RBFF boat registration program continues to bring boats back to the water

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) announced the results of its Boat Registration Reactivation Program. In all, nearly 30,000 boats in 14 states were re-registered as a direct result of this year’s program.

While the 2020 edition of the program saw nearly half as many letters sent to four fewer states versus last year – a product of sensitivities around the coronavirus and ensuing pandemic – key metrics like response rate and gross program registration fees are up over 2019*.

“Even through extreme adversity, our Boat Registration Reactivation Program continues to bring boaters back to the water,” said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. “It’s no surprise American families are looking to get back on the water and this program gives them the nudge they need to get on board.”

Partnering with 14 states across the country, a total of more than 315,000 letters were distributed to owners of boats with lapsed registrations. The letters drew nearly 30,000 individuals to re-register their boats, leading to gross program registration fees of more than $1.2 million. With RBFF fully funding this program, all registration fees brought in from the program goes directly back to state agencies to run critical conservation programs.

“RBFF’s Boat Registration Reactivation Program seemed almost too good to be true, but it turned out better than expected for us in 2020,” said Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Assistant Secretary Mike Miller on the agency’s first time partnering with RBFF on this program. “The timing was perfect, with Kansans anxious to spend time on the water during the pandemic. Not only did the program generate revenue through the renewal of nearly 1,000 lapsed registrations, it also provided a unique opportunity to clean up our boater database, which proved to be an equally valuable outcome.”

Another sign of the increased interest in boating and fishing, response rate for the 2020 program was 10.76%, well above the direct mail benchmark of 2% and a .51% increase over 2019.

Overall, the Boat Registration Reactivation Program has reeled in more than 410,000 boat registrations, resulting in more than $15,000,000 in gross program registration fees since first launching in 2012.

*Gross program registration fees increased among states who participated in the Boat Registration Reactivation Program in both 2019 and 2020.

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