Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2019 - Leaderboard

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

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
New owners expand 24-hour on-water towing service
Grant & Karla Langheinrich add third location: TowBoatUS Clayton N.Y. Earlier this summer, long-time Central New Yorkers Capt. Grant Langheinrich and his wife, Karla Langheinrich, became owners of two 24-hour on-water towing ports, TowBoatUS Rochester and TowBoatUS Oneida Lake, part of a nationwide network of 300 ports Posted on 31 Aug
BoatUS alert: Boaters need to prepare for Dorian
BoatUS has app to track storm; offers online guides for protecting boats Forecasters say Tropical Storm Dorian is spending more time over the warm waters of the Atlantic gathering strength and could strike the southeastern U.S. coast as a full-blown category 2 hurricane (96-110 mph wind speed) early next week. Posted on 30 Aug
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
Boaters beware: Regular 88 Gas bad for boats
More E15 ethanol fuel available this Labor Day holiday weekend With more ethanol than ever before being served up at the nation's gas station pumps this Labor Day holiday weekend, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) cautions America's recreational boaters to avoid filling up with “Regular 88” fuel Posted on 28 Aug
Want to learn how to boat?
Intro to boating and women making waves offered in Newburyport 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 Freedom Boat Club Newburyport offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses 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
Want to learn how to boat?
Affordable three-hour on-water training courses at Tampa 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 Tampa Boat Show offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses Posted on 3 Aug
Three simple ways to reduce plastic waste
18 billion pounds of plastic is dumped into our oceans from coastal regions Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic is dumped into our oceans from coastal regions. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, at the current rate of pollution, there will be more plastics than fish, by weight, in the ocean Posted on 25 Jul
8 things boaters ought to know
New video outlines unique precautions required when heading offshore to a marine sanctuary The NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries include more than 600,000 square miles of marine protected areas, from the rugged Olympic Peninsula of Washington to the "shipwreck alley" of Michigan's Thunder Bay and the turquoise-hued shallows of the Florida Keys. Posted on 23 Jul
Marina Exchange FOOTER 1Nanni Diesel 2019 FooterMarine Resources 2019 - Footer