CACalifornia DMV Vessel Registration Replacement

Fast, Secure, and Easy-To-Use Registration Replacement Service | Licensed by the CA DMV  

Replace your CA boat registration with faster online options.

NEW! Quagga mussel sticker not required for saltwater boating.
Instant Replacement & Registration e-Card Download Expedited Online Processing with No DMV Delay
Guaranteed Delivery Next-Day or 3-5 Day Express Lost/Stolen Replacement Tag Protection (1 Yr)
Mailing to any Address in the U.S. & Canada Helpful Assistance from Real DMV Experts

Download Registration Instantly & Get Stickers Delivered Next-Day (View Sample)





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CF 1234AV


Order Includes: New Certificate of Number (registration card), vessel year tag, and instant e-Card download.



Official Partner of the CA Department of Motor Vehicles

Get these benefits plus more when you put the experts at NEEDTAGS to work for you.

Free Registration e-Card
Download a digital copy of your new CA DMV registration card instantly. You can print out your e-Card or display it on your mobile device anytime.
Faster DMV Processing
Get DMV tags as fast as next day with FasTrak™ technology. Our proprietary platform is built to expedite the processing of your vehicle's registration.
Anytime Fee Payment
No smog? No insurance? Not a problem. Avoid late fees and long DMV lines. Our system will accept your payment and post your renewal fees anytime.
Anywhere Shipping
Recently moved? Just let us know your new address. We ensure you get your sticker & registration card, guaranteed. We ship anywhere in the U.S.
Personal Assistance
Get back on the road in no time. A dedicated agent will help resolve your registration suspension, insurance or ticket issues, expeditiously online.
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California DMV Boat Registration Card or Sticker Replacement

How can I get a replacement CA DMV vessel sticker or Certificate of Number registration card in-person?
Replacing your vessel's (Certificate of Number) registration card and/or vessel sticker can be done at a DMV branch office in-person or online. In order to do so visit your local DMV office. You will need to make an appointment prior to your visit. Ensure to have with you:
  • A completed REG 156. This form is required for replacement of vessel stickers and registration cards, including Quagga Mussel stickers. Be prepared to show proof of ownership via a Bill of Sale, Certificate of Number, Certificate of Title, and your identification card or drivers license.
  • Payment for a $23 replacement fee. Your replacement will include both a replacement Certificate of Number card and vessel registration expiration year sticker.
How can I get a replacement DMV vessel sticker or registration card by mail?
To replace your Vessel registration card or sticker by mail, download and complete the REG 156 (Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, and Documents). Mail the REG 156, along with your $23 payment to: Department of Motor Vehicles Registration Operations P.O. Box 942869 Sacramento, California 94269-0001. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for processing and delivery.
How can I get a replacement DMV vessel sticker or registration card online?
Getting a replacement boat/vessel registration card or registration sticker online is fast and easy, without any lengthy forms to fill-out. With our online boat/vessel registration replacement system, you can order and receive new registration cards and stickers as fast as overnight. You'll also get a free digital copy of your registration card instantly. All you need is your vessel's CF number and last three digits of the HIN to get started. We'll file the REG 156 for you and complete your replacement order in minutes.

NOTE: Once you've requested a replacement vessel registration card or sticker if your original document(s) is found it will no longer be valid and should be destroyed or returned to the DMV.

DMV Vessel Registration Replacement Q & A

My vessel registration is not expired but my sticker is missing. Can I receive a citation?
Yes. Operating your boat, sea-doo, waverunner, vessel or watercraft without a visible vessel registration sticker (or CF Number) is a violation of the California Vehicle Code. V.C. Section 9850 states... "Every undocumented vessel using the waters or on the waters of this state shall be currently numbered. No person shall operate nor shall any county, city, or political subdivision give permission for the operation of any undocumented vessel on those waters unless the undocumented vessel is numbered in accordance with this chapter, or in accordance with applicable federal law, or in accordance with a federally approved numbering system of another state, and unless (1) the certificate of number issued to such undocumented vessel is in full force and effect, and (2) the identifying number set forth in the certificate of number is displayed on each side of the bow of the undocumented vessel for which the identifying number was issued. Providing proof of current registration may allow the officer to be more lenient but will not correct a 9850 CVC violation. When you notice your vessel registration sticker is missing, perhaps you received the new sticker but never applied it and now it's lost, you should order a replacement as soon as possible.
I lost my vessel registration card. Can I get a ticket for not having one?
Yes. Not having a valid registration card in your vehicle while it is being operated or attended is a violation of CVC 9853.2; which states "The owner (vessel) shall paint on or attach to each side of the forward half of the vessel the identification number in such manner as may be prescribed by rules and regulations of the department in order that it may be clearly visible. Any such rules and regulations shall be developed in cooperation with the Department of Boating and Waterways. The number shall be maintained in a legible condition. The certificate of number shall be pocket size and shall be available at all times for inspection on the vessel for which issued, whenever the vessel is in use, with limited exception for leased or rented vessels less than 26 feet in lenght.
What is the fee for ordering a replacement vessel sticker and Certificate of Number (registration card)?
The California DMV collects a fee for replacement item services. The DMV fee for a replacement vessel Certificate of Number and sticker is as follows:

