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Oregon State Marine Board and sheriff's offices will check decals for expired registrations

OREGON MARINE BOARD - Infographic of proper decal and OR Number placement on the bow of a boat.

The Oregon State Marine Board will be partnering with 32 county sheriff's offices and the Oregon State Police, looking for expired motorboat boat registrations as part of a targeted annual Operation Ship Shape exercise, Aug. 7 and 8.

It's time for those who own a motorboat in Oregon to check their "OR" numbers on the front of their boat (bow) and make sure they've applied their current registration decals. The OR numbers are a boat's license plate, and registration decals are the tags that tell marine officers if a boat is legally registered and to whom it belongs, similar to motor vehicles. Registrations are valid for two calendar years.

"Oregon's recreational boating infrastructure is funded entirely by boaters, so it's really important for every boater out there to be currently registered," says Boating Safety Program Manager for the Marine Board Randy Henry. "On Aug. 7 and 8, we're checking everyone whose decals are expired or numbers are unreadable."

The Marine Board is funded by registration, title fees and marine fuel taxes paid by motorized boaters. No lottery, general fund tax dollars or local facility parking fees are used to fund agency programs. These fees go back to boaters in the form of boat ramps, docks, trailered parking spaces, restrooms, construction and maintenance, and for boating safety – marine law enforcement services.

"Any boat that is powered by a motor – electric, gas, diesel or steam, and all sailboats 12 feet and longer – must be currently registered when on the water, even when docked or moored," said Henry. This includes drift boats, inflatable rafts, stand up paddleboards or float tubes with an electric motor. Henry added, "Each boat registration brings in additional funds from motorboat fuel tax and federal boating dollars. Registering a 16-foot boat provides $100.20 of funding, but results in additional matching funds of nearly $190, so this registration fee results in $267 of revenue available to fund facilities and marine enforcement."

Henry reminds boaters that if they've just purchased their boat or are in the process of registering it, be sure to carry the temporary registration and present it to marine officers, just like vehicle registration.

Boaters can renew their motorboat registration online or by visiting their local registration agent. Boaters can print a temporary permit after successfully completing their transaction online. A registration agent will issue a temporary permit for an additional fee.

For assistance renewing online, contact the Marine Board at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-378-8587.

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