View Full Version : Inflatable boat registration in CA?

11-14-2005, 11:43 AM
Hi there. I'm a new poster to this site, though I've been observing for a while now. I have a question I hope someone might know the answer to. I have an inflatable boat (Sevylor Fish Master, 9'6" or so) and recently bought an electric trolling motor (Minn Kota 30Lb) for it. Someone told me I now have to register the boat it to use it on lakes in CA, but when I went to the DMV they told me I didn't. I really don't want to get on the wrong side of a ticket from a ranger, can anyone clear this up for me, or point me in the right direction?

11-14-2005, 12:54 PM
Registration is required for all gas powered *boats in CA. I don't believe it is required for electric motor powered boats (infaltables?).
DMV is the registering agency so believe what they say.
Make sure you have all the Coast Guard required safety gear and you'll be fine.
BUT don't forget to get your STARS! ;D

P.S. If you trailer your inflatable you DO have to register the trailer.

11-14-2005, 01:18 PM
I would maybe want to read the regs. myself. I bought a canoe about 15 years ago and put an electric motor on it, and I did have to put a sticker on it. I haven't used the motor in over 5 years though, so the regs. could be different. DF30

11-14-2005, 01:26 PM
No gas powered motor, no registration ;D I had a 14ft port-a-bote and had to get it registered because of the 15Hp engine I used to get me from point A to B. Electric motor requires no registration ;D. If you are going to use it in the bay, you may want to consider a gas powered engine!!!!! ;)

11-14-2005, 03:22 PM
I have a small alum,eleven ft. six in. I argued with DMV that it is only used with oars no motor. I lost and it is registered with numbers. Just picked up this years stickers last week. Somehow DMV seems to get lost in it's own greedy rules and regs.

11-14-2005, 05:31 PM
I have always heard if it's motorized it needs to be registered. No motor, no worries.


11-15-2005, 05:50 AM
I was cited by the sheriff (Hi Otto!) at Buck's Lake 4 years ago for no registration for motorized vehicle. My vehicle is a 16-foot canoe with an electric trolling motor. Get the tags - who wants to get hassled in the middle of fishing!!

11-15-2005, 10:18 AM
Redboat is right, no motor[gas or electric] paddled only,
no need to get CF numbers. If powered by electric or gas motor you need CF numbers.


11-15-2005, 11:27 AM
ANY THING THAT HAS A MOTOR! if you are not rowing, it needs to be registered ;D

11-15-2005, 03:36 PM
If there are some boat registration experts out there, can you explain why my plastic, Coleman canoe registration and my 21' Jetcraft both have $10 reg. fees? I'm not complaining, just scratching my head.

11-15-2005, 03:42 PM
Hinrid is either boat operated by a motor? My kayak is 15 feet long and I dont register it at all. Should be the same with your canoe.

11-15-2005, 03:48 PM
My canoe is operated by an electric trolling motor but the point I was making had to do with the fact that the fee was the same for a $250 canoe and a $50,000 boat.

11-15-2005, 04:00 PM
That stinks. :(

11-15-2005, 10:35 PM
Yea with an electric motor I think it has to be registered. I drove a small one without registration for 2 years because i didn't have the paperwork to register it. Then I got a big one with a gas motor and got stopped twice on my first trip checking the registration. The second time I think he just wanted to show some of the new gies in the boat the cool way I put on the stickers. :P
I think the only way it don't need to be registered is if you only use oars or paddles.

11-16-2005, 03:46 PM
What Vessels Must be Registered?

Generally, every sail-powered vessel over eight feet in length and every motor-driven vessel (regardless of length) that is not documented by the U.S. Coast Guard which is used or on the waters of this state are subject to registration by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The vessel must be located in California.

Vessels previously registered in other states must be registered in California within 120 days of being brought into the state, if it will be used upon California waterways the majority of the time.

The term vessel applies to every description of water-craft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, except the following:

A seaplane on the water.
A watercraft specifically designed to operate on a permanently fixed course and guided by a mechanical device that restricts the watercraft's movement to the fixed course.
A floating structure that is designed and built to be used as a stationary waterborne residential dwelling, which, (a) does not have and is not designed to have a mode of power of its own, (b) is dependent for utilities upon a continuous utility linkage to a source originating on shore, and (c) has a permanent, continuous hookup to a shoreside sewage system.
The following vessels do not have to be registered in California:

Vessels propelled solely by oars or paddles.
Nonmotorized sailboats that are eight feet or less in length.
Nonmotorized surfboards propelled by a sail and with a mast that the operator must hold upright.
A ship’s lifeboat (a dinghy is not a lifeboat).
Vessels currently and lawfully numbered (registered) by another state that are principally used outside California.
Vessels brought into California for racing purposes only (exempted only during races and tune-ups).

