Q: What is the requirement for boats to have capacity plates? Where can I get a plate if I need one?
A: Under the U.S. Coast Guard Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, monohull boats less than 20 feet, and built after October 31, 1972 must have a capacity label affixed. This is the responsibility of the manufacturer. Kayaks, sailboats, inflatables, and canoes are exempt from this requirement. While Federal Regulations do not prohibit the boat operator from exceeding these capacities, state law may prohibit it. Check with your state’s boating authority.
Some states require one to be displayed, however they offer no avenue for boat owners who do not have a capacity label to get one. You can go back to the boat manufacturer to see if they can provide a plaque. If you can find a similar vessel such as yours, you can place this information on a 3X5 card, laminate it, and glue it inside the boat. The card would read:
U.S. Coast Maximum Capacities
X Persons or XXX Pounds,
X,XXX Pounds, persons, gear
Bottom line, check with your State Boating Law Administrator for the final say.
Source: DIR-Vd as of April 2016