Be safe while boating this spring!


Be safe and enjoy your time on the water

woman paddling

Many look forward to sunny spring days to get outside and go boating, fishing, kayaking, or canoeing. These outdoor activities, as well as many others, are essential for your physical and mental health and are permitted under Governor Mills’ executive order, as long as people continue to follow social distancing guidelines.

Please explore close to home. If you cannot maintain the proper distance from non-household members in the boat, you should not be in the same boat. 

Things to remember before you go boating this spring:

  • Always wear a life jacket. The water is very cold and if you think you will have time to put it on after you are in the water, think again.
  • Stay alert and be aware of others on the water.
  • Always operate your boat at a safe and reasonable speed for your surroundings.
  • Never drink and drive!
  • Check the weather before leaving shore and carefully observe changing weather. 
  • Watch out for wildlife.
  • Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated and wear a hat and sunscreen to avoid overexposure to the sun.
  • Always tell someone where you are going, and when you will be back.

The boat registration renewal period has been extended

Boaters may operate without a current 2020 registration and milfoil sticker until April 30, 2020. 


The Department is providing more time and some additional methods for you to apply for a new boat registration or renew an expired one. The easiest way to renew your boat registration is online at, but not all towns have signed up with the state’s internet vendor, InforME, to do registrations. Here are a few suggestions to help you get your boat registered for the 2020 season:

  • First time boat registrations cannot be completed online, they must be done at the town office so the town can collect sales, and excise tax. Registrants should call their town office to see if they are open, and possibly register their boat with the town office through the postal system.
  • If you cannot register your boat online or at the town office, MDIFW will work with you to register your boat. 
  • If you just purchased a new boat from a dealer, you should have a temporary registration that is good for 20 days.

The Department is continuing to look for additional ways to assist boaters with registrations during the civil state of emergency. For the most up to date information please visit