Frequently asked questions

Registration labels

  • From 1 July 2016 registered vessels are no longer required to display a registration label. Find out more about the changes under the new Marine Safety Regulation 2016.
  • Removing registration labels for vessels will simplify the registration process and reduce red tape. Customers will no longer have the inconvenience of replacing registration labels on their vessels.
  • Roads and Maritime will send you a vessel registration renewal notice in the post around 30 days before the expiry date of the registration period.

    If the registration is not renewed by the expiry date, a reminder notice is issued between 15 and 21 days of the expiry.

  • No. It’s your choice whether you remove your old registration label or not.

Registration numbers

  • Registration numbers will continue to be required to be displayed. The specifications for display require that your registration number:

    1. Is displayed:
      1. In the case of a sailing vessel, on the transom or on each side of the vessel, or
      2. In any other case, on each side of the vessel, and
    2. Contains figures that are:
      1. In the case of a personal watercraft (PWC) or sailing vessel, at least 100 mm high, or
      2. In any other case, at least 150 mm high, and
    3. Is in a contrasting colour to the hull so that it is clearly distinguishable.
  • Authorised officers can access registration data in the field to detect if a vessel is unregistered.
  • To encourage ongoing compliance with vessel registration, the penalty for non-registered vessels has been increased from $250 to $500.

Checking vessel registration

  • You can call 13 77 88 or attend any registry or service centre to check if a vessel is registered.

    Note: If you’re not the registered operator of the vessel, you’ll only be given very basic information about the vessel. No information that identifies a person associated with the vessel can be given to you under NSW privacy laws.

  • Whenever you operate a vessel, it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s registered. Operating an unregistered vessel is an offence with heavy penalties.
  • Other states and territories that still use registration stickers are aware of NSW requirements. NSW vessels can be lawfully driven in other states and territories.

Buying / selling a vessel in NSW

  • The seller must notify Roads and Maritime within 14 days of the sale of the vessel. See Transfer your registration for detailed information.

    The new owner must apply for transfer within 14 days of the sale date or a late application fee will be charged. See Boat registration fees - transfer fees.

Share this page: