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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 26, 2021 02:57 PM
From: Senator Devlin J. Robinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Aligning the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Boat Registration Period with the Calendar Year
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending Title 30 (Fish and Boat Code) to align the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s boat registration period with the calendar year.

Recreational boating is an increasingly popular activity with over 301,000 boats currently registered within the Commonwealth.  Due to an antiquated provision in Title 30, the period of registration spans two years, from April 1 until March 31 of the second year.  This creates considerable confusion, especially among inexperienced boaters who mistakenly believe their registration is valid through the end of the calendar year listed on their registration decal.  Expired boat registrations are one of the most common violations that the Commission’s Waterways Conservation Officers encounter in the field. 

Under this legislation, the boat registration period would begin on January 1 and extend until December 31 of the second year (E.g. January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022).  This shift to a more predictable and common-sense registration cycle would also align with the Commission’s Unpowered Use (Launch) Permits for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards.  This legislation has been reviewed by the U.S. Coast Guard for consistency with federal boating guidelines and will not impose any additional costs or penalties on Pennsylvania boaters.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Weitzel in my office at 717-787-5839

Introduced as SB403