Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 29.1. Wildlife, Inland Fisheries and Boating
Chapter 7. Boating Laws
7/31/2021

§ 29.1-733.6. Certificate of title required.

A. No person shall operate a watercraft subject to titling under this chapter unless the owner has applied to the Department for a certificate of title for the watercraft or has been issued a valid temporary registration certificate as provided for in § 29.1-703.1. Except as otherwise provided in subsections B through E, the owner of a watercraft for which Virginia is the state of principal use shall deliver to the Department an application for a certificate of title for the watercraft, with the applicable fee, not later than 20 days after the later of:

1. The date of a transfer of ownership; or

2. The date Virginia becomes the state of principal use.

B. An application for a certificate of title is not required for:

1. A documented vessel;

2. A foreign-documented vessel;

3. A barge;

4. A watercraft before delivery if the watercraft is under construction or completed pursuant to contract; or

5. A watercraft held by a dealer for sale or lease.

C. A dealer transferring a watercraft required to be titled under this article shall assign the title to the new owner or, in the case of a new watercraft, assign the certificate of origin. The dealer shall forward all fees and applications to the Department within 20 days of sale. Each dealer shall maintain a record for six years of any watercraft he bought, sold, exchanged, or received for sale or exchange. This record shall be available for inspection by Department representatives during reasonable business hours.

D. No dealer shall purchase or acquire a new watercraft without obtaining from the seller a certificate of origin. No manufacturer, importer, dealer, or other person shall sell or otherwise dispose of a new watercraft to a dealer for purposes of display and resale without delivering to the dealer a certificate of origin. The certificate of origin shall be a uniform or standardized form prescribed by the Department and shall contain:

1. On the front, a description of the watercraft including its trade name, if any, year, series or model, body type, and manufacturer's serial number; certification of date of transfer of watercraft and name and address of transferee; certification that this was the transfer of watercraft in ordinary trade and commerce; and the signature and address of a representative of the transferor; and

2. On the reverse side, an assignment form, including the name and address of the transferee, a certification that the watercraft is new, and a warranty that the title at the time of delivery is subject only to such liens and encumbrances as set forth and described in full in the assignment.

E. The Department shall not issue, transfer, or renew pursuant to the requirements of 46 U.S.C. § 12301, as amended, a certificate of number for a watercraft unless the Department has created a certificate of title for the watercraft or an application for a certificate for the watercraft and the applicable fee have been delivered to the Department. Any owner of a watercraft that was not previously required to be titled and whose certificate of number expires after January 1, 1998, shall apply for a certificate of title at the time of renewal of the certificate of number.

2013, c. 787.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.