CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Over 53,000 boats are registered in West Virginia and most of them have to renew their registration this year before they hit the water. However, a delay has left boat owners empty-handed.

“This year, I noticed that it did take longer to get the decal stickers and registration back in the mail after going online to register for that,” boat owner Brandi O’Dell said.

O’Dell has owned her boat for over 20 years. She, as well as others, said they’ve been waiting weeks, some months, to get the registration decal they need to leave the dock.

“There’s been some delay with the DMV getting their stickers printed and out to those people, who are trying to receive their registration because essentially every boater in West Virginia is trying to do it at the same time,” said Heather Hardman, the Office Manager of Trojan Landing Marine.

The West Virginia DMV, which registers cars and trucks, is also responsible for making sure boats are registered. The registration, which appears as a sticker on both sides of the boat, has to be renewed every three years by April 1.

This year, officials said there was a delay. It was caused by a printing issue involving an outside vendor. Even though they said the order was placed in December 2022, the materials to make the decals were not received by the company until March 28, 2023.

“I talked to a couple of people that sent theirs in the beginning of March and one of them has received theirs, one of them hasn’t,” Hardman said. “It’s very fluid right now, but it should work itself out in the next couple of weeks definitely before people are out and about on the water.”

According to DMV officials, they notified law enforcement and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, which is in charge of enforcing all boat regulations in the state, to make sure no one is unjustly cited for an expired registration.

Officials said they are currently mailing them out.