Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 7346 (November 25, 2023).

58 Pa. Code § 93.5. Display of registration number and validation decal.

§ 93.5. Display of registration number and validation decal.

 (a)  The registration number shall be displayed above the waterline on both sides of the bow of the boat, considered to be any part of a boat’s side forward of a point halfway between the front and the back of the boat.

   (1)  The registration number shall be in solid vertical block characters, at least 3 inches in height and of a color which shall contrast with the background.

   (2)  The registration numbers shall be painted on or permanently attached so they read from left to right and are in a position that provides maximum visibility and shall be maintained so they are clearly visible and legible.

   (3)  Inflatable boats and boats configured in a manner that a number on the hull or superstructure would not be easily visible, and unless special provision is made by the manufacturer for display of numbers, may carry registration numbers and validation decals on boards to be lashed to the bow on each side of the boat.

   (4)  Unpowered kayaks, sculls, sailboards and other low volume boats of similar design are exempt from displaying registration numbers.

   (5)  Boats possessing a valid marine document, when used for recreational purposes and when Pennsylvania is the state of principal operation, shall display a valid registration decal but may not display the registration number.

 (b)  A set of two color-coded validation decals will be issued for display with each registration number. The decal shall be displayed within 6 inches of the registration number and on a level with the number. The decals shall be approximately 3 inches by 3 inches and color-coded to indicate the registration period. Registration numbers and validation decals shall be displayed in the following manner: PA 12 AM or PA 12 AM. A validation decal may be displayed prior to January 1 of the period for which it is issued.

 (c)  No other number may be displayed on either side of the bow of the vessel.

 (d)  The displayed registration number of a manufacturer, jobber or dealer shall have the number printed upon or attached to a removable sign to be temporarily but firmly affixed to the bow of the vessel being operated for demonstra-tion or testing. This temporary placement of the number shall otherwise be as prescribed in this section. This number may be transferred from boat to boat but may be used on only one boat at a time.

 (e)  An unauthorized person may not erase, deface, change paint on or tamper with a registration number or certificate, validation decal or other identification number on a boat or motor.


   The provisions of this §  93.5 amended under 30 Pa.C.S. §  5122.


   The provisions of this §  93.5 amended February 12, 1993, effective February 13, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 744; amended June 3, 1994, effective June 4, 1994, 24 Pa.B. 2795; amended December 11, 1998, effective December 12, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 6081; amended February 18, 2000, effective February 19, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 870; amended September 8, 2023, effective September 9, 2023, 53 Pa.B. 5615. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (390500) and (371401).

Notes of Decisions

   Authority of Officers

   Officers did not have ‘‘articulable and reasonable’’ suspicion to stop and detain a motorboat operator and passengers based on a failure to display a valid registration sticker where the operator had, in fact, properly displayed a valid sticker which the officers had apparently failed, or were unable, to see. Commonwealth v. Rachau, 670 A.2d 731 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  93.2 (relating to permanent and temporary registration).

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