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Boat Registration Number Rules in NSW




One thing we often get asked to do is registration numbers that are not up to the standard that RMS requires in New South Wales, so we thought we would do a quick post explaining what is and isn't allowed so you don't get in trouble on the water.



The NSW RMS requirements are as follows:


SIZE: The registration numbers need to be 150mm high if they are on a power boat, or can be 100mm high if they are on a sail boat or jet-ski

LOCATION: For a yacht the number can be on the transom (stern, back). For a power boat they need to be placed either s


ide. Note, it doesn't say at the bow, so you can put them really wherever you want as long as they are visable. So they can be either side of the cabin, or either side on the stern.

FONT: The font has a couple of requirements and this is what often is misunderstood.


The font can't be just outlines of the letters. Yes, there are many boats with these, but that doesn't mean they meet the requirements.


The font also need to be something clearly readable. Script fonts and complex handwritten or funky fonts are often then not very suitable. Remember, a registration number is like a number plate on a car, it needs to be clearly legible.


The letters all need to be in an upper case. Quite often customers want the "N" at the end of the NSW boat registations to be made 1/2 the size of the rest of the letters, especially in the case of a custom registration number. This technically isn't legal as the letters need to be 150mm high as per above details on sizing.

COLOUR: Last but not least, the colour needs to be contrasting the vinyl wrap we put on your boat, or the paint/gelcoat in the section the decal is going over. For example, white or silver on a dark blue wrap, or dark blue or black on a light coloured wrap.


The exact wording and link to the RMS website with the requirements:

Registration numbers
Registered vessels are assigned a registration number. This number must be displayed at all times on both sides of the hull, in figures at least 150mm high (100mm for Personal Watercraft (PWC) and sailing vessels). Sailing vessels may display their registration number on the transom.
The registration numbers must be displayed in a contrasting colour to the hull, in solid characters (not outlines), in a clear font or style and in upper case, so that they can be clearly identified.

Hopefully you found this helpful! If you have questions or want us to do you up a custom registration number design, please contact us!


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