Robinson’s Boat Registration Bill Becomes Law

HARRISBURG – Sen. Devlin Robinson’s (R-37) bill to change the timing of boat registrations in Pennsylvania was signed into law today.

Senate Bill 403, now Act 28 of 2022, parallels the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) boat registration period with the calendar year. 

“An outdated provision in the Fish and Boat Code creates significant confusion, even for experienced boaters who sometimes find themselves believing that their registration is valid longer than it really is,” said Robinson. “Expired boat registrations are one of the most common violations that the Commission’s Waterways Conservation Officers encounter in the field and this legislation simply adjusts the dates to clear up any confusion.”

Under the Robinson bill, the boat registration period lasts two years, beginning on Jan. 1 and extending until Dec. 31of the second year. The goal of the legislation is to provide a more predictable and commonsense registration cycle which coordinates with the Commission’s permits for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards.

“This is certainly welcome news to boaters across Pennsylvania, as it provides clarity and improves the registration process,” said John Mahn, PFBC District 2 Commissioner. “This simplified approach will make it easier and more convenient for boaters to keep up with their registrations each year and aid our Waterways Conservation Officers by reducing the number of outdated boat registrations they encounter while on patrol.”

“Aligning boat registration in the Commonwealth with the calendar year is a commonsense reform of Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code,” said Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York), chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. “Knowing the confusion caused by the previous registration period, I am gratified by the enactment of this much needed legislation.”

The new law takes effect immediately.


CONTACT: Elizabeth Weitzel; 717-787-5839

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