Electric Kayak Registration E-mail
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 14:40
As some of you know I recently had a BassYaks conversion done for an Ocean Kayak Trident 13.  I chose this hull because it’s essentially the same hull the Ocean Kayak Torque will have.  I set it up with similar components; a 33 pound thrust motor and variable speed.  I will be receiving a Torque sometime in August.  This way the two kayaks will be as similar as they possibly can be.
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Because the kayak now has a motor I have to register it to be legal.  I decided to register my EK in New Jersey since this is where I spend my summers.  I plan on using the kayak for filming and taking photos and since I feel EKs are going to be very important in the kayak fishing world I want to be able to ascertain their properties through personal experience rather than conjecture.  Many people with kayaks don’t realize that once you put a motor on a kayak it becomes a motorized vessel and ALL states require it to be registered.  The process is going to vary from state to state though.  I purchased the kayak used from the rep who lives in Maryland.  I called up NJ DMV in Trenton and explained the situation.  Essentially that I had purchased a used kayak, out of state, and wanted to put a motor on it.  The kayak didn’t have a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) but I could obtain one if necessary (I didn’t tell the state I could get one though).  The reason being since I knew there were people with used kayaks who were going to also want to motorize them I decided to go that route in registration for their benefit.  Trenton told me to put the pertinent information like kayak manufacturer, serial number, year, length, my name and personal information in a letter and explain what I wanted to do.  I added color and weight too.  After writing the letter I was to have it notarized and bring it to DMV.  I had the seller send me a notarized ‘Bill of Sale’ with the price I paid and the same pertinent info.  I even took a tracing of the kayaks serial number using the pencil and paper shading method.  I figured it couldn’t hurt.

Once I gathered all this paperwork I went to DMV in the middle or the week mid morning.  Generally mid week in the middle of the month is best.  The worst time is to go at the very end of the month or on a Friday.  I was pleasantly surprised to walk right up to the clerk.  I explained what I wanted to do and they gave me a couple forms to fill out.  Because the previous owner didn’t have a title for the kayak they were a bit unsure on how to proceed.  They asked if I had some errands I could run and return a bit later while they sorted things out.  So I went and took care of a few things and returned about an hour later.  The receptionist told to go over to window 6 or 7 and they asked if I was the kayak guy.  It took a few minutes and registration was completed.  I paid sales tax on the purchase along with a title fee and registration.  The total came to $105.88 and renewal should be $12 a year.  For the final step I needed to get the numbers that correspond with my registration and place them along with the NJ Boat Registration sticker on each side of the bow of the kayak as per the instructions on the back of the stickers.  I picked up the numbers at the local hardware store for $4.

My Ocean Kayak Trident 13 is now a registered motorized vessel (MV) in NJ.  As such I’m subject to the rules of a MV and no longer have the right of way on the water.  As a MV operator I’m required to have a NJ Boat License.  However I am a licensed Captain and it supersedes this but anyone who isn’t a Captain will have to take the course and receive a license.

Each state is going to be different.  If you’re purchasing a brand new kayak I suggest asking the shop for an MSO especially if you think you might wish to motorize it sometime in the future.  If the shop doesn’t have the MSO they can get it.

General Kayak Registration

On another important note I learned that NJ now requires any kayak over 13’ to be registered.  I know most kayakers in NJ are not aware of this.  I know as a former owner of a business that sold kayaks that a MSO is not sent by many kayak manufacturers.  They are available through your kayak shop but can take some time.  DMV told me if the receipt contains the serial number and information on the purchaser then this would be sufficient to register the kayak.
 

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