Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden

What everyone ought to know about the new Florida boat title law

by Scott Croft 3 Jul 06:27 PDT
In Florida, salvaged recreational vessels will now have “branded” titles. © Scott Croft

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' recent signing of a recreational boat title bill, the Uniform Certificate of Title Act (HB 475/S 676), offers recreational boat owners valuable consumer protections and may spur other states to follow suit, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).

The legislation protects consumers from unwittingly purchasing a stolen or storm-tossed boat that has suffered significant hurricane damage by creating a uniform boat titling system that is recognized nationwide as well by the U.S. Coast Guard. Boats that are repaired and later put up for sale will now have titles clearly labeled as such.

"While all states have motor vehicle title laws, these do not apply to recreational boats," explains BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. "This legislation institutionalizes several consumer protection mechanisms that are already commonplace for motor vehicles. These include clear labeling of significant structural damage on vessel titles, creating a uniform system to identify legitimate vessel owners/lien-holders, and better ways to prevent the sale of stolen boats."

Added Kennedy, "By 'branding' the titles of vessels that suffer significant damage, buyers will be made aware of material information that could affect a vessel's condition. It's not designed to stop a sale. It's to give buyers the true condition of the vessel they are interested in purchasing and helps them make smart purchases."

While the legislation offers benefits to boaters residing in Florida due to the high number of boats there, it also has repercussions beyond the state's borders. Florida is ranked No. 1 in the nation for recreational boat registrations with 918,255 registered vessels, according to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard data available. "With a boat registered in Florida that's later moved to another titled state and sold, the new owner will also benefit from knowing the boat's history," added Kennedy. "And it will be much harder to unload boats that are stolen in Florida and later fraudulently sold out of state."

BoatUS advocated for the new law, which is based on model legislation developed by the Uniform Law Commission. Currently, 10 states still do not issue vessel titles, making it easier for thieves to sell a stolen boat using a fraudulent bill of sale or forged registration document. BoatUS supports uniform boat titling in all states.

Related Articles

Boaters: Planning that long trip?
'Cruising Boats and Systems' newest online course from America's Boating Club and BoatUS Foundation Whether you're looking to charter this winter season or planning your first cruise aboard your own vessel, the new online course, "Cruising Boats and Systems," will help you have a safer and more enjoyable cruise. Posted today at 3:44 pm
Want to learn how to boat?
Courses for beginners, women, plus the 'spectator sport' of boating: Precision Docking Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your behind-the-helm skills? Posted today at 1:25 pm
The secrets of a stormproof marina
Four signs to look for in a hurricane-safe marina The statistics prove that hauling your boat out of the water and storing it ashore before a hurricane strikes greatly lowers the chance you'll need to file an insurance claim after the storm passes. Posted on 11 Sep
Want to learn how to boat?
Affordable 3-hour on-water training courses at the Norwalk Boat Show Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Norwalk Boat Show and Freedom Boat Club Connecticut offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training Posted on 29 Aug
Sea Scout Ship takes top honors
Southern Virginia Sea Scout Ship wins National Award sponsored by BoatUS With about 4,500 teens participating across the U.S., Sea Scouting is a specialized, co-educational program from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) that improves youth boating skills with on-water practice, outdoor, social, and service experiences Posted on 29 Aug
Additional review of offshore wind projects
BoatUS: What makes saltwater vs. freshwater offshore wind farms different? A recent move by the federal government to expand the environmental review of the first major offshore wind farm in the U.S., Vineyard Wind, and the “cumulative impact” of offshore wind projects off the Atlantic Coast has left some in the Great Lakes Posted on 24 Aug
BoatUS offers updated Hurricane Preparation Guide
Who else wants to protect their boat from hurricane damage? If you want to know how to best protect recreational boats from damage in a hurricane, ask the experts who've been tasked with cleaning up the mess for nearly 40 years. Posted on 22 Aug
Rep. Derek Kilmer to speak at BoatUS Town Hall
Recreational boating topics will be on the agenda Boat Owners Association of The United States, together with the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) and the National Association of Marine Manufacturers (NMMA) are co-hosting a recreational boater's town hall event featuring special guest Rep. Posted on 3 Aug
Chris Edmonston elected chairman of SFBPC
The council advises the U.S. Secretary of the Interior on fishing and boating Edmonston and the council will work on items such as improving access to recreational activities on America's waters, conserving fisheries and waterways, combating invasive species, and a wide array of other topics that impact boating and fishing. Posted on 19 Jul
Want to learn how to boat?
Learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club San Diego offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats Posted on 26 Jun
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterRS Sailing 2019 - FooterZhik 2018 Kollition 728x90 BOTTOM