Visiting a registration-required state

I live in Florida, where we are not required to register our kayaks. I am going to be visiting Ohio in the spring to do some paddling. Do I need to get any kind of temporary registration to paddle there, or what do I need? (I can call Ohio DNR on Tuesday but I’m wondering about it today…) Anybody have any experience with this situation?

Thanks in advance!

better to ask forgiveness —
my philosophy has always been “better to ask forgiveness than for permission”… i cannot imagine paying for the privelege of paddling your kayak in another state and i wouldn’t bother looking for a way to give them any of your hard earned money. that’s just me of course, and your results may differ.

Ohio registration
Yeah, we’re required to register our boats here, but as a visitor I wouldn’t worry about it. Most states have a “what ever works in your home state” approach on that sort of thing. As an Ohioan I do keep my boats registered, but I’ve paddled many a mile in unregistered canoes in this state and I’ve never once been hassled. One particularly frugal paddlin’ buddy if mine has been paddling an unregistered canoe for many years. Maybe he’s just been lucky, but he’s never had a problem. But… just so you know, the “Water Cops” in Ohio drive around in black pick up trucks… Maybe the water cops hang out near the big cities… I don’t know… but we rarely see them in Southeastern Ohio.

I was once "pulled over"
while paddling through Blackhand Gorge on the Licking River in Central Ohio. An authoritative voice through the trees told my buddy and I to pull over to the bank. The water cop came down to check that our boats were registered and that we had PFDs (we did.) My guess is that if you told them you were from out of state they’d let you go.

word of caution
okay, its not paddling but, New Hamshire and Maine both get rather picky about snowmoblies from other states not paying the reg. fee. I think you might get away with this paddling once but…

To venture into the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, your canoe must be registered with your home state. If your home state does not require registration, you must then register it in Minnesota.


The Ohio law reads…
…that you have to comply with the registration

laws of the state in which you live.

So if you are from one of the enlightened states

that does not steal money from paddlers, you’re

OK, but if you have a bill of sale I’d bring it

along with ID from your home state.

some of the ODNR reps, even in SE Ohio, are real


If yo make it near the Caesar’s Creek Lake

(Cinci, Dayton, Wilminton, Col) area send me

some email.