Idaho State Tax Commission

Boats, Trailers, and Other Watercraft

Sales or use tax is due on the sale, lease, rental, transfer, donation or use of boats and trailers in Idaho unless a valid exemption applies. This guide explains sales and use tax requirements for buyers and sellers of boats and trailers. This guide applies to the following transactions:

  • Sales and leases by Idaho dealers and retailers
  • Sales between private parties, including family members
  • Sales by financial institutions
  • Bartering goods or services for a boat or trailer
  • Bringing a boat or trailer that you bought in another state into Idaho
  • Giving or receiving a boat or trailer as a gift or prize
  • Selling or transferring ownership between businesses or related parties in a business
  • Renting out or leasing out boats or trailers as nondealer individuals or businesses that aren't dealers

A vessel is any type of watercraft that can be used for transportation on water. This includes:

  • Boats
  • Seaplanes used on the water
  • Kayaks
  • Jet Ski®
  • Paddleboards

The following aren't vessels:

  • Float houses
  • Diver's aids designed primarily to propel a diver below the water
  • Nonmotorized devices such as inflatable air mattresses, single inner tubes and water toys

Unless a specific meaning is necessary, this guide to refers to vessels and other watercraft as "boats."

A documented vessel is a ship that is at least 26 feet long, weighs 5 net tons or more and is registered through the United States Coast Guard. Vessel documentation is a national form of registration. Documented vessels are exempt from Idaho titling and registration requirements but are subject to Idaho sales or use tax.

A boat trailer is a vehicle designed to carry a boat while being pulled by a motor vehicle.

Page last updated July 22, 2019. Last full review of page: July 22, 2019.

This information is for general guidance only. Tax laws are complex and change regularly. We can't cover every circumstance in our guides. This guidance may not apply to your situation. Please contact us with any questions. We work to provide current and accurate information. But some information could have technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. If there's a conflict between current tax law and this information, current tax law will govern.