Every watercraft operated on the waters in this state shall be numbered by this state in accordance with federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state. A watercraft numbered by this state shall display the number on the watercraft as provided in section 1547.57 of the Revised Code. Watercraft exempt from numbering by the state are:
(A) Those currently documented by the United States coast guard or its successor;
(B) Those whose principal use is not on the waters in this state and that have not been used within this state for more than sixty days and have a valid number assigned under a federally approved numbering system by another state if the number is displayed in accordance with the requirements of that system and the certificate of number is available for inspection whenever the watercraft is on waters in this state;
(C) Those from a country other than the United States, temporarily using the waters in this state;
(D) Those whose owner is the United States, a state, or a political subdivision of a state, that fit either of the following descriptions, and that are clearly identifiable as such:
(1) A powercraft that principally is used for governmental purposes other than recreational purposes;
(2) A watercraft other than a powercraft.
(E) A ship's lifeboat. As used in this division, "lifeboat" means a watercraft that is held aboard another vessel and used exclusively for emergency purposes.
(F) Those that have been exempted from numbering by the chief of the division of watercraft after the chief has found that the numbering of the watercraft will not materially aid in their identification and, if an agency of the United States has a numbering system applicable to the watercraft, after the chief has further found that they also would be exempt from numbering by the United States government if they were subject to the federal law;
(G) Those temporarily using the waters in this state under a waiver issued by the chief to an organization sponsoring a race, regatta, or special event. The chief may issue a waiver upon application by the sponsoring organization at least fifteen days before the date of the proposed race, regatta, or special event. The waiver shall be effective for ten days including the day or days of the proposed race, regatta, or special event. Such a waiver does not obviate the need for compliance with section 1547.20 of the Revised Code.
(H) Canoes, rowboats, and inflatable watercraft that are registered under section 1547.54 of the Revised Code and that an owner, in accordance with this division, chooses not to have numbered under this section. An owner of a canoe, rowboat, or inflatable watercraft may choose to do either of the following:
(1) Have it numbered under this section, pay a lesser registration fee under division (A)(2)(a) of section 1547.54 of the Revised Code, and obtain square tags under division (A) of section 1547.57 of the Revised Code;
(2) Not have it numbered under this section, pay a higher registration fee under division (A)(2)(b) of section 1547.54 of the Revised Code, and obtain a rectangular tag under division (C) of section 1547.57 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 07-05-2002