H. B. 2247

(By Delegates Warner and Love)

(Originating in the Committee on Finance)

[February 17, 1995]

A BILL to amend and reenact sections eleven, twelve and twelve-a, article seven, chapter twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to establishing a three-year registration period for motorboats; establishing a fee of fifteen dollars for the three-year registration period; providing that motorboats propelled by a motor of seven or less horsepower shall be exempt from registration; and providing that the assessor shall be furnished boat registration if the cost price of the vessel exceeds five hundred dollars or the cost of the motor exceeds two hundred fifty dollars.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections eleven, twelve and twelve-a, article seven, chapter twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

§20-7-11. Motorboats and other terms defined.
As used in this section and subsequent sections of this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(1) "Vessel" means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water;
(2) "Motorboat" means any vessel propelled by an electrical, steam, gas, diesel or other fuel propelled or driven motor, whether or not such the motor is the principal source of propulsion, but shall not include a vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the bureau of customs of the United States government or any federal agency successor thereto;
(3) "Owner" means a person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a motorboat. The term includes a person entitled to the use or possession of a motorboat subject to an interest in another person, reserved or created by agreement and securing payment or performance of an obligation, but the term excludes a lessee under a lease not intended as security;
(4) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department division of motor vehicles; and
(5) "Director" means the director of the department division of natural resources.
§20-7-12. Motorboat identification numbers required;

application for numbers; fee; displaying; reciprocity; change of ownership; conformity with United States regulations; records; renewal of certificate; transfer of interest, abandonment, etc.; change of address; unauthorized numbers; information to be furnished assessors.

