Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 29.1. Wildlife, Inland Fisheries and Boating
Chapter 8. Watercraft Dealer Licensing Act
11/28/2022

Article 2. Application, Issuance, Fees, Renewal, Revocation.

§ 29.1-808. Licenses required.

It is unlawful for any person to engage in business in this Commonwealth as a new watercraft dealer, used watercraft dealer, watercraft salesman, watercraft demonstrator, manufacturer, factory branch, distributor, distributor branch, or factory or distributor representative without first obtaining a license as provided in this chapter. If any watercraft dealer acts as a watercraft salesman, he shall obtain a watercraft salesman's license in addition to a watercraft dealer's license. Any watercraft salesman who acts as a watercraft demonstrator shall not be required to obtain an additional license as a watercraft demonstrator. The offering or granting of a watercraft dealer franchise in this Commonwealth shall be deemed the engaging in business in this Commonwealth for purposes of this section, and no new watercraft may be sold or offered for sale in this Commonwealth unless the franchisor of watercraft dealer franchises for that line-make in this Commonwealth (whether such franchisor be a manufacturer, factory branch, distributor, distributor branch, or otherwise) is licensed under this chapter. In the event a license issued under this chapter to a franchisor of watercraft dealer franchises shall be suspended or revoked or shall not be renewed, nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the sale of any new watercraft of such franchisor's line-make, manufactured in or brought into this Commonwealth for sale prior to the suspension, revocation or expiration of the license.

1988, c. 592; 1998, c. 515.

§ 29.1-808.1. Boating safety education required.

It shall be unlawful for any watercraft salesman or watercraft demonstrator to engage in business in this Commonwealth as a watercraft salesman or watercraft demonstrator without first (i) completing successfully a basic boating safety education course approved by the Director or (ii) by December 31, 1998, passing a test approved by the Director; however, any watercraft salesman or demonstrator licensed after December 31, 1998, shall have a period of sixty days from the issuance of his license in which to complete the approved course.

1998, c. 515.

§ 29.1-809. Application for license.

A. Application for license shall be made to the Director at such time and in such form and shall contain such information as the Director shall require. The application shall be accompanied by the required fee. The application shall be accompanied by evidence, that the Director deems proper, showing that the applicant currently holds a valid watercraft titling tax collection certificate, a federal business identification number, a local business license and a dealer certificate of numbers issued by the Department.

B. The Director shall require in such application, or otherwise, information relating to the matters set forth in § 29.1-819 as grounds for the refusing of licenses and to other pertinent matters requisite for the safeguarding of the public interest in the locality in which the applicant proposes to engage in business. If the applicant is a dealer in new watercraft with factory warranties, he shall also include with his application a copy of a current service agreement with the manufacturer or with the distributor, requiring the applicant to perform within a reasonable distance of his established place of business, the service, repair and replacement work required of the manufacturer or distributor by such watercraft warranty. All of this information shall be considered by the Director in determining the fitness of the applicant to engage in the business for which he seeks a license.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-810. Bond of dealer; right of action for fraudulent acts.

A. Before any watercraft dealer's license shall be issued by the Director to any applicant, such applicant shall procure and file with the Director a good and sufficient bond in the amount of $5,000 with corporate surety duly licensed to do business within the Commonwealth, in such form as approved by the Attorney General and conditioned that the applicant shall not practice fraud, make any fraudulent representation or violate any of the provisions of this chapter in the conduct of the business for which he is licensed. The Director may suspend the dealer's license without a hearing for such period as the dealer does not have a good and sufficient bond on file with the Director. Such suspension shall end when the bond is delivered to the Department.

B. If any person shall suffer any loss or damage by reason of any fraud practiced on him or fraudulent representation made to him by a licensed watercraft dealer or one of such dealer's salesmen acting for the dealer or within the scope of the employment of such salesman, or shall suffer any loss or damage by reason of the violation by such dealer or salesman of any of the provisions of this chapter, such person shall have a right of action against such dealer and the sureties upon his bond. Such person may recover such damages, as a court or jury may assess against such dealer as a proximate result of such fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation, from such surety who shall be subrogated to the rights of such person against such dealer.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-811. Issuance, expiration and renewal of dealers' certificates of license.

