Saturday, June 13, 2009

Boating Certificate of Title, Registration

The Certificate of Number a pocket-sized registration card must be on board and available for inspection by an enforcement officer whenever the vessel is operated.

The registration number and validation decals must be displayed as follows.
Number must be painted, applied as a decal, or affixed to both sides of the bow, placed above the water line where it can be read easily.
Number must read from left to right on both sides of the bow.
Number must be in at least three-inch-high BLOCK letters.
Number’s color must contrast with its background.
Letters must be separated from the numbers by a space.
No other numbers may be displayed on either side of the bow.
Validation decals must be affixed on each side of the vessel. They should be placed in line with, and three inches toward the stern of, the registration number.

If your vessel requires registration, it is illegal to operate it or allow others to operate your vessel unless it is registered and numbered unless you have on board a valid temporary permit to operate the boat.

PWCs also are required to display the registration number and validation decals.

Registering Your Vessel
A Certificate of Number is issued for two calendar years and is valid until December 31st of the year indicated. Owners of vessels that have already been registered will be sent a renewal notice. If you change your address, you must notify your State Marine Board in writing, by e-mail, or by phone within 30 days of the change. If a numbered vessel is destroyed, stolen, or abandoned, the owner should report it to your State Marine Board within 30 days. If stolen, first report it to the local sheriff’s department so that a case number can be issued before reporting the theft to the State Marine Board.

If you lose or destroy your Certificate of Title, Certificate of Number, or decal, you must apply to for a duplicate and submit a processing fee. Larger recreational vessels owned by U.S. citizens may at the option of the owner, apply for a U.S. Coast Guard "Certificate of Documentation" in lieu of an title. A documented recreational vessels still requires state registration.

Hull Identification Number
The Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a unique, 12-digit number assigned by the manufacturer to vessels built after 1972.

Hull Identification Numbers:
Distinguish one vessel from another­ and are engraved in the fiberglass or on a metal plate permanently attached to the transom. You should write down your HIN and put it in a place separate from your vessel in case warranty problems arise or your vessel is stolen. Altered, improper, or missing Hull Identification Numbers may be cause for marine enforcement officers to seize your vessel.

A Hull Identification Number is required before a vessel can be sold. Your State Marine Board will assign a HIN for a home-built vessel or for an older vessel that does not have a HIN. Check with your Marine Board for requirements and information.