Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 3.5. REGISTRATION AND TRANSFER OF VESSELS [9840 - 9928]

  ( Division 3.5 added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1428. )

CHAPTER 2. Registration [9850 - 9880]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1428. )

9850.
  

Every undocumented vessel using the waters or on the waters of this state shall be currently numbered. No person shall operate nor shall any county, city, or political subdivision give permission for the operation of any undocumented vessel on those waters unless the undocumented vessel is numbered in accordance with this chapter, or in accordance with applicable federal law, or in accordance with a federally approved numbering system of another state, and unless (1) the certificate of number issued to such undocumented vessel is in full force and effect, and (2) the identifying number set forth in the certificate of number is displayed on each side of the bow of the undocumented vessel for which the identifying number was issued.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 298, Sec. 2.)

9851.
  

The department may adopt rules and regulations for the registration of undocumented vessels belonging to the state, local public agencies, or to the United States without payment of fees specified in this code, except fees for duplicate certificates of ownership, duplicate certificates of number, or substitute current year registration stickers. Any vessel owned by the Department of Boating and Waterways is exempt from any fees specified in this division.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 951, Sec. 1. Operative July 1, 1991, by Sec. 5 of Ch. 951.)

9852.
  

The department shall promulgate rules and regulations setting forth requirements relative to establishing proof of ownership to be submitted by the owner at the time of filing initial application for a certificate of number and a certificate of ownership. The issuance of a certificate of ownership or certificate of number under this chapter shall not in any way be construed that the department is warranting or guaranteeing the title of the vessel as it appears on such certificates.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 759.)

9852.5.
  

Ownership of an undocumented vessel subject to registration may be held by two or more coowners as follows:

(a) A vessel may be registered in the names of two or more persons as coowners in the alternative by the use of the word “or.” A vessel so registered in the alternative shall be deemed to be held in joint tenancy. Each coowner shall be deemed to have granted to the other coowners the absolute right to dispose of the title and interest in the vessel. Upon the death of a coowner the interest of the decedent shall pass to the survivor as though title or interest in the vessel was held in joint tenancy unless a contrary intention is set forth in writing upon the application for registration.

(b) A vessel may be registered in the names of two or more persons as coowners in the alternative by the use of the word “or” and if declared in writing upon the application for registration by the applicants to be community property, or tenancy in common, shall grant to each coowner the absolute power to transfer the title or interest of the other coowners only during the lifetime of such coowners.

(c) A vessel may be registered in the names of two or more persons as coowners in the conjunctive by the use of the word “and” and shall thereafter require the signature of each coowner or his personal representative to transfer title to the vessel, except where title to the vessel is set forth in joint tenancy, the signature of each coowner or his or her personal representative shall be required only during the lifetime of the coowners, and upon death of a coowner title shall pass to the surviving coowner.

(d) The department may adopt suitable abbreviations to appear upon the certificate of ownership and certificate of number to designate the manner in which title to the vessel is held if set forth by the coowners upon the application for registration.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 982, Sec. 25.)

9852.7.
  

(a) Ownership of an undocumented vessel subject to registration may be held in beneficiary form that includes a direction to transfer ownership of the vessel to a designated beneficiary on death of the owner if both of the following requirements are satisfied:

(1) Only one owner is designated.

(2) Only one TOD beneficiary is designated.

(b) Ownership registration and title issued in beneficiary form shall include, after the name of the owner, the words “transfer on death to” or the abbreviation “TOD” followed by the name of the beneficiary.

(c) During the lifetime of the owner, the signature or consent of the beneficiary is not required for any transaction relating to the vessel for which a certificate of ownership in beneficiary form has been issued.

(d) The fee for registering ownership of a vessel in a beneficiary form is ten dollars ($10).

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 1055, Sec. 61. Operative January 1, 1993, by Sec. 64 of Ch. 1055.)

9852.9.
  