Every motorboat, as herein defined, operating upon public waters within the territorial limits of this state, shall be numbered as herein provided:
(a) The owner of each motorboat requiring numbering by this state shall file an application for a number with the commissioner on forms approved by the department division of motor vehicles. The application shall be signed by the owner of the motorboat and shall be accompanied by a fee of five fifteen dollars for a three-year registration period if propelled by a motor of three seven or more horsepower. The fee may be prorated by the commissioner for periods of less than three years. There shall be no fee for motorboats propelled by motors of less than three seven horsepower. All such fees, including those received under subdivision subsection (b) of this section, shall be deposited in the state treasury, and fifty percent shall be credited to the department division of motor vehicles and shall be used and paid out upon order of the commissioner solely for the administration of the certificate of number system. The remaining fifty percent shall be credited to the department division of natural resources and shall be used and paid out upon order of the director solely for the enforcement and safety education of the state boating system. Upon receipt of the application in approved form, the commissioner shall enter the same upon the records of the department division and issue to the applicant a number awarded to the motorboat and the name and address of the owner. The owner shall paint on or attach to each side of the bow of the motorboat the identification number in such the manner as may be prescribed by rules and regulations of the commissioner in order that it may be clearly visible. The number shall be maintained in legible condition. The certificate of number shall be pocket size and shall be available at all times for inspection on the motorboat for which issued, whenever such the motorboat is in operation.
(b) In order to permit a motorboat sold to a purchaser by a dealer to be operated pending receipt of the certificate of number from the commissioner, the commissioner may deliver to dealers, upon application therefor and payment of one dollar for each, temporary certificates of number to in turn be issued to purchasers of motorboats. Every person who is issued a temporary certificate by a dealer shall, under the provisions of subdivision subsection (a) of this section, apply for an annual a certificate of number no later than ten days from the date of issuance of the temporary certificate. A temporary certificate shall expire upon receipt of the annual certificate, upon recision of the contract to purchase the motorboat in question or upon the expiration of forty days from the date of issuance, whichever shall first occur. It is unlawful for any dealer to issue any temporary certificate knowingly containing any misstatement of fact, or knowingly to insert any false information on the face thereof. The commissioner may by rule or regulation prescribe such additional requirements upon such the dealers and purchasers as are consistent with the effective administration of this section.
(c) The owner of any motorboat already covered by a number in full force and effect which has been awarded to it pursuant to then operative federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state shall record the number prior to operating the motorboat on the waters of this state in excess of the sixty-day reciprocity period provided for in section fourteen of this article. Such The recordation shall be in the manner and pursuant to procedure required for the award of a number under subdivision subsection (a) of this section, except that no an additional or substitute number shall not be issued.
(d) Should the ownership of a motorboat change, a new application form with fee shall be filed with the commissioner and a new certificate of number shall be awarded in the same manner as provided for in an original award of number.
(e) In the event that an agency of the United States government shall have in force an overall system of identification numbering for motorboats within the United States, the numbering system employed pursuant to this article by the department division of motor vehicles shall be in conformity therewith.
(f) All records of the director made or kept pursuant to this section shall be transferred to the commissioner and shall be maintained as public records.
(g) Such The license shall be valid only until the last day of June for a maximum period of three years. If at the expiration of that date period ownership has remained unchanged, such the owner shall, upon application and payment of the proper annual fee, be granted a renewal of such the certificate of number for an additional one-year three-year period.
(h) The owner shall furnish the commissioner notice of the transfer of all or any part of an interest, other than the creation of a security interest, in a motorboat numbered in this state pursuant to subdivisions subsections (a) and (b) of this section, or of the destruction or abandonment of such the motorboat, within fifteen days thereof. Such The transfer, destruction or abandonment shall terminate the certificate of number for such the motorboat, except that in the case of a transfer of a part interest which does not affect the owner's right to operate such the motorboat, such the transfer shall not terminate the certificate of number.
(i) Any holder of a certificate of number shall notify the commissioner within fifteen days if his or her address no longer conforms to the address appearing on the certificate and shall, as a part of such the notification, furnish the commissioner with his or her new address. The commissioner may provide rules and regulations for the surrender of the certificate bearing the former address and its replacement with a certificate bearing the new address or for the alteration of an outstanding certificate to show the new address of the holder.
(j) No number other than the number awarded to a motorboat or granted reciprocity pursuant to this article shall be painted, attached or otherwise displayed on either side of the bow of such the motorboat.
(k) It shall be the duty of the commissioner on or before the thirtieth day of August of each year, commencing with the year one thousand nine hundred eighty, to forward to the assessor of each county a list of the names and addresses of all persons, firms and corporations owning vessels and operating the same or other boats registered with the commissioner under the provisions of this article. In furnishing this information to each county assessor, the commissioner shall include such the information as to make and model value and cost price of such the vessels and other equipment required to be registered for use by said owner or operator thereof under the provisions of this article: Provided, That the commissioner need not furnish such the information to the assessor if the cost price of such the vessel does not exceed two five hundred dollars or the cost of the motor does not exceed one hundred seventy-five two hundred fifty dollars. In order to deal equitably with overlapping license periods, the commissioner may issue a six months' license from the period January, one thousand nine hundred eighty through June, one thousand nine hundred eighty. The fee shall be one half of the annual fee.
(l) No person shall may operate an unlicensed motorboat upon any waters of this state without first acquiring such the certificate of number or license as required by law.
§20-7-12a. Payment of personal property taxes prerequisite to

application for certificate or renewal of number; duties of assessors; schedule of motorboat values.

Certificates of number and renewals therefor shall not be issued or furnished by the department division of motor vehicles, or any other officer charged with such the duty, unless the applicant therefor furnishes the receipt hereinafter provided to show full payment of the personal property taxes for the calendar year which immediately precedes the calendar year in which application is made on all motorboats which were listed with the department division of motor vehicles in the applicant's name on the tax day for the former calendar year. If the applicant contends that any motorboat so listed was not subject to personal property taxation for that year, he or she shall furnish such the information and evidence as the commissioner of motor vehicles may require to substantiate his or her contention.
The assessor shall require any person having a duty to make a return of property for taxation to him or her to furnish information identifying each motorboat subject to the numbering provisions of this article. When the property taxes on any such the motorboat have been paid, the officer to whom the payment was made shall deliver to the person paying such the taxes a written or printed receipt therefor, and shall retain for his or her records a duplicate of such the receipt. The assessor and sheriff, respectively, shall see that the assessment records and the receipts contain information adequately identifying the motorboat as registered under the provisions of this article. The officer receiving payment shall sign each receipt in his or her own handwriting.
The assessors shall commence their duties hereunder during the tax year one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine and the department division of motor vehicles shall commence its duties hereunder as of the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety.
The state tax commissioner shall annually compile a schedule of motorboat values, based on the lowest values shown in a nationally accepted used motorboat guide, which schedule shall be furnished to each assessor and shall be used by him or her as a guide in placing the assessed values on all motorboats in his or her county.