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Canoe/Kayaking Licensing Ohio

We have been asked about licensing of canoes and kayaks, especially being located on the boarder of two states, so below are the Canoe/Kayaking Licensing guide lines for Ohio, from Chad German, Area Supervisor, ODNR Division of Watercraft.

States have a reciprocation agreement about boat registrations, similar to automobile registrations.

If your boat is legally and currently registered in the state of primary use (the state that you use it most often) and you are not a resident of Ohio, then you can use your boat on Ohio waters for up to 60 days without getting an Ohio registration for it. You must carry your registration with you onboard the vessel, and you are bound by all Ohio boating laws, required equipment and rules.

If your boat is not required to be registered in your state of residence (Michigan), then you need to carry proof of residency with you while the vessel is in operation.

For more information on Ohio boating laws, see our Ohio Boat Operators Guide online.

Chad A. German

Area Supervisor

ODNR Division of Watercraft

Maumee Bay Field Office


Please feel free to share this info with your club members.