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Owners of watercraft that require registration with the state have until July 31 to renew expired registration decals. 

 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the validity of watercraft registrations that expired Feb. 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

 More and more boaters and watercraft owners are out on the lakes to enjoy the nice weather. Michigan is one of the top states for the number of registered boats, according to mertinglaw.com, with more than 800,000 registered vessels.

 “As temperatures continue to warm up, recreational boaters should not have to worry about their watercraft registration

expiring at no fault of their own,” Whitmer said in a statement after signing Executive Order 2020-101. “This executive order will allow all watercraft users to safely take full advantage of this beautiful weather and Michigan’s pristine lakes and rivers, while minimizing in-person work in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve.”

 This allows new watercraft to be operated in Michigan waters until July 31 without displaying an identifying number and decal if the operator possesses “a proof of purchase or equivalent evidence that the vessel was acquired after January 1, 2020,” according to the statement.

 Law enforcement cannot issue tickets for vessels with registrations that expired after Sept. 30, 2019. The state cannot assess late fees for expired decals as long as boaters renew their registration by July 31.

 Boaters can complete watercraft registration renewals at michigan.gov/sos. Search “Watercraft Registration-Renewal by Internet.”

 You can renew registration online if the following conditions are met: the address is correct on each renewal notice, the owner and watercraft information is correct on each renewal notice, the renewal notice has a PIN, and if the user has a valid Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card.

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