How To Register A Kayak In Ohio
All water vessels in the state of Ohio need to be registered by law, and that includes kayaks. However, there are a few exceptions…. but we’ll get to that.
So how exactly do you register your kayak in Ohio and what do you need to do it? To give you some advice and hopefully to ease your concerns, we’ve put together this helpful guide.
I Need To Register? Why?
Ohio law requires that all water-going vessels are registered with the state’s Department of Natural Resources. All kayaks, including inflatables fall into this category. So before you head out on the water in your kayak, it must be registered and you must display the registration decal on your vessel.
There are a couple of exceptions that may mean that registration is not required for your kayak. If you are in the state for a vacation and you bring your vessel into Ohio from another state or country, then you do not need to register your kayak.
Similarly, if you are participating in a kayaking competition in Ohio and you are ordinarily resident in another state, you will not need to register your kayak. As long as you and your kayak are not in Ohio for longer than 60 days.
It might be worth noting that paddle boards are also exempt from the registration laws.
How To Register A Kayak Or Small Boat In Ohio
If you have a kayak, canoe or any other paddle/hand powered boat then you can register it with an Alternative Registration. This will give you registration for 3 years.
However, if you plan to attach any type of motor, or even a sail to your craft you will need to register it as a Traditional Registration, as your Alternative Registration will be invalid if you attach a motor or sail (even if it’s temporary).
The decal you receive must be attached to your vessel (shameless plug: how to place decals on your kayak) so that it can be seen, either at the bow or stern. One recommended place to display it on your kayak is at the stern, just behind the cockpit.
Keep in mind that you will also be required to carry the registration paperwork with you while you’re out on the water.
Where To Register
There are many locations all across Ohio where you can register your kayak in person. This can sometimes mean it’s quicker for you to get out on the water, as you can receive your registration decal right away and then head out paddling.
If you have previously registered your boat and you need to renew your registration, you can do that online.
What You Need
What Else Is Required?
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are required for every person on the kayak, whether they’re paddling or not. Children under 10 years old are required to wear a PFD at all times while on the water.
For paddling between sunset and sunrise, you are also required to have a white light or lantern so your kayak is visible to other water users in the dark. And during these hours, if you’re paddling on Lake Eerie you are also required to carry a visual distress signal.
You may also require additional safety equipment, particularly if your boat is motorized.
Ohio Required Boating Safety Equipment
Registering your kayak in Ohio can be pretty easy once you know how and where to do it. You can then explore the many lakes and waterways that Ohio has to offer. Just make sure you know the type of craft you’re registering, so you can ensure you are applying for the correct registration.
Let us know how you get on and don’t forget to share this information with your fellow kayakers to make sure everyone’s following the rules. And remember to stay safe on the water.
Main Source: http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov