2020 Georgia Code
Title 52 - Waters of the State, Ports, and Watercraft
Chapter 7 - Registration, Operation, and Sale of Watercraft
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 52-7-6. Exemptions From Numbering Requirements

Universal Citation: GA Code § 52-7-6 (2020)

A vessel shall not be required to be numbered under Code Sections 52-7-4 and 52-7-5 if it is:

  1. Not motor propelled; provided, however, that sailboats 12 feet or more in length shall require registration;
  2. Covered by a certificate of number in full force and effect which has been issued to it pursuant to federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state, provided that such vessel shall not be used on the waters of this state for a period in excess of 60 consecutive days;
  3. From a country other than the United States, provided that such vessel shall not be used on the waters of this state for a period in excess of 60 consecutive days;
  4. A vessel whose owner is the United States, a state, or a subdivision thereof, which vessel is used exclusively in the nonrecreation public service and which is clearly identifiable as such;
  5. A vessel's lifeboat if the boat is used solely for lifesaving purposes; this exemption does not include dinghies, tenders, speedboats, or other types of craft carried aboard vessels and used for other than lifesaving purposes;
  6. A vessel that is used exclusively for racing;
  7. A vessel belonging to a class of boats which has been exempted from numbering by the department after the department has found that:
    1. The numbering of vessels of such class will not materially aid in their identification;
    2. An agency of the federal government has a numbering system applicable to the class of vessel to which the vessel in question belongs; and
    3. The vessel would also be exempt from numbering if it were subject to the federal law;
  8. Operating temporarily by virtue of evidence that an application for a certificate of number has been submitted within the previous 60 days; or
  9. Used exclusively on privately owned ponds or lakes, except for those licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(Ga. L. 1960, p. 235, § 5; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1427, § 5; Ga. L. 1981, p. 147, § 4; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 52; Ga. L. 1987, p. 567, § 5; Ga. L. 2006, p. 96, § 4/HB 1490; Ga. L. 2013, p. 892, § 2/HB 497.)

The 2013 amendment, effective July 1, 2013, in paragraph (8), substituted "that an application" for "that a recent application" in the middle and added "within the previous 60 days" at the end.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1988, the correct spelling of "exclusively" was substituted in paragraph (9).


Servicemen must register their privately-owned boats.

- The Soldiers' and Sailor's Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. § 574, does not apply to Ga. L. 1960, p. 235, § 5 and servicemen, resident and nonresident, must register their privately-owned boats after 60 days. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 30.

Registration of boats is not required when the lake is privately owned and not open to the general public. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 30.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 12 Am. Jur. 2d, Boats and Boating, § 22.

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