  • $23.00 - Certificate of Number (registration card)
  • Included - Vessel Year Sticker (Set of two)
  • $16.00 - Quagga Mussel Sticker
  • FREE - e-Copy (requires replacement purchase through NeedTags.com)
How soon will I receive my replacement vessel sticker and card?
If requesting replacement registration through the DMV by mail, it may take up to 8 weeks to receive your replacement vessel registration card and sticker. In person is obviously much faster since you'll get your replacement on the spot, but it'll require a DMV appointment and visit. If you're replacing your boat/vessel registration card and sticker through NeedTags, depending on the shipping option you choose, you may receive replacement as soon as next day. For immediate proof of registration, NeedTags offers a complimentary e-Card along with your replacement vessel registration card purchase. An e-Card is a digital copy of your registration which you can print or display on your mobile device anytime.
Is the Quagga Mussel sticker included in my boat registration replacement order?
No. Quagga Mussel sticker replacement is a seperate process. NOTE: The Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention Fee (Quagga Mussel Fee) will no longer be required to be paid as a requirement for original and renewal vessel registration applications with a date fees due on or after December 31, 2021.

To order a replacement Quagga mussel sticker visit the DMV website at Quagga Sticker Request. There is currently no method to expidite the Quagga Mussel sticker replacement process. Please expect 4-6 weeks for delivery.
How do I find my boat's Hull Identification Number (HIN)?
The HIN is typically found on a metal or plastic plate, on the transom of the boat, usually on the starboard (right) side within two (2) inches of the top of transom. On vessels without transoms, the HIN is usually affixed to the starboard (right) outboard side of hull, aft, within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of the hull side. On catamarans and pontoon boats with replaceable hulls, the HIN is usually affixed to the aft crossbeam, within one (1) foot of the starboard (right) hull attachment. Boats manufactured or imported on or after August 1, 1984 also have a duplicate secondary HIN affixed somewhere on an unexposed location inside the boat or beneath a fitting or item of hardware/furniture/appliance.
Do I need to display my boat's registration CF number and year sticker if I'm using it on a private lake?
Yes. Any boat/vessel that travels or is moored in California waterways or private lakes must be registered with DMV and have its CF number and current registration sticker clearly visible. For DMV in-person service, please make a DMV appointment prior to your visit.
Will I receive a new Vessel Year Sticker with my replacement order? How should I display it on my boat?
Yes. Your replacement order will include both a new Certificate of Number (registration card) and two (2) vessel registration stickers. You'll need to place the stickers on both sides of your boat/vessel (starboard and portside), three inches apart from your vessel registration number (CF number). Your registration stickers must be clearly visible at all times. Other than your vessel CF number, do not place any numbers, letters, or devices near the registration sticker. Similar to a vehicle's license plates, a vessel's CF numbers and registration stickers must be clearly visible while in operation.
Vessel Sticker Placement
 
I moved after I renewed my boat's registration and didn't receive my new tags. Can I order a replacement and have it shipped to my new address?
Yes. You can order a replacement vessel registration card and sticker through NeedTags and allow us to mail your sticker and Certificate of Number (registration card) to any address in the U.S. This will not perform a Change of Address with the California DMV. You must contact the DMV to officially change your address. To change your address on-file with the California Department of Motor Vehicles you must have the following:

  • California driver license or California identification card
  • Social security number
  • Last issued vehicle or vessel registration card
  • Address in the United States
 
Follow this link to change your address online (account required): Change Address Online - CA DMV
 
Address Update: While processing your registration replacement order through NeedTags the DMV may require that we update your mailing address. Should this occur you will need to submit an address verification document. Follow this link to view a list of acceptable address verification documents.
Why does my registration card say "Undocumented Vessel"? I have my documents.
This question gets asked a lot and rightfully so. The terms documented or undocumented as they relate to a vessel's Certificate of Number (registration card), is an indication of whether or not the vessel/boat/watercraft is registered with the U.S. Coast Guard, respectively.

  • A documented boat/vessel is registered with the U.S. Coast Guard and has a marine certificate. These boats/vessels do not have to be registered with the California DMV.
  • An undocumented boat/vessel is registered with the California DMV and does not have a marine certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard.
If you buy a new boat/vessel it is automatically considered undocumented so you have to register the boat/vessel either with CA DMV or U.S. Coast Guard before you can put it in California waters.