Ohio Kayak Registration Guide


Ohio is one of the best places in the United States to go kayaking with thousands of rivers, lakes, and ponds to explore. However, when it comes to kayaking in Ohio all the water vessels must be registered to qualify to be on the waterways.

For the avid kayaker, there are several documents that you will need to register your kayak in Ohio.

These are the requirements you will need to register your kayak in Ohio. But first, let’s understand why you need to register your kayak in the first place.

Why it’s important to register your kayak

It is the law to register all water going vessels with the state’s department of natural resources. And don’t think that you can exclude your inflatable kayak. No sir! This should be registered as well. Once having registered you will be given a decal that you will stick on your vessel.

But there are some exceptions.

If for example you are only visiting Ohio for a vacation and you bring your fishing kayak, then you will not be required to register with the state’s department.

The second exception is when you are visiting Ohio for a kayaking competition and you reside in a different state. This is provided you do not plan to stay more than 60 days in Ohio.

Paddleboards are also exempt from registration and any resident of Ohio can take their paddleboard straight from the shop to the water.

How to register your kayak in Ohio

If you want to register your kayak for 3 years you will need an Alternative registration. If, however, your kayak will feature a trailing motor or you plan on adding a sail, then you will need to take the traditional registration.

Also, once you receive the decal, you MUST attach it to your kayak in a way that it is easily seen. This can be at the bow or the stern. One of the best places to attach your decal is behind the cockpit.

Also, ensure that you bring your registration documents when you are in the water as this is also a requirement.

Where to register your kayak

There are many locations that you can register your kayak all across Ohio. And the great thing is that the process is fast and easy and you can register your kayak and head out into the water in a matter of minutes.

Even better is that if you are looking to renew your registration, you can simply do this online.

What you will need

There are several documents that you will need to have with you when looking to register your kayak. These will include:

  • A downloadable application form
  • The hull identification number of your kayak
  • Proof of ownership which can be a recipient
  • Fees payment
  • Identification of drivers license

What you will also need

You should never go into the water without a life jacket. And this goes for anyone who gets into the water whether or not they are paddling.

If you plan on remaining in the water between sunset and sunrise, you will need a white light as well as a battery-operated lantern that is also waterproof. This will ensure that your kayak is visible to the other boaters using the water.

Some locations such as kayaking in lake Eerie, or the Ohio river may require you to carry a distress signal. If you have a trolling motor on your kayak then you might need to carry a few necessities and safety gear.

If you simply enjoy fishing, then you should know that there are plenty of lakes, rivers, and ponds to choose from so take your fishing kayak and head off in search of catfish, crappie, and northern pike.

Globo Surf Overview

Once you know where and how to register your kayak in Ohio, the process is simple and straightforward and you can be done and headed to the water in minutes. With the decal, you are free to explore the lakes and rivers that Ohio has to offer.

Fish along the many waterways and even take time off to camp alongside the river.

More Kayak Reviews:


  1. How to register kayak in Ohio, watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/registration
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!