(a) On and after July 1, 2008, the form for an initial application for a number prepared by the department pursuant to Section 9853 shall include both of the following:

(1) Checkoff boxes or line alternatives for the retail seller of an undocumented vessel to certify that a sterndrive or inboard vessel that contains a spark-ignition marine engine below 373 kW (500 hp) rated power output that was manufactured on or after January 1, 2008, and a sterndrive or inboard vessel that contains a spark-ignition marine engine with any rated power output that was manufactured on or after January 1, 2009, has a permanently affixed label indicating that the engine meets or exceeds the 2008 California emissions standards required by Section 2442 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations.

(2) A line requiring that an initial application for a vessel described in paragraph (1) be accompanied by the hang tag required by Section 2443.3 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations for the engine described in paragraph (1).

(b) As used in this section, “spark-ignition marine engine” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 9853.7.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 609, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2008. Operative July 1, 2008, by Sec. 4 of Ch. 609.)

9853.
  

(a) The owner of each vessel requiring numbering by this state shall file an initial application for a number with the department or with an agent authorized by the department on forms approved by the department. The forms shall be prepared in cooperation with the Division of Boating and Waterways. The application shall contain the true name and address of the owner and of the legal owner, if any, and the hull identification number of the vessel as may be required by the department. The application shall be signed by the owner of the vessel and shall be accompanied by a fee of nine dollars ($9), in addition to the fees required under subdivision (b).

(b) (1) Whenever the fee for original registration of a vessel becomes due between January 1 and December 31 of any even-numbered year, the application shall be accompanied by a fee of ten dollars ($10), in addition to any other fees that are then due and payable.

(2) Whenever the fee for original registration of a vessel becomes due, or is filed with the department, between January 1 and December 31 of any odd-numbered year, the application shall be accompanied by a fee of twenty dollars ($20) in addition to any other fees that are then due and payable.

(c) The department shall additionally collect a quagga and zebra mussel infestation prevention fee in an amount established by the Division of Boating and Waterways pursuant to Section 675 of the Harbors and Navigation Code.

(d) The department shall provide documentation of its administrative costs pursuant to this section to the Division of Boating and Waterways.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 521, Sec. 58. (SB 809) Effective January 1, 2018.)

9853.1.
  

Upon receipt of the application in approved form, the department shall issue a certificate of ownership to the legal owner and a certificate of number to the owner, or both to the owner if there is no legal owner, stating the number issued to the vessel and the name and address of the owner.

(Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 759.)

9853.2.
  

The owner shall paint on or attach to each side of the forward half of the vessel the identification number in such manner as may be prescribed by rules and regulations of the department in order that it may be clearly visible. Any such rules and regulations shall be developed in cooperation with the Department of Boating and Waterways. The number shall be maintained in a legible condition. The certificate of number shall be pocket size and shall be available at all times for inspection on the vessel for which issued, whenever the vessel is in use, except as to those vessels subject to Section 9853.3.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 144, Sec. 206.)

9853.3.
  

The certificate of number for vessels less than 26 feet in length and leased or rented to another for the latter’s noncommercial use of less than 24 hours may be retained on shore by the vessel’s owner or his representative at the place from which the vessel departs or returns to the possession of the owner or his representative. A copy of the lease or rental agreement signed by the owner or his authorized representative and by the person leasing or renting the vessel shall be carried aboard the vessel at all times during use.

(Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 759.)

9853.4.
  

(a) The department may issue one or more stickers, tabs, or other suitable devices to identify vessels as being currently registered. The size, shape, and color of the sticker, tab, or other device and the positioning of the sticker, tab, or other device on the vessel shall be as determined by the department after consultation with the Department of Boating and Waterways, such consultation to consider the responsibilities and duties of the Department of Boating and Waterways as prescribed in the Harbors and Navigation Code.

(b) Whenever the department issues a sticker, tab, or other device pursuant to subdivision (a), the sticker, tab, or device shall only be displayed on the vessel for which it was issued.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 298, Sec. 3.)

