Pa. Fish and Boat Commission Amends Boat Registration Process to Conform to Calendar Year

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is now making it easier to obtain a boating registration.

The Commission voted to give final approval to amendments to boat registration regulations. Under the changes, the PFBC will comply with requirements of Act 28 of 2022, which established a calendar-year boat registration cycle that is valid from January 1 through December 31.

“Currently, Pennsylvania boat registrations are valid from April 1 to March 31, which can be confusing to boaters and result in unintentional violations the commission said. “The change to a calendar-year registration period will provide clarity to regulations, be easier to remember, and result in customer service improvements.”

These amendments will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The PFBC will begin issuing calendar-year boat registrations in October 2023 which will be valid from January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2025.

In other PFBC news, the Commission also updated its regulations requiring lifejackets on paddleboards.

Since October 2008, beyond the narrow limits of a designated swimming, surfing, or bathing area, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has defined paddleboards as vessels, which requires users to abide by the same boating regulations applied to other forms of paddling vessels, including kayaks and canoes.

Several sections of the lifejacket code, including those pertaining to the Allegheny Reservoir, will now include paddleboards “where life jacket wearer is required on boats less than 16 feet in length of any canoe or kayak.”