Marine Patrol FAQ

Frequently asked questions about boat registrations and Marine Patrol.

Where can I register my boat?

There are various locations throughout the State, including some marinas and sport shops, town halls and DVM substations. We recommend calling these businesses to check with them before attempting to register your boat. You can also register your boat Monday through Friday at the Boat Desk in Concord, or at Marine Patrol Headquarters.

How do I obtain a copy of an accident report for which I was involved?

Write a letter requesting a copy of the accident report. The request should include:

  • the date and time of the accident,
  • the waterway, and
  • the names of the parties involved.
  • Please mail the letter to Marine Patrol Headquarters.

Who can register a boat?

Only the person listed on the previous year's registration or the owner of the boat may register it by providing proof of ownership.

Where can I find a list of restricted bodies of water?

Please use the following link for more information on restricted bodies of water: Restricted Bodies of Water.

What do I need to bring to register my boat?

You will need to bring proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale, a previous registration (if applicable), and your driver license.

How do I get a NH commercial boating license?

Call Marine Patrol Headquarters at (603) 293-2037 to obtain a commercial boat license application and study materials. Complete the application following the instructions. Once completed, mail the application to the Concord DVM Boat Desk. After approximately one week, call Marine Patrol Headquarters to check if the processed application has been received. When it is received at Marine Patrol Headquarters, you will be given a date and time for the commercial boat operators written examination.

I lost my registration or decal. What do I do?

A replacement registration or registration decal can be issued at the Boat Desk in Concord, some DMV substations, or Marine Patrol Headquarters. The owner will need to have the bow number of the boat and his/her driver license. The fee for a replacement registration is $15.00; the fee for replacement decals is $3.00.

Is it legal for someone to anchor right in front of my house?

It is legal for someone to anchor in front of a house, as water bodies over 10 acres in size are public bodies of water.

What is the difference between a ski craft and a PWC?

A ski craft is defined as, less than 13' in length as manufactured, capable of exceeding 20 mph, and has the capacity to carry not more than the operator and one other person. There are additional regulations that ski craft operators must follow. A personal watercraft (pwc) has the capacity to carry more than the operator and one passenger and must follow the regulations set forth for a motor boat.

How do I register a commercial boat for inland waters?

This can be accomplished in person at the Boat Desk in Concord, or by mail. If registering the vessel by mail, the following documentation is required:

  • bill of sale (new vessels),
  • copy of proof of ownership,
  • and a copy of the applicant's driver license.

What is headway speed?

Headway speed is 6 mph or the slowest speed to travel and still maintain steerage.

How do I register a commercial boat for tidal waters?

Call the Boat Desk in Concord: (603) 271-2333.

How far do I have to be from other boats, docks, swim rafts, and shore when I am going above headway speed?

You must be 150' from other boats, docks, swim rafts, mooring fields, swimmers, designated swimming areas, floats, and shore before traveling above headway speed.

How many people can be towed behind a vessel at one time?

No more than six people may be towed on one or more inflatable tubes and no more than two people may be towed on water skis, aquaplanes, or other devices from the same motorboat at the same time.

If my boat is currently registered in another state, can I still operate in NH, and for how long?

If your boat registration is currently valid in another state, you may operate your boat in NH for 30 consecutive days.

How many observers do I need while towing a skier or other device?

When towing less than three people, there must be one observer (not including the operator). For three or more people being towed behind a motorboat, there must be two observers in addition to the operator. Observers must be a minimum of 13 years of age and physically able to assist the people being towed.

How old do I have to be to operate a ski craft?

You must be at least 16 years of age to operate a ski craft.

If I damage my boat or if someone gets hurt on my boat, do I need to report it?

It should be reported immediately to Marine Patrol. A written report is required when:

  • there is injury beyond first aid,
  • someone disappears or is missing,
  • someone dies,
  • and/or there is combined damage of more than $2,000.

Can I sleep on my boat overnight?

Overnight mooring is illegal in the State of NH, although, it is legal to sleep on your boat overnight while tied to a dock when you have the landowner's permission. In addition, landowners must notify the Department of Environmental Services in writing.