9853.5.
  

Upon request, the department shall issue for any power-driven pleasure craft which is constructed of wood and which was constructed prior to December 31, 1942, a special plaque which identifies the craft as a vessel of historical interest. The provisions of this section shall apply to documented as well as undocumented vessels. The size, shape, and content of such plaque and its positioning on the vessel shall be determined by the department after consultation with the Department of Boating and Waterways; provided, that such plaque shall be of a durable material and shall be no smaller than six inches in height and six inches in width. A reasonable fee, as determined by the department, sufficient to support the administration of such program, shall be charged for issuance of the plaque. The plaque shall be valid for the life of the vessel.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 577, Sec. 1.)

9853.6.
  

(a) (1) Beginning July 1, 2008, the fee described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 9853 shall be increased by ten dollars ($10).

(2) Five dollars ($5) of the increase shall be deposited into the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund created by Section 44273 of the Health and Safety Code and five dollars ($5) shall be deposited into the Air Quality Improvement Fund created by Section 44274.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(b) (1) Beginning July 1, 2008, the fee described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 9853 shall be increased by twenty dollars ($20).

(2) Ten dollars ($10) of the increase shall be deposited into the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund created by Section 44273 of the Health and Safety Code and ten dollars ($10) shall be deposited into the Air Quality Improvement Fund created by Section 44274.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2024, deletes or extends that date.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 401, Sec. 39. (AB 8) Effective September 28, 2013. Repealed as of January 1, 2024, by its own provisions.)

9853.7.
  

(a) (1) When the retail seller of an undocumented sterndrive or inboard vessel, that contains a spark-ignition marine engine below 373 kW (500 hp) rated power output that was manufactured on or after January 1, 2008, or contains a spark-ignition marine engine with any rated power output that was manufactured on or after January 1, 2009, files for the purchaser of the vessel the initial application for a number for the vessel, the retail seller shall do both of the following:

(A) Certify on that application, by marking in indelible ink the affirmative checkoff boxes or line alternatives described in subdivision (a) of Section 9852.9, that the spark-ignition marine engine has a permanently affixed label indicating that the engine meets or exceeds the 2008 California emissions standards required by Section 2442 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. The retail seller shall make that certification only after examining the permanently affixed label for the engine and only if the label indicates compliance with Section 2442 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations.

(B) Submit with the application, the hang tag required by Section 2443.3 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations for the engine, after including on the reserved white space of the hang tag, the engine family name, from the permanently affixed engine label, and the serial number of the engine.

(2) If the retail seller does not file for the purchaser of a vessel described in paragraph (1) the initial application for a number for the vessel, the applicant, upon filing an initial application for a number, shall submit the hang tag required by Section 2443.3 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations for the engine. The hang tag shall contain the engine family name, from the permanently affixed engine label, and the serial number of the engine, as inserted by the retail seller of the vessel.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a vessel originally purchased in another state by a resident of that state who subsequently establishes residence in this state and who provides satisfactory evidence to the department, or the department’s agent authorized pursuant to Section 9858, of the previous residence.

(c) The department, and the department’s agent authorized pursuant to Section 9858, shall not number a vessel subject to subdivision (a), unless the retail seller certifies on the initial application for a number filed for the purchaser of the vessel that the spark-ignition marine engine has the label described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) permanently affixed to the engine, or the applicant submits an application that is accompanied by the hang tag required by subdivision (a).

(d) For the purposes of this section, “spark-ignition marine engine” has the same meaning as that term is defined in paragraph (48) of subdivision (a) of Section 2441 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 609, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2008. Operative July 1, 2008, by Sec. 4 of Ch. 609.)

9853.8.
  

(a) This section applies only to a sterndrive or inboard vessel that contains a spark-ignition marine engine below 373 kW (500 hp) rated power output that was manufactured on or after January 1, 2008, or contains a spark-ignition marine engine with any rated power output that was manufactured on or after January 1, 2009.

