Before you begin, make sure you have all the required documents for boat registration and titling.
How to register your boat
Step 1: A complete, accurate and signed Wisconsin boat registration application (Form 9400-193)
If a boat registration is submitted online, the online process includes an electronic attestation in lieu of a signature.
- All fields on the Boat Registration and Titling Application [online or mail] are required unless stated otherwise. Incomplete applications will result in processing delays.
- All primary and additional owners that are individuals must provide their name, address, date of birth and one of the following identifiers:
- DNR Customer ID number
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s license number
- All primary and additional owners that are non-individuals (businesses, trusts, or state/local governments) must provide the name, address, and taxpayer ID number (FEIN or Social Security number) of the business/trust/government.
- Application must also include the boat’s model name and model year of vessel.
Step 2: Certificate of Registration
To register your boat, you will need to provide the information from the previous owner’s certificate of registration (wallet-sized card) in addition to your application and fees.
Step 3 (may be required): Certificate of Title or Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO)
Boats previously registered in Wisconsin
Boats 16 feet in length or greater previously registered in Wisconsin are titled. The seller must provide you with the original Certificate of Title for you to transfer the boat into your name. The Certificate of Title must be signed; if the Certificate of Title lists more than one owner and the names are separated by the word “and”, all owners listed on the title must sign. If the word “or” separates the names, any of the owners listed on the title may sign.
Boats previously registered in another state
To register and title the boat, the DNR will need the original signed Certificate of Title if the boat is coming from a state that titles boats or a current registration card if the boat is coming from a state that does not title boats.
Boats never registered before (i.e. new boats)
Applications to register new boats, or boats that have never been registered in any state, require the original Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO) to be submitted in lieu of Certificate of Title.
If this is a home-built boat, copies of the materials / supplies receipt should be submitted.
Step 4 (may be required): Lien release
If the Certificate of Title identifies outstanding liens, your application must include a lien release from the listed lien holder to transfer ownership. Lien release documents must identify the lien holder listed on the title, the boat owner on account, and the boat by hull ID number or Wisconsin registration number. A lien release can include a signature from the lien holder in the lien release section of the Certificate of Title, a signed letter (on company letterhead) from the lien holder or the signed lien notice provided by the Department.
- Surviving Spouse Affidavit [form 9400-471]
- Factual Statement [form 9400-469]
- Boat Repossession Affidavit [form 9400-470]
Where to register your boat
You have three options for submitting your registration application.
- Option 1: Online
Sign into your GoWILD customer account at GoWild.WI.Gov and fill out your boat registration application online. Using the online site to transfer a titled boat will require you to mail in the boat Certificate of Title and any supporting documents to complete the transfer of ownership. Once your online boat registration application is submitted, you will have the option to print a 60-day temporary operating receipt which can be used to immediately operate your boat until registration materials arrive in the mail.
Note: For boats 16 feet or longer, you must mail in the boat title, MSO and other supporting documents to complete the transaction. Until then, your boat transaction will be in “pending” (incomplete) status.
- Option 3: Mail
All fields on the Boat Registration and Titling Application (Form 9400-193) are required unless stated otherwise. Incomplete applications will result in processing delays. If you mail in your complete registration application, you must wait until your new certificate of registration and decals arrive in the mail before you can legally operate your boat. The only exception is if the application was completed and submitted on your behalf by a DNR authorized boat dealer.
Mail complete application to:
DNR Processing Center
PO BOX 78701
Milwaukee, WI 53278-0701
After the DNR processes your application, all DNR registration documents such as your certificate of registration, expiration decals, or Certificate of Title will be sent to you via US mail at the address on file. If you are registering a boat that meets Wisconsin Titling Requirements, the Certificate of Title will be mailed in a separate envelope from the registration documents. Registration and Titling documents cannot be printed at DNR Service Center locations.
Updating your contact information
It is important the department has your updated address on file so you receive registration renewal notices and other registration materials sent by the Department. State law requires boat owners to notify the department within 15 days after moving. (State statute 30.55(2))
To update your contact information you can log into your DNR GoWILD customer account. After logging in, you will be asked to verify or edit your address and contact information.
If you have difficulties accessing your DNR GoWILD account, you may also email us. We ask that you include your customer ID number (if known), first and last name, date of birth, old address, new address, phone number and email address.