All dealer certificates of license shall be issued for a period of twelve consecutive months except, at the discretion of the Director, the periods may be adjusted as is necessary to distribute the certificates as equally as practicable on a monthly basis. The expiration date shall be the last day of the twelfth month of validity or the last day of the designated month. Every dealer certificate of license shall be renewed annually upon application by the owner and by payment of fees required by law, and such renewal shall take effect on the first day of the succeeding month.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-812. Supplemental licenses.

A. Subject to the provisions of § 29.1-808, each place of business, operated or proposed to be operated by the licensee, that is not contiguous to other premises for which a license is issued, shall be required to obtain a supplemental license.

B. A permanent supplemental license shall be required for premises more than twenty-five yards from a principal place of business.

C. A temporary supplemental license shall be required to display for sale or sell watercraft at a show, and may be issued for a period not to exceed fourteen days. The temporary supplemental license shall be conspicuously displayed at all premises.

D. An application for a permanent or temporary supplemental license shall specify the location to be occupied by the licensee in conducting such business.

1988, c. 592; 1989, c. 206; 1992, c. 26.

§ 29.1-813. License fees; additional to other licenses and fees required by law.

A. The fee for each license year or part thereof shall be as follows:

1. For watercraft dealers, manufacturers, factory branches, distributors, distributor branches and wholesalers, seventy-five dollars for each principal place of business, plus twenty-five dollars for a supplemental license for each lot more than twenty-five yards distant from a principal place of business.

2. For each temporary supplemental license, twenty-five dollars.

3. For watercraft salesmen or watercraft demonstrators, fifteen dollars.

4. For factory representatives, distributor representatives, or distributor branch representatives, fifteen dollars.

B. The licenses and fees required by this chapter are in addition to licenses, taxes and fees imposed by other provisions of law. Nothing contained in this section or in any other section of this chapter shall be construed as exempting any person, firm or corporation from any license, tax or fee imposed by any other provision of law.

1988, c. 592; 1989, c. 206; 1998, c. 515.

§ 29.1-814. Collection of license fees; appropriation; payments from fund.

All licensing fees shall be collected by the Director as provided in this chapter and by him shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Game Protection Fund and accounted for as a separate part known as the Motorboat and Water Safety Fund for the purpose of administering, enforcing and effectuating the purposes of this chapter.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-815. Locations to be specified, etc.; display of license; change of location.

The licenses of new watercraft dealers, used watercraft dealers, manufacturers, factory branches, distributors and distributor branches shall specify the location of each place of business or branch or other location occupied or to be occupied by the licensee in conducting his business as such. The license or supplemental license issued shall be conspicuously displayed on each of such premises. In the event any such location is changed, the Director shall endorse the change of location on the license, without charge if the new location is within the same political subdivision. A change in location to another political subdivision shall require a new license.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-816. Advertisement.

Unless the watercraft dealer is clearly identified by name, whenever any licensee places an advertisement in any newspaper or publication, the abbreviations "VA DLR," denoting a Virginia licensed dealer, shall appear therein.

1988, c. 592; 1995, c. 376.

§ 29.1-817. Lists of licensed salesmen.

Each dealer shall keep a current list of his licensed salesmen, showing names, addresses and serial numbers of their licenses, posted in a conspicuous place in each place of business.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-818. Licenses of salesmen, etc., to be carried, etc.; change of employer.

Every watercraft dealer, watercraft salesman, watercraft demonstrator, factory representative and distributor representative shall carry his license when engaged in his business and shall display the same upon request. The license shall name his employer and, in the event of a change of employer, he shall immediately mail his license to the Director, who shall endorse such change on the license without a charge.

1988, c. 592; 1998, c. 515.

