TWRA expected to raise boat registration fees

There are about 250,000 boats registered in Tennessee. Regulators will vote on a measure next week that will increase the annual registration fee for those boats, the first such increase in ten years. (Photo: Richard Simms)

The Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission - the governing body over hunting, fishing and boating regulations - will vote next week on a measure to increase the registration fees for boats in Tennessee.

"It has been ten years since we had an increase boat registration fees," said Chris Richardson, Asst. Director with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. "Since that time the consumer price index has increased about 17 percent."

Richardson said that is basically the amount of increase they are requesting. For instance the annual registration fee for a boat up to 16 feet long is currently $13. If the increase passes it will go up to $15 per year. A 20-foot boat would go from $25 up to $29 per year.

Any vessel that is powered by a gas engine, an electric motor or by sail is required to be registered. Vessels powered solely by paddle such as canoes, kayaks, rafts, etc. are not required to be registered. There are about 250,000 boats registered in Tennessee. Money raised from boat registration fees goes primarily to boating safety and enforcement.

If passed, the new fees will go into effect July 1, 2019. While the fee increase becomes effective July 1, boats will not see the increase until their current registration expires. At the owner’s discretion, boats in Tennessee may be registered for one to three years.

The Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission will vote on the measure at its meeting to be held Jan. 17-18 in Memphis at the Ducks Unlimited Headquarters.

For more information regarding boating and boat registration, go here.

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