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Around Our Town...Game and Fish

Register Boats Early

03/01/2006 - Many Wyoming boaters probably breathed a sigh of relief on Feb. 2 when Punxsutawney Phil informed them that they still have six more weeks of winter in order to get their watercraft registered before the spring thaw.

"Warm weather will be here before you know it and boaters should register their boats early in order to beat the rush and be ready to hit the water as soon as possible," said Robin Kepple, Casper region information specialist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "Don't wait until spring because the department has a large volume of applications to process at that time, which can slow things down for people anxious to get out there and enjoy the season." Kepple reminded boaters that it is illegal to operate a watercraft without the proper license.

Any boat equipped with any size motor electric or internal combustion must be registered. This includes, but is not limited to, motorboats, rowboats, sailboats, sailboards, canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, rowing shells, or sculls, and inflatable craft. Watercraft currently registered in another state and not kept in Wyoming for more than 90 consecutive days need not be registered in Wyoming.

Everyone who registered watercraft last year should already have received materials in the mail to renew their registrations. "But even if you don't receive notification, you are responsible for renewing the registration for your watercraft," Kepple said. If you are registering a boat for the first time, contact any Game and Fish office or licensing agent.

Registration forms are available from Game and Fish offices and licensing agents. Boaters with Internet access can download the appropriate forms from the Game and Fish web page, http://gf.state.wy.us. Click on the brown "boating" link on the left-hand side of the page.

A one-year registration is $15, and a three-year registration costs $40. Kepple encourages boaters to take advantage of the three-year registration. "That way boaters only have to deal with the application every three years and get to save a little money by doing it," she said.

All watercraft registrations expire on December 31 for the period in which they are registered. If you're not certain when your registration is due, simply check the decal on your boat. The numbers on the decal will be the last two digits of the year of expiration.

Information that must be submitted with a new registration includes: application form; proof of ownership; proof of Wyoming sales/use tax; and the registration fee. Photocopies of proof of ownership documentation should be provided, as original documents cannot be returned.

If you have a watercraft that has been registered in Wyoming within the last five years and there has been no change in ownership, the following information may be submitted:a watercraft renewal notice or a properly completed watercraft application form, and the registration fee.

Boaters should also note that the license number assigned to a watercraft remains the same if it is renewed continuously. However, by allowing five or more years to pass without renewing a registration, the numbers assigned to your boat will be dropped from Game and Fish files and may be reassigned to another party. "So it is to your advantage to keep your registration current," Kepple said.

For more information, contact the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Watercraft Section at (307) 777-4575.

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