First-time boat registration in SA

Registering a boat that hasn't been registered in South Australia before.

How to apply

Lodge the application form with Service SA.

Application for initial registration (539.5 KB PDF)

In person

Locations and opening hours


GPO Box 1533
Adelaide SA 5001

Vessel length

You will need to know the length of your boat for your application.

Measure the hull from the point of the bow to the transom, excluding bowsprits, outboard motors, and other appendages. Any part of the vessel that contributes to the buoyancy of the vessel should be included in the vessel length - for example, pontoons on inflatable vessels or houseboats.

MR1131 Determining your recreational vessel's length

If you have a previous registration certificate please use the length marked on the certificate.

Calculate the registration fee and facilities levy

The length of your boat or vessel determines the registration fee and facilities levy that you need to pay.

If your motorboat was not previously registered for recreational use in South Australia or you are changing registration ownership go to motorboat initial registration fees.

These fees and levies fund marine safety initiatives and infrastructure.

Proof of ownership

You will need to supply proof of vessel ownership when registering a boat. The following items are accepted as proof of ownership:

  • a completed application for transfer of registration on the South Australian certificate of registration, signed by the current and the new registered owner
  • a bill of sale, receipt, or purchase contract signed by and showing the names of the current and new owners and including a description of the vessel and its registration number (if applicable)
  • an interstate Australian register of ships certificate of recreational registration, in the name of the proposed new owner
  • a certificate of commercial vessel registration in any Australian State, in the name of the proposed new registered owner
  • a statutory declaration of ownership of the recreational vessel signed and witnessed by a Justice of Peace (only acceptable if none of the other proof of ownership documents is available).

Boat Code

If your vessel has a HIN but the certificate number has not been recorded in South Australia and you cannot provide the Boat Code certificate, you'll need to have the HIN validated by a Boat Code agent.

If your vessel needs to be Boat Coded (or your HIN needs to be validated), you'll receive a temporary registration certificate which is valid for 21 days. This allows you to use your boat while you arrange to have HIN plates fitted. Once your temporary registration certificate has expired, you cannot use your boat until you have affixed the registration label, so it is advisable to have your vessel Boat Coded as soon as possible.

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Page last updated 16 November 2022

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