(b) It is an infraction, punishable by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), for a person to operate an undocumented vessel, requiring numbering by the state, that is not currently numbered by the state, and that does not comply with the emissions standards required by Section 2442 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations.

(c) As used in this section, “spark-ignition marine engine” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 9853.7.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 609, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2008. Operative July 1, 2008, by Sec. 4 of Ch. 609.)

9854.
  

The owner of any vessel already covered by a number in full force and effect which has been issued to it pursuant to then operative federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state shall make application within 30 days after the 90-day reciprocity period provided for in Section 9873. Such application shall be in a manner and pursuant to the procedure required for the issuance of a number under Section 9853.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 618.)

9855.
  

If the ownership of an undocumented vessel changes, the existing certificate of ownership and a new application form accompanied by a fee of fifteen dollars ($15) shall be filed with the department and a new certificate of ownership and a new certificate of number shall be issued in the same manner as provided for in the initial issuance of number and the number shall be reassigned to the new owner.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 951, Sec. 3. Operative July 1, 1991, by Sec. 5 of Ch. 951.)

9856.
  

(a) It is not required that the department issue, or that an application be made for a new certificate of ownership or a new certificate of number, or that the fee prescribed in Section 9855 be paid on transfer of an undocumented vessel to a dealer in the course of his business as is otherwise provided in this division, if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The vessel is held and operated by the dealer only for the purpose of resale in the course of his business.

(2) The dealer has been issued a sales permit by the Board of Equalization covering sale of such property.

(b) The certificate of ownership bearing the endorsement of the transferor to the dealer of a vessel registered pursuant to this section and the certificate of number thereof shall be retained by the dealer until a transfer of the vessel by him. During that time the certificates shall be subject to inspection by the department or other authorized agency. Upon transfer of the vessel by the dealer the certificate of ownership shall be endorsed by the dealer and transfer further accomplished as otherwise provided in this division.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 411, Sec. 3.)

9857.
  

If an agency of the United States government shall have in force an overall system of identification numbering for undocumented vessels within the United States, the numbering system employed pursuant to this chapter shall be in conformity therewith.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1428.)

9858.
  

The department may issue any certificate of ownership and certificate of number or temporary certificate of number directly or the department may authorize any person to act as agent for the issuance of a certificate of number or temporary certificate of number. If a person accepts such authorization, he may be assigned a block of numbers which upon issuance, in conformity with this chapter and with any rules and regulations of the department, shall be valid as if issued directly by the department. Registration of vessels pursuant to the provisions of this code shall be conducted by the department or by any agent authorized by the department to conduct such registration.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1428.)

9858.1.
  

Any documentary preparation charge by an authorized agent of the department shall not exceed twenty dollars ($20).

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1407, Sec. 2.)

9858.5.
  

Any licensed yacht and ship broker acting as an authorized agent of the department may collect use tax on a vessel transfer when applicable, and transmit the use tax and the registration application and applicable fees to the department, or may submit the registration application and applicable fees to the department for collection of any use tax due.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 665, Sec. 2.)

9859.
  

All money received by an agent from the sale of certificates of number or temporary certificates of number and use tax shall be kept separate and apart from any other funds of the agent, and shall at all times belong to the state.

In case of an assignment for the benefit of creditors, receivership, or bankruptcy, the state shall have a preferred claim against the assignee, receiver, or trustee for all moneys owing the state for the sale of certificates as provided in this code and any use tax, and shall not be estopped from asserting such claim by reason of the commingling of funds or otherwise.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 500, Sec. 61. (AB 1059) Effective January 1, 2010.)

9860.
  

(a) Certificates of number shall be renewed before midnight of the expiration date by presentation of the certificate of number last issued for the vessel or by presentation of a potential registration card issued by the department.

(b) The fee for renewal shall be twenty dollars ($20) for each two-year period, and shall accompany the request for renewal.

