in order to get registered in that state, but the processes are similar from state to state. Just visit the links in the state names above to see each state's DMV website.
- Receipt that shows you paid sales tax
- Length of the board
- Type of hull material
- If you are uncertain on the hull material, search online for the board, as it is often listed in the description.
- Serial number on the board
Registering a new board
With the information above, visit any deputy registrar of motor vehicles and fill out the paperwork. Find a list of locations near you here. The cost of registering a SUP is $24 (including registration, invasive species surcharge, and issuing fees). The registration is good for 3 calendar years.
Renewing a board
With all of the board information, you may either visit any deputy registrar of motor vehicles and fill out the paperwork, or use the online form. The cost of renewing a SUP is $21.50 (including renewal, invasive species surcharge, and issuing fees).
When you register your board you will be given a proof of registration decal. This decal, pictured below, is not the same as the registration numbers for a boat. It is merely a sticker with your proof of registration on it.
According to the DNR Boating Guide, “Place the decal on each side of the forward half of the nonmotorized craft… On sailboards, paddleboards and nonmotorized sailboats, you may place the decals on the stern. Only do this if it is impossible, because of the boat’s design, to place them on the bow” (pg. 6-7). The way your board sits on the water will determine how you can put the tags on. A popular option is to place it on the very end of the board behind the pads (pictured below).
Other Tags and Traveling
In Idaho and Oregon (for watercraft over 10’) there is a requirement for an Invasive Species Tag. Illinois requires watercraft to have water usage stamps instead of registration. Clicking the links on the state names will take you to the sites where you can get up to date on their laws!
Keep in mind that this article is written under the assumption that you are looking to register in your home state. If you visit another state and bring your board, check to see their requirements. Many states will want you to be registered in your home state if it requires you to be and you are staying for less than 30, 60, or 90 days (depending on the state). So if you’re from a state requiring registration and visit one of those places, you could still get fined for not being registered!
This edition of How To: Paddle North is written by Cory Alford, content provider and Operations Manager for Paddle North.