Carrying Registration

How do you carry boat registration on a canoe? My state is a DNR Nazi state and we have to be able to show it or face a big fine.

Waterproof case
There are all sorts of waterproof cases available, many of which sell for only a few dollars each.

Just find a safe place to glue, screw, or otherwise attach the case to the inside of canoe like under a seat or under the bow or stern deck plate and you should be all set.

In many States it is legal to photocopy your registration and carry that in the boat instead of risking losing your actual registration. It should say right on the registration if photocopies are acceptable, if they are make a couple of copies and keep the real one in your vehicle.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

Curious, which Nazi state? Some rely
on boat stickers, 3" high numbers on the hull, etc.

We all have to have license plates on cars, and when I’m stopped, I’m often asked for registration, but if I don’t have it, the license plate has been enough.

Boat registration is a bad thing, but I hope it isn’t as bad as it appears to you right now.

Never understood
Canoe/Kayak registration…

I don’t know of any state that requires one to register a bicycle, and I consider canoes and kayaks to be the equivalent to bicycles on the waterways.

Not enough
canoeists and kayakers to protest and threaten the legislature with being voted out.

Also if you tried to tax bicycles you would hear cries of “Don’t hurt our children just to get money”.


You must possess the registration
Dear g2d,

In PA you must have the registration for the boat onboard when the boat is being used, it was the same way in NY.

In NY a photocopy was valid but I’m not sure about in PA. I sent a question to the PA Fish and Boat commission asking if a photocopied registration will suffice, I’ll report back when I get my answer.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

“In NY Photocopy Was Valid”

– Last Updated: Aug-22-12 9:29 PM EST –

As far as I know, as a resident NY State paddler for many years, kayaks and non motorized canoes DO NOT need to be resgistered in NY State:


Reason for IL registration
I was told that DNR dollars for paddling accommodations are allocated according to which counties have the most paddle craft registered, so, if I want more attention to my county and more DNR $ for this area, then I would benefit from registering all of my boats and from everyone else in my county registering their paddle craft.

I don’t know the reasons for other state’s registrations.

We don’t have to carry the registration with us, unless we chose not to put the stickers on the boat.

I dont think you have to have it registered unless there is a motor on it. I always laminated it and kept it in a ziplock bag when out in the gheenoe I had.

PA is not a Nazi state. The Nazis were defeated in 1945 in Germany. We have our own version of political idiocy in PA, none of it based on National Socialism.

Unless you have a motor on it, you don’t have to register a canoe in PA. If you actually have a motor on your canoe, go spout your drivel somewhere else.

In PA you have the option of either a Launch Permit or a Registration and you only need those if you use a state funded launch area or if you are in certain state managed lakes. I had one registered boat and every officer I ever encountered was satisfied seeing the sticker attached to the boat.

Personally, I think the PA Fish and Boat Commission is quite responsive to the needs of Paddlers. I know there are paddlers on this site who have had issues, but never in my experience have I seen an officer that was less than courteous to sober, responsible paddlers.

You think PA is a Nazi state; I think you are a jerk.

So what?
Dear Mike,

The OP wasn’t asking about if they needed to be registered, he was asking about where to keep the registration. To me it seems obvious that his State requires all boats to be registered.

Non-motorized boats don’t need to be registered in PA either but they can be if the owner choses to do so.

Once that is done the registration MUST be on the boat when it is in use to be in compliance with the law.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

Dude, reading isn’t your forte
Dear placidpaddler,

Where did you read that I called PA a nazi State?

Why don’t you do yourself a favor and invest in some remedial reading classes before you call someone a jerk.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

Apology Warranted
My apologies to you!

The expression “Nazi State” used by an American in reference to American institutions tends to rile me as well as maybe the relatives of the 50,000,000+ people who died as a result of a real Nazi state.

I’ll use the money I save in not registering my boat to get better reading glasses and a course in anger management.

Again, I apologize … you weren’t the jerk!

Keep your registration in your Tilley
That’s what the pocket is for

Go to a copy/print shop and have it laminated. No worries about getting it wet.

Accepted and thank you
Dear placid paddler,

Thank you for the apology. For what it is worth I agree with you on the misuse of the term “nazi” in all it’s incarnations.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

From the PA Fish Commssion
I received the following information back from my email query.

If your boat is registered in PA or another State you must have the actual paper copy of the registration onboard the boat when it is being used in PA.

I was also told that PA residents can order a duplicate registration in case they are worried about damaging or losing their registration. This can be done by phoning the PA Fish and Boat Commsssion or it can be done online.

Boats powered by motors of any type must be registered to be used in PA but it is also possible to register your self propelled boat as “unpowered”. If you do that the same rules for carrying the registration apply.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

I’m not cutting PA any slack for their
staff having good manners or “professional” attitude. It’s bad law. It’s bad procedure. It’s a significant burden on boaters. The PA staff should turn to their legislators and get the law changed. Let’s take the case of a GA canoeist who comes in with 3" high letters showing that his canoe is registered in Georgia. He is stopped and charged when he doesn’t have the original registration on him. I suppose his recreation in PA may then be over. What is the point?

I grew up in Illinois, went to school in Pennsylvania, and PA is not as badly intrusive as Illinois, but it’s bad enough. There is absolutely no reason to rationalize bad law and bad regulations.

I recommend a paddling license. It’s the sentient part of the paddling equation that needs to be licensed, not the boats.

Cars still need registered, not just the
drivers having a license.

You think all paddlers should be tested and licensed, rather than registering the boats?

Seems like more work to me.

I understand registering paddle craft. I don’t understand the requirement to have a paper copy with you.

If I lived in PA, I just wouldn’t register my canoe or kayak, then I would still be legal and wouldn’t have to carry a copy of the registration with me.

I think hunting licenses and fishing
licenses make more sense than registering individual guns and fishing rods. If we have to bleed off money from recreators, do it by the person who will pay. Don’t do it by the boat, gun, or rod.

As a multiple boat owner, you know what a burden it is to pay for all your boats, when you can only paddle one at a time.