Skip to Content

General Laws

Section 36. (a) For purposes of this section the following terms shall have the following meanings:

“Titled motorboat”, any vessel of fourteen feet or greater in length propelled or designed to be propelled by machinery, whether or not such machinery is permanently or temporarily affixed or is the principal source of propulsion, but not 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.

“Dealer”, a person, firm, corporation or entity engaged in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging titled motorboats at an established or permanent place of business in this commonwealth and that at each such place maintains: (1) a sign conspicuously displayed showing the name of the dealership so that it may be located by the public and (2) sufficient space for an office and display of production.

“Manufacturer”, any person, firm, corporation or entity engaged in the business of manufacturing new titled motorboats for the purpose of sale or trade.

“New”, used to describe a title motorboat after its manufacture and prior to its sale or transfer to a person not a manufacturer or dealer as evidenced by the issuance of a certificate of title for such titled motorboat.

(b) Ownership of a titled motorboat shall be evidenced by a certificate of title issued by the division or, if new, by a manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate on a form prescribed by the division. Ownership of any other vessel may but need not be evidenced by a certificate of title, or, if new, by a manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in section 9-308(e) of chapter 106, no person may sell, assign, transfer, or otherwise dispose of an interest in a titled motorboat without (1) delivering to the transferee a certificate of title in the name of the transfer or properly endorsed to show the transfer, or (2) if the transferee is not a manufacturer or dealer and the titled motorboat is new, delivering to the division a manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate showing the endorsement of the manufacturer and all intervening owners, or (3) if the transferee is a manufacturer or dealer and the titled motorboat is new, delivering to the transferee a manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate showing the endorsement of the manufacturer and all intervening owners, or (4) if the titled motorboat is not covered by a certificate of title or manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate, delivering to the division or to the transferee sufficient evidence of title and other information so that a certificate of title will be issued thereto to the transferee. Except as otherwise provided in section 9-308(e) of chapter 106, no person shall acquire an interest in a titled motorboat until a certificate of title to the titled motorboat has been issued in the name of such person, or if such person is a dealer or manufacturer and the titled motorboat is new, until the manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate is properly endorsed showing the signature of the manufacturer and all intervening owners.

(d) Application for a certificate of title shall be made to the division on forms it prescribes showing, among other items, the name and address of the owner, a description of the titled motorboat (including, as appropriate, its manufacturer’s or builder’s number, hull identification number (HIN), motor number, outdrive number, horsepower), name and address of purchaser and date of purchase, name and address of any holder of a security interest and such other information as the division may prescribe. The application shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee and by such evidence as the division shall reasonably require to establish that the applicant or other person is entitled to a certificate of title or a noted security interest. Such evidence may include a certificate of title issued by another state or jurisdiction, manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate, bill of sale, assignment, contract, promissory note, security agreement, invoice, bill of lading, affidavit, probate or heirship proceedings or information, judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction, or their documents. Every manufacturer or dealer selling or exchanging a titled motorboat to a person not a manufacturer or dealer shall make application for a certificate of title in the name of the purchaser or transferee. In all other cases the purchaser shall make the application for a certificate of title. The application shall be made within twenty days after the date of sale of the titled motorboat. If a dealer acquires a titled motorboat for which a then currently valid certificate of title is issued, the dealer need not secure a certificate of title in his name but may apply for a certificate of title in the name of the person, other than another dealer, to whom he subsequently sells or otherwise transfers the titled motorboat, submitting the certificate of title with an appropriate assignment endorsement.

(e) The certificate of title issued by the division shall contain the name and address of the owner of the titled motorboat, the name of each holder of any security interest therein, a description of the titled motorboat, and shall be in a form prescribed by the division. If there is no security interest held in the titled motorboat, the original certificate of title, marked, “Original”, shall be delivered to the owner and a copy retained by the division. If there is a security interest held, the original certificate marked “Original”, shall be sent to the first lien holder and the duplicate original, marked “Duplicate Original”, shall be delivered to the owner and a copy retained by the division. Title may be transferred only by surrender of the “Original” certificate of title properly endorsed to show the transfer.

(f) The manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate shall include the information required by subsection (d) for certificates of title, shall certify to the manufacturer or other origin of the titled motorboat, shall be signed by the manufacturer or the equivalent thereof, and shall show thereon the endorsement of the original and each subsequent transferee thereof including the applicant for the certificate of title. No lien, encumbrance, or security interest or security agreement shall be shown thereon. Any security interest, encumbrance or other lien may be perfected as provided by chapter one hundred and six of the General Laws prior to the issuance of a certificate of title.

(g) The provision of subsections (d), (e) and (f) shall apply to the issuance of certificates of title or manufacturer’s or importer’s certificates for those vessels for which a certificate of title or a manufacturer’s or importer’s certificate may but need not be issued under subsection (b).

(h) A certificate of title shall be required as proof of ownership of a titled motorboat on an application for registration as required by this chapter unless a certificate of title has not otherwise been required by the terms of this section. A certificate of title may be cancelled by the division for due cause under law.

(i) (1) If ownership of a title motorboat is transferred by operation of law, such as inheritance, order in bankruptcy, insolvency, replevin, or execution sale, the transferee, within thirty days after acquiring the right to possession of the titled motorboat by operation of law, shall provide to the division such proof of the right to possession as requires, together with an application for a new certificate of title and the required fee. (2) If a lien holder repossesses a titled motorboat by operation of law and holds it for resale, such person shall secure a new certificate of title and shall pay the required fee.

(j) The fees for the issuance of certificates of title and the notation of a security interest or other lien or encumbrance shall be fifteen dollars; subject to biannual review by the division. Any alterations in the fee recommended by the division are subject to approval by the house and senate committees on ways and means.

(k) No person shall possess or sell a titled motorboat without an original title or a legally transferred title. Persons in violation of this subsection shall be fined one hundred dollars for the first offense. For any subsequent offense, the offender shall be fined an amount not less than two hundred and fifty dollars but not more than five hundred dollars.

(l) No person shall falsify a motorboat title or sell a motor boat with a falsified title. Persons in violation of this section shall be fined five hundred dollars for the first offense. For any subsequent offense, the offender shall be fined an amount not less than one thousand dollars but not more than two thousand dollars.

(m) A security interest in a motorboat for which a certificate of title is issued under this section is perfected by the delivery to the division of the existing certificate of title, if any, an application for a certificate of title containing the name and address of the secured party, any other information required by the division under subsection (d), and the required fee. The security interest is perfected as of the later of the time of delivery and the time of attachment of the security interest.

Error