1547.531 Registration and documentation - exemptions.

(A)

(1) Except as provided in division (A)(2) or (B) of this section, no person shall operate or give permission for the operation of any watercraft on the waters in this state unless the watercraft is registered in the name of the current owner in accordance with section 1547.54 of the Revised Code, and the registration is valid and in effect.

(2) On and after January 1, 1999, if a watercraft that is required to be issued a certificate of title under Chapter 1548. of the Revised Code is transferred to a new owner, it need not be registered under section 1547.54 of the Revised Code for forty-five days following the date of the transfer, provided that the new owner purchases a temporary watercraft registration under division (A) of this section or holds a bill of sale from a watercraft dealer.

For the purposes of division (A)(2) of this section, a temporary watercraft registration or a bill of sale from a watercraft dealer shall contain at least all of the following information:

(a) The hull identification number or serial number of the watercraft;

(b) The make of the watercraft;

(c) The length of the watercraft;

(d) The type of propulsion, if any;

(e) The state in which the watercraft principally is operated;

(f) The name of the owner;

(g) The address of the owner, including the zip code;

(h) The signature of the owner;

(i) The date of purchase;

(j) A notice to the owner that the temporary watercraft registration expires forty-five days after the date of purchase of the watercraft or that the watercraft cannot be operated on the waters in this state solely under the bill of sale beginning forty-five days after the date of purchase of the watercraft, as applicable.

(3) A person may purchase a temporary watercraft registration from the chief of the division of watercraft or from an authorized agent designated under section 1547.54 of the Revised Code. The chief shall furnish forms for temporary watercraft registrations to authorized agents. In addition to completing the registration form with the information specified in divisions (A)(2)(a) to (i) of this section, the person shall pay one of the applicable fees required under divisions (A)(2)(a) to (g) of section 1547.54 of the Revised Code as provided in that section.

Moneys received for the payment of temporary watercraft registrations shall be deposited to the credit of the waterways safety fund created in section 1547.75 of the Revised Code.

(4) In addition to the applicable fee required under division (A)(3) of this section, the chief or an authorized agent shall charge an additional writing fee of three dollars for a temporary watercraft registration that the chief or the authorized agent issues. When the temporary watercraft registration is issued by an authorized agent, the agent may retain the additional writing fee. When the temporary watercraft registration is issued by the chief, the additional writing fee shall be deposited to the credit of the waterways safety fund.

(5) A person who purchases a temporary watercraft registration for a watercraft and who subsequently applies for a registration certificate under section 1547.54 of the Revised Code need not pay the fee required under division (A)(2) of that section for the initial registration certificate issued for that watercraft, provided that at the time of application for the registration certificate, the person furnishes proof of payment for the temporary watercraft registration.

(6) A person who purchases a temporary watercraft registration, who subsequently applies for a registration certificate under section 1547.54 of the Revised Code, and who is exempt from payment for the registration certificate under division (P) of that section may apply to the chief for a refund of the amount paid for the temporary watercraft registration at the time that the person applies for a registration certificate. The chief shall refund that amount upon issuance to the person of a registration certificate.

(7) All records of the division of watercraft made or maintained for the purposes of divisions (A)(2) to (8) of this section are public records. The records shall be available for inspection at reasonable hours and in a manner that is compatible with normal operations of the division.

(8) Pursuant to division (A)(1) of section 1547.52 of the Revised Code, the chief may adopt rules establishing all of the following:

(a) Record-keeping requirements governing the issuance of temporary watercraft registrations and the use of bills of sale from watercraft dealers for the purposes of division (A)(2) of this section;

(b) Procedures and requirements for the refund of fees under division (A)(6) of this section;

(c) Any other procedures and requirements necessary for the administration and enforcement of divisions (A)(2) to (8) of this section.

(B) All of the following watercraft are exempt from registration:

(1) Those that are exempt from numbering by the state under divisions (B) to (G) of section 1547.53 of the Revised Code;

(2) Those that have been issued a commercial documentation by the United States coast guard or its successor and are used exclusively for commercial purposes;

(3) Those that have been documented by the United States coast guard or its successor as temporarily transitting, 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.

(C) No person shall operate a watercraft documented by the United States coast guard or its successor unless the certificate of documentation is valid, is on the watercraft for which it has been issued, and is available for inspection whenever the watercraft is in operation. In accordance with 46 C.F.R. part 67, as amended, the watercraft shall display the official number, the vessel name, and the home port listed on the certificate of documentation.

(D)

(1) For the purposes of this section and section 1547.53 of the Revised Code, a watercraft is principally using the waters in this state if any of the following applies:

(a) The owner resides in this state and declares that the watercraft principally is using the waters in this state.

(b) The owner resides in another state, but declares that the watercraft principally is using the waters in this state.

(c) The watercraft is registered in another state or documented by the United States coast guard and is used within this state for more than sixty days regardless of whether it has been assigned a seasonal or permanent mooring at any public or private docking facility in this state.

(2) Notwithstanding division (D)(1)(c) of this section, a person on active duty in the armed forces of the United States may register a watercraft in the person's state of permanent residence in lieu of registering it in this state regardless of the number of days that the watercraft is used in this state.

Cite as R.C. § 1547.531

History. Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 7/17/2009.

Effective Date: 07-05-2002