All motorized and non-motorized watercraft must be licensed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The types of watercraft that must be licensed include, but are not limited to, motorboats, row-boats, sailboats, sailboards, canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, rowing shells or sculls, all-terrain vehicles used in the water, and inflatable craft.
Licenses Not Required
Exceptions to this law are as follows:
Watercraft currently registered in another state and not kept in Minnesota for more than 90 consecutive days
Watercraft from a country other than the United States and not kept in Minnesota for more than 90 consecutive days
Watercraft owned by the United States government, except those used for recreational purposes
Watercraft documented with the United States Coast Guard. (Note: Documentation is a process where official papers on craft 5 net tons or larger are issued by the Coast Guard instead of state registration
A ship’s lifeboat
Duck boats during the duck hunting season, rice boats during the harvest season and seaplanes
Non-motorized watercraft 9 feet in length or less
Unless a license is issued and in effect, it’s against the law to operate or permit the operation of any watercraft which requires a license.