Boater Safety | Boater Registration | Regristration Fees

Boater Safety
Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs)
WHO MUST WEAR A PFD?
~Children less than 6 years of age must wear a Type I or Type II PFD when riding in the open deck area of a boat.
~Each person 12 years of age or older operating, riding on or being towed behind a personal watercraft (jet ski) must wear a Type I, Type II or Type III PFD (that is not an inflatable device).
~ Each person less than 12 years of age riding or being towed, behind a personal watercraft (jet ski) must wear a Type I or Type II PFD.

WHAT TYPE OF PFD DO I NEED TO CARRY ON MY BOAT IN MICHIGAN?
~ Vessels less than 16 feet (including canoes and kayaks) must be equipped with one Type I, II, III or IV PFD for each person on board. ~The U.S. Guard requires all vessels less than 16 feet, used on the Great Lakes or connecting waterways, to carry one approved Type I, II, or III device for each person on board.
~ Vessels 16 feet and longer, in addition to the Type I, II, or III for each person on board must carry one type IV. (Canoes and kayaks over 16 feet are exempt from the Type IV requirement.)
Note: All PFDs must be ready at hand and not enclosed in plastic bags or other containers. For more complete information contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division, Marine Safety Unit at 517-373-1230.
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PFD Types
Type I (Off Shore Life Jacket)
(22 lb. Buoyancy) Best for open, rough or remote water, where rescue may be slow in coming. This PFD has the most buoyancy, and will turn most wearers face up in the water, however, type I PFDs are bulky.
Type II (Near Shore Buoyant Vest)
(15.5 lb. Buoyancy) Good for calm inland water where there is a good chance for quick rescue. This PFD will turn most unconscious wearers face up in water, and is less bulky then the type I PFD, but does not offer as much buoyancy.
Type III (Flotation Aid)
(15.5 lb. Buoyancy) Good for calm inland water where there is a good chance for quick rescue. Very comfortable for long periods of use. This PFD allows a larger range of bodily motion than the aforementioned PFDs. This PFD is great for water activities such as; kayaking, fishing, skiing. This PFD, however will not turn an unconscious wearer face up and is not sufficient to keep you afloat in extended time in rough water.
Type IV (Throwable Device)
For calm, inland water with heavy boat traffic, where help is always nearby. This is a great safety device for a quick back-up. They can also be used as a seat cushion. These are not intended for long use in any water situation.
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Boater Registration
Boats are numbered according to state and federal regulations. These regulations help protect people from careless boat operators and improperly equipped boats.
A Certificate of Number is issued to tell enforcement officers that a boat is properly registered. The numbers must be displayed properly on the boat.
The law requires:
1. The figures are to be read from left to right.
2. They must be displayed on the forward half of each side of the bow of the boat.
3. Numbers must be bold, block letters of good proportion.
4. Numbers must not be less than three inches high.
5. They must be of contrasting color to the boat hull or background.
6. They must be as high above the waterline as practical.
7. No number other than the number assigned can be displayed on the forward half of the vessel.
8. Letters must be separated from numbers by spaces or hyphens.
9. Validation decals must be three inches to the right of the last letter displayed.
10. Boat Certificate of Registration must be carried on vessel when being operated.
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Registration Fees
* Nonpowered vessels, other than nonmotorized canoes or kayaks $ 9.00
* Nonmotorized canoes or kayaks except as provided in section 80123 $ 5.00
* Motorboats less than 12 feet in length $ 14.00
* Motorboats 12 feet or over but less than 16 feet in length $ 17.00
* Motorboats 16 feet or over but less than 21 feet in length $ 42.00
* Motorboats 21 feet or over but less than 28 feet in length $ 115.00
* Motorboats 28 feet or over but less than 35 feet in length $ 168.00
* Motorboats 35 feet or over but less than 42 feet in length $ 244.00
* Motorboats 42 feet or over but less than 50 feet in length $ 280.00
* Motorboats 50 feet in length or over $ 448.00
* Pontoon vessels regardless of size $ 23.00
* Motorized canoes regardless of size $ 14.00
* Vessels licensed under part 473 $ 15.00
* Vessels carrying passengers for hire that are in compliance with part 445, or under federal law; and vessels carrying passengers and freight or freight only and owned within this state or hailing from a port within this state $ 45.00 The length of a vessel is the distance from end to end over the deck, excluding the longitudinal upward or downward curve of the deck, fore and aft. A pontoon boat shall be measured by the length of its deck, fore and aft. Renew your Watercraft Registration (Provided by the Secretary of State)
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As always, pack out your trash. Let's keep Michigan beautiful for all who want to enjoy the great outdoors.
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