Jetski registration

Why do I need to register my jetski?

Council bylaws require that all jetskis used in Northland are registered.

In Northland, the sheer size of our coastline – and the seasonal influx of yachties and other holidaymakers – means the risk of harm from jetskis can increase quite dramatically over the summer months.

We have safety rules for using jetskis in our waters for good reason. People have been injured, or even killed, in jetski incidents here and elsewhere in New Zealand.

We have had a number of issues with – and complaints about - unregistered jetskis around Northland’s coast, mainly relating to breaches of the five-knot speed limit within 200-metres of shore or 50-metres of another vessel, craft or person.

Registration enables authorities to locate the owners/users of machines seen breaking bylaws, and it can also be a useful way of identifying jetskis if they are stolen.

What if I use my jetski in other regions of New Zealand?

An arrangement with the Auckland Council means that they maintain a single register of jetskis used in Auckland and Northland. Waikato also run a registration service which includes Taupo. This is slowly extending around New Zealand, and registration is only likely to be required once in any one area.

A single registration is valid for all jetskis used in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Taupo.

How do the authorities know if my jetski is registered?

Man on registered jetski.The registration sticker shows clearly on the front of this jetski.

Registration stickers are like the number plate on your car. They must be clearly displayed on each side of the craft above the water.

You can either buy a set of registration stickers for an extra $20.00 or if you don't like the look of these stickers you may sign write your numbers in a font and colour of your choice. As long as they are the minimum height of 90mm and are clearly readable and visible above the water.

Standard stickers supplied are black numbers. If your jetski is black, then white numbers can be issued. Please indicate on your registration form if your jetski is black.

It is illegal to use unregistered jetskis in Northland waters and, from New Year’s Day 2008, people flouting the bylaws risk instant fines of up to $200 or prosecution under the Maritime Transport Act.

How much does it cost?

Registration is a one-off activity and is for the lifetime of the machine.  It costs $54.40 (including GST) and can be done by going to the Auckland Transport website .

Frequently asked questions

What about the privacy of my details?
The information you have supplied will be used to maintain a register of personal water craft that may be operated in the Northland, Auckland and Waikato regions.

Access to this information is limited to authorised persons, including officials from the three regional councils and emergency services. The information cannot be accessed by employees other than for purposes directly related to database management.

What is the period of the registration?
Registration is one-off and is for the lifetime of the machine. Please note that, like a vehicle registration, the registration number must remain with the original machine registered, and cannot be transferred to another machine under any circumstance. Dealers can obtain a dealer plate for the same cost as a new registration.

What if I have more than one jetski?
Each craft must be registered. If you own multiple craft but only use one at a time at organised events (i.e. by the Jetport Assn.), you may be eligible for a multi-craft (dealers) registration where the owner is issued with certificates for each craft. Each certificate has the same number prefixed by a letter A,B,C etc.

Under this registration only one craft may be used at the same time. If you think there will be any occasions where two or more of your craft will be used at the same time, each craft must be registered individually.

What if I sell my jetski?
You must register a change of ownership.

All you have to do is complete a Jetski/Personal Water Craft Registration / Change of Registration Form.
Note: there is no cost to change the registration of a jetski.

Registration forms

Jetskis and personal watercraft are now registered online. 

For more information visit the jetskis and personal watercraft page on Auckland Transport's website.

Key Bylaws for jetskis

Lifejacket/Personal Flotation Devices
Life jackets/ Personal Flotation devices must be worn at all times when operating a jetski.

Maximum of 5 knots when:
• within 50 metres of another vessel, craft or person (i.e. no wake riding close to vessels)
• within 200 metres of shoreline
• within 200 metres of vessel/craft flying the white and blue diving signal flag
• someone is sitting with their legs/arms hanging over the edge of the boat (bow riding)
• inshore of yellow buoys marking the 5 knot area.

Do not obstruct access to any wharf, landing place, boat ramp, slipway, mooring, ferry lane or shipping channel.

Flagged Areas
Set aside for swimming and may not be used for other purposes (red and yellow flags).

A person must be 15 years or over to navigate any powered vessel capable of speeds over 10 knots e.g. Personal Watercraft (jetskis).

Remember it takes three to ski. No skiing between sunset and sunrise (hours of darkness).

A lookout is required when towing any person. The lookout must be 10 years or older.

For further information on bylaws please see our Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017