Please disregard my previous post (Ignorance can be corrected) :-/ See, I corrected my ignorant !@#$!@#! ;D
Paddles, oars and hands require no registration!

11-21-2005, 09:02 AM
My buddy got a citation this year on San Pablo Reservoir while trolling around in his 10' inflatable. He had a trolling motor rigged up to it..he paid the $10 and I helped him put the CF stickers on a few weeks after he got the ticket. :-/

11-24-2005, 07:26 AM
If your boat is greater than 8' long and is equipped to take a motor, even if the motor is not mounted, it is interpreted as a "registered" vehicle and will usually be cited depending on the officers understanding of the vehicle code. I have to assume that Hinrid's canoe is a square stern (motor ready) model. This applies to all "row" boats that have a motor mount plate on the transom and are over 8' long. This was explained to me years ago when I was building a small wooden boat and re-confirmed when I went to put a motor mount on my 8'4" pontoon craft for an electric trolling motor. "If the mount is on there, it must have tags" according to the sheriff I spoke with. If you have ever seen the long lineup of prams on the Smith river, they are just under 8' long and are generally used without a motor although the transom will accept a motor. As long as no motor is present while on public waterways (we do use electrics on private ponds) we've never been cited as long as it is under 8' long (8'1"? beware!!)


11-24-2005, 01:33 PM
Anybody else got their new registration yet? More stickers for idiots who don't know better than to sniff exhaust fumes!

You now have to put (in addition to the CA decal) a sticker on the stern and one within view of the boat operator stating that carbon monoxide can kill you. DUH... Not only that but they are real ugly stickers to boot. I'm glad that I don't have a $50k ski boat with a killer paint job and have to put that piece of bs on the stern. Just because some dip shots are stupid enough to let their kids "teak surf" off the swim platform and they get asphixiated is no reason to force everyone to put some silly decals on their boats. What's next? "Sharp pointed object: Do Not Stick In Eye!" ::)

I'll put them on my cuddy because I have to but they can KMA as far as the drift boat (which IS regstered as "oar powered" even though it has a square stern) goes. There is no way that I am going to look at that BS while I am peacefully rowing downstream.

This state's politicians have definitely gone mad and have nothing better to do than this? *>:(

11-24-2005, 02:04 PM
I have my green 07' number stickers, nothing else came with them and none of the paperwork says anything about needing additional stickers.??? Besides that I don't need em, idiots don't float with the griz!!

11-24-2005, 02:32 PM
Mine came last week for both boats and I thought that the envelopes were kind of heavy. I opened the first one thinking what kind of drinking and boating crud did they stuff in there this time. Boy was I surprised.

11-24-2005, 03:11 PM
I picked up my stickers at our insurance office, AAA, they gave us no additional stickers and we checked the renewal notice envelope, nada also. We either got off lucky or were gonna be ticket bait.

11-25-2005, 02:22 AM
I got those stickers but did not know I needed to actually put them on :-/. ???. Maybe I better read it and not just put on the 07 stickers :P
I just read it and it is a california law :-/

11-25-2005, 03:11 PM
I just opened mine up and sure enough, stickers for dummys!! And I hope everyone turned on their headlights while knocking off the few drops of rain this am. ::)

11-25-2005, 11:13 PM
yep thats another great law :-/

12-11-2005, 05:23 AM
I have an inflatable pontoon and yup got to tag it. Fun part is if you put the tags on the boat they come off :o so make some kind of board to put them on then put that on the boat. If your boat dose not has a hull number they will give you one after a lot of run around. You also get to put this on your boat and have fun with it >:(. Most pontoons come with numbers under the seat and by the motor mount.
now I wonder do I have to add more stickers to my pontoon? easy on the back but I do not think any one will be skiing off of it ;) but one that I have to look at ya like were on the fish finder! LOL :P

12-12-2005, 01:14 AM
Just stick it on the display of the fish finder you wont miss it! ;)

12-12-2005, 12:49 PM
Well if I do that and can not see the fish I want to get I will just have to start charging to pull my skiers LOL. Then again if I do that they will make me add one about water and electricity and the shock some one could get if the grab the battery what’s a guy to do? LOL :o