(c) If the certificate of number and potential registration card are unavailable, the fee specified in Section 9867 shall not be paid.

(d) The department shall additionally collect a quagga and zebra mussel infestation prevention fee in an amount established by the Department of Boating and Waterways pursuant to Section 675 of the Harbors and Navigation Code.

(e) The department shall provide documentation of its administrative costs pursuant to this section to the Department of Boating and Waterways.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 485, Sec. 4. (AB 2443) Effective January 1, 2013.)

9861.
  

All certificates of number expire on December 31 of every odd-numbered year.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 473, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2006.)

9862.
  

(a) If the initial application for a number is not received by the department on or before the date set by the department, a penalty of one-half of the fee shall be assessed. If a certificate of number is not renewed on or before midnight of the expiration date, a penalty of one-half of the fee shall be assessed.

(b)  If any person has received as the transferee of a vessel a properly endorsed certificate of ownership and certificate of number describing that vessel and the transfer fee has not been paid as required by this code within 30 days, a penalty of one-half of the transfer fee specified in Section 9855 shall be assessed.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1352, Sec. 14. Effective September 27, 1990. Applicable from July 1, 1990, pursuant to Sec. 21 of Ch. 1352.)

9862.5.
  

In computing any penalty imposed under this chapter, a fraction of a dollar shall be disregarded unless it equals or exceeds fifty cents ($0.50), in which case it shall be treated as one dollar ($1).

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 825, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2002.)

9863.
  

(a) Except as required under subdivisions (b) and (c), and except moneys collected under Section 9875, fees received pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited in the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund and, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, are continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal years, for the administration of this chapter by the department. Funds in the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund derived pursuant to this chapter in excess of the amount determined by the Director of Finance, from time to time, to be necessary for expenditure for the administration of this chapter, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, are continuously appropriated to the Department of Boating and Waterways, without regard to fiscal years, for expenditure in accordance with Section 663.7 of the Harbors and Navigation Code.

(b) Funds derived from imposition of the biennial registration fee under paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 9853, or under subdivision (b) of Section 9860, shall be distributed as follows:

(1) One-half shall be continuously appropriated pursuant to subdivision (a).

(2) One-half shall be allocated, upon appropriation, to the Department of Boating and Waterways for expenditure in support of programs under the department’s jurisdiction.

(c) Funds derived from the imposition of the quagga and zebra mussel prevention fee under subdivision (c) of Section 9853, or under subdivision (d) of Section 9860, shall be distributed as specified in Section 676 of the Harbors and Navigation Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 485, Sec. 5. (AB 2443) Effective January 1, 2013.)

9864.
  

The owner shall furnish the department notice of the wrecking or dismantling, or the destruction or abandonment of an undocumented vessel within 15 days thereof. The wrecking, dismantling, destruction or abandonment shall terminate the certificate of ownership and certificate of number of such undocumented vessel which if in existence shall be surrendered to the department.

The department, upon receiving notice of the abandonment of an undocumented vessel, or upon an official determination that an undocumented vessel has been abandoned, may order the destruction of such vessel at the expiration of 30 days if an investigation by the department has disclosed that no owner, legal owner, or lienholder claims an interest in the vessel, or if those persons have waived their interest. Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny the legal rights, otherwise provided for by law, of any person claiming an interest in an abandoned vessel if that person notifies the department within the time specified therefor.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 298, Sec. 4.)

9865.
  

Any holder of a certificate of number shall notify the department within 15 days, if his address no longer conforms to the address appearing on the certificate and shall, as part of such notification, furnish the department with his new address. The department may provide for the surrender of the certificate bearing the former address and its replacement with a certificate bearing the new address or for the alteration of an outstanding certificate to show the new address of the holder.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 759.)

9866.
  

No number other than the number issued to an undocumented vessel or granted reciprocity pursuant to this chapter shall be painted, attached, or otherwise displayed on either side of the bow of such undocumented vessel.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1428.)