§ 29.1-819. Grounds for denying, suspending or revoking licenses.

A license may be denied, suspended or revoked on any one or more of the following grounds:

1. Material misstatement in application for license.

2. Willful failure to comply with any provision of this chapter or any lawful regulation promulgated by the Board under this chapter.

3. Being a watercraft dealer, failure to have an established place of business as defined in § 29.1-801.

4. Willfully defrauding any retail buyer, to the buyer's damage, or any other person in the conduct of the licensee's business.

5. Employment of fraudulent devices, methods or practices in connection with compliance with the requirements under the statutes of this Commonwealth with respect to the retaking of watercraft under retail installment contracts and the redemption and resale of such watercraft.

6. Having used unfair methods of competition or unfair deceptive acts or practices.

7. Knowingly advertising by any means any assertion, representation or statement of fact which is untrue, misleading or deceptive in any particular relating to the conduct of the business licensed or for which a license is sought.

8. Having been convicted of any fraudulent act in connection with the business of selling watercraft.

9. Having been convicted of a crime involving the acquisition or transference of title to a watercraft.

10. Willfully retaining title to a watercraft that has not been completely and legally assigned.

11. Failure to submit to the Director any application or fees collected for the Department on behalf of the buyer within thirty days of receipt.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-820. Action upon applications; hearing upon denial; denial for failure to have established place of business.

A. The Director shall act upon all applications for a license within thirty days after receipt of all required applications, documents and fees by either granting or refusing the same. Any applicant denied a license shall, upon his written request filed within thirty days, be given a hearing at such time and place as determined by the Director or person designated by him. All such hearings shall be public and shall be held with reasonable promptness. The applicant may be represented by counsel.

B. Any applicant denied a license for failure to comply with the definition of an established place of business may not, nor shall anyone, apply for a license for such premises, for which a license was denied, until the expiration of sixty days from the date of the rejection of such application.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-821. Suspension, revocation and refusal to renew licenses; notice and hearing.

Except as provided in § 29.1-810, no license shall be suspended or revoked, or renewal refused, until a written copy of the complaint made has been furnished to the licensee against whom the same is directed and a public hearing thereon has been had before the Director. At least ten days' written notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given to the licensee by registered mail addressed to his last known post office address or as shown on his license or other record of information in possession of the Director. At any such hearing the licensee shall have the right to be heard personally or by counsel. After the hearing, the Director shall have power to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew, the license in question. Immediate notice of any such action shall be given to the licensee in the manner herein provided in the case of notices of hearing.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-822. Acts of officers, directors, partners and salesmen.

If a licensee is a partnership or corporation, it shall be sufficient cause for the denial, suspension or revocation of a license that any officer, director or trustee of the partnership or corporation, or any member in the case of a partnership, has committed any act or omitted any duty which would be cause for refusing, suspending or revoking a license to such party as an individual. Each licensee shall be responsible for the acts of any or all of his salesmen while acting as his agent, if such licensee approved of or had knowledge of such acts or other similar acts and after such approval or knowledge retained the benefit, proceeds, profits or advantages accruing from such acts or otherwise ratified the acts.

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-823. Appeals from actions of the Director; generally.

Any person aggrieved by the action of the Director in refusing to grant or renew a license or in suspending or revoking a license, or by any other action of the Director which is alleged to be improper, unreasonable or unlawful under the provisions of this chapter is entitled to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

1988, c. 592.

§ 29.1-824. Appeals to Court of Appeals; bond.

Either party may appeal from the decision of the court to the Court of Appeals. Such appeals shall be taken and prosecuted in the same manner and with like effect as is provided by law in other cases appealed as a matter of right to the Court of Appeals.

1988, c. 592; 1996, c. 573.

§ 29.1-825. Equitable remedies not impaired.

The remedy at law provided by §§ 29.1-823 and 29.1-824 shall not in any manner impair the right to applicable equitable relief. Such right to equitable relief is hereby preserved, notwithstanding the provisions of such sections.

1988, c. 592.