How to Register Motorcycles, Boats, and More in Michigan

Illinois Motorcycle Registration
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The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) oversees the registrations of motor vehicles in the state. Most people are aware of how to register a car, but not so many know how to register other vehicles. Well, we have compiled the information you will need for other Michigan vehicle registrations. It will include motorcycles, boats, and others.

Michigan Motorcycle Registration

Depending on where you purchase your motorcycle, the registration process will vary. The dealer will submit all the documents to the SOS if you purchase your motorcycle from a dealership. The copies given to you will be your proof of purchase until you receive the title and registration from the SOS in the mail.

Private Seller Purchase

Once you purchase your motorcycle from a private seller, you must register and title the motorcycle. You will have 15 days after purchase to register and change its title. To register it, you must submit:

  • The completed and signed title
  • Your Michigan motorcycle license
  • Proof of Michigan insurance
  • Pay Fees

Michigan Motorcycle Registration Fees and Taxes

The Michigan SOS will collect fees when you register your motorcycle. The fees will include:

  • Motorcycle registration fee (usually for the duration you will register the motorcycle)
  • Registration transfer fee: $8
  • Late registration fee: $10
  • Use tax fee: $6% of the purchase price

Michigan Boat Registration

At the Michigan SOS, you can apply for registration and title of your boat. To begin the process, visit the local SOS office and provide the following:

  • A complete Application for Michigan Watercraft Title (Form WR-11L)
  • If your boat was previously owned, submit:
    • Current registration
    • If you don’t have the registration, completed Bill of Sale (Form TR-207)
  • The boat’s title in your name
  • Proof of Michigan use tax paid
    • None is needed if ownership is transferred from one family member to another
  • Title and registration fees


Michigan Boat Registration Fees


Here is a list of fees related to the registration of a boat in Michigan:

  • 21 ft but under 28 ft: $115
  • 28 ft but under 35 ft: $168
  • 35 ft but under 42 ft: $244
  • 42 ft but under 50 ft: $280
  • 50 ft and longer: $448

Boat Title

  • $5 or
  • $10 for an instant title

Registration is valid for three years. You can apply online, in person, or by mail.

Other Vehicle Registrations in Michigan

The Michigan SOS will administer other vehicle registrations. So, if you have a moped or scooter, a trailer, RV or motorhome, and a snowmobile, you must contact the nearest SOS office to register and title it. The procedure to register and title these other vehicles are not different than registering a car. You must provide the necessary documents and pay each fee related to the type of vehicle. To get the appropriate fees, contact the nearest SOS office.