9867.
  

A fee of fifteen dollars ($15) shall be charged for a duplicate of certificate of number, certificate of ownership, or current year registration stickers.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 951, Sec. 4. Operative July 1, 1991, by Sec. 5 of Ch. 951.)

9867.5.
  

Upon application for transfer of registration pursuant to Section 9917, a fee as specified in Section 9867 shall be paid to the department in addition to the regular transfer fee.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 497.)

9868.
  

Fees received pursuant to this chapter are appropriated for payment of refunds of money received or collected in the payment of fees, permits, or services whenever the fee, permit or service cannot lawfully be issued or rendered to the applicant, and in cases where the payment in whole or in part represents overpayment or payment in duplicate.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1428.)

9869.
  

The department shall transmit information from each initial application and each transfer application or renewal application to the county assessor in the county of residence of the owner of the vessel and to the county assessor in the county in which the vessel is principally kept if other than the county of residence of the owner, if such other county is known to the department. If an application shows that the owner of the vessel has changed his residence from one county to another county or shows that there has been a change in the county in which the vessel is principally kept, the department shall transmit information of the change to the assessor of the county in which the owner of the vessel formerly resided or to the assessor of the county in which the vessel formerly was principally kept. After the department receives a notice pursuant to Section 9864, the department shall transmit information of the destruction or abandonment to the assessor of the county in which the owner of the vessel resides and to the assessor of the county in which the vessel is or was principally kept, if other than the county of residence of the owner, if such other county was known to the department.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1428.)

9870.
  

A nonprofit public benefit corporation governed by the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law (Part 2 (commencing with Section 5110) of Division 2 of Title 1 of the Corporations Code), which purposes relate to promoting the ability of boys and girls to do things for themselves, to train them in scoutcraft and camping, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues, shall not be required to pay the fees provided for in Sections 9853, 9855, and 9860.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 411, Sec. 6.)

9871.
  

Upon application for original registration or transfer of registration of an undocumented vessel, the department may assign an appropriate hull identification number to such vessel whenever there is no hull identification number thereon, or when a hull identification number thereon has been destroyed or obliterated; and such hull identification number shall be permanently marked in an integral part of the hull which is accessible for inspection.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 617, Sec. 2.)

9871.5.
  

Upon application for renewal of registration of an undocumented vessel, the applicant is required to furnish the hull identification number if the records of the department do not contain such number. If the vessel does not have a hull number, the department may assign an appropriate hull identification number.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 617, Sec. 3.)

9872.
  

No person shall intentionally deface, destroy, or alter the hull identification number of a vessel required to be numbered under this chapter without written authorization from the department; nor shall any person place or stamp any serial or other number or mark upon an undocumented vessel which might interfere with identification of the hull identification number. This does not prohibit the restoration by an owner of an original number or mark when the restoration is authorized by the department, nor prevent any manufacturer from placing, in the ordinary course of business, numbers or marks upon new vessels or new parts thereof.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 617, Sec. 4.)

9872.1.
  

(a) No person shall knowingly buy, sell, offer for sale, receive, or have in his or her possession any vessel, or component part thereof, from which the hull identification number has been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed, unless the vessel or component part has attached thereto a hull identification number assigned or approved by the department in lieu of the manufacturer’s number.

(b) Whenever a vessel, or component part thereof, from which the hull identification number has been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed, and which does not have attached thereto an assigned or approved number as described in subdivision (a), comes into the custody of a peace officer, the seized vessel or component part is subject, in accordance with the procedures specified in this section, to impoundment and to such disposition as may be provided by order of a court having jurisdiction. This subdivision does not apply with respect to a seized vessel or component part used as evidence in any criminal action or proceeding.

(c) Whenever a vessel or component part described in subdivision (a) comes into the custody of a peace officer, any person from whom the property was seized, and all claimants to the property whose interest or title is on registration records in the department, shall be notified within five days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, after the seizure, of the date, time, and place of the hearing required in subdivision (e). The notice shall contain the information specified in subdivision (d).

(d) Whenever a peace officer seizes a vessel or component part as provided in subdivision (b), any person from whom the property was seized shall be provided a notice of impoundment of the vessel or component part which shall serve as a receipt and contain the following information:

(1) Name and address of person from whom the property was seized.

(2) A statement that the vessel or component part seized has been impounded for investigation of a violation of this section and that the property will be released upon a determination that the hull identification number has not been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed, or upon the presentation of satisfactory evidence of ownership of the vessel or component part, provided that no other person claims an interest in the property; otherwise, a hearing regarding the disposition of the vessel or component part shall take place in the proper court.

(3) A statement that any person from whom the property was seized, and all claimants to the property whose interest or title is on registration records in the department, will receive written notification of the date, time, and place of the hearing within five days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, after the seizure.

(4) Name and address of the law enforcement agency where evidence of ownership of the vessel or component part may be presented.

(5) A statement of the contents of this section.

(e) A hearing on the disposition of the property shall be held by the superior court within 60 days after the seizure. The hearing shall be before the court without a jury. A proceeding under this section is a limited civil case.

(1) If the evidence reveals either that the hull identification number has not been removed, altered, or destroyed or that the hull identification number has been removed, altered, or destroyed but satisfactory evidence of ownership has been presented to the seizing agency or court, the property shall be released to the person entitled thereto.

(2) If the evidence reveals that the hull identification number has been removed, altered, or destroyed, and satisfactory evidence of ownership has not been presented, the property shall be destroyed, sold, or otherwise disposed of as provided by court order.

(3) At the hearing, the seizing agency shall have the burden of establishing that the hull identification number has been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed and that no satisfactory evidence of ownership has been presented.

(f) Nothing in this section precludes the return of a seized vessel or component part to the owner by the seizing agency following presentation of satisfactory evidence of ownership and, if determined necessary, upon the assignment of an identification number to the vessel or component part by the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 595. Effective January 1, 2003.)

9872.5.
  

No certificate of ownership shall be issued under this chapter for any “amphibious vehicle” for which a certificate of ownership may be issued by the department under other provisions of this code.

For the purposes of this section, an “amphibious vehicle” is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn, both upon water and upon a highway on land.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1439.)

9873.
  

An undocumented vessel shall not be required to be numbered under this chapter if it is:

(a) Already covered by a number in full force and effect which has been issued to it pursuant to federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state; provided, that such undocumented vessel shall be subject to the numbering requirements of this chapter if it has changed its state of principal use and has been within this state for a period in excess of 90 consecutive days.

(b) A vessel from a country other than the United States temporarily using the waters of this state.

(c) A public vessel of the United States, another state or subdivision thereof or municipality of such other state.

(d) A ship’s lifeboat.

(e) Any vessel belonging to a class of boats which has been exempted from numbering by the department after the department has found that the numbering of vessels of such class will not materially aid in their identification; and, if any agency of the federal government has a numbering system applicable to the class of vessels to which the vessel in question belongs, after the department has further found that the vessel would also be exempt from numbering if it were subject to the federal law. An undocumented vessel propelled solely by oars or paddles and an undocumented vessel eight feet or less propelled solely by sail are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 759.)

9874.
  

The department may suspend, cancel, or revoke the registration of a vessel, a certificate of number, sticker, certificate of ownership, or temporary certificate of number in any of the following cases:

(a) When the department is satisfied that the registration or the certificate of number, sticker, certificate of ownership, or temporary certificate of number was fraudulently obtained or erroneously issued.

(b) When the department determines that the required fee has not been paid and the same is not paid upon reasonable notice and demand.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1428.)

9875.
  

Except as provided in Section 40000.8, any person who violates any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation of the department adopted pursuant to this chapter is guilty of an infraction, punishable under Section 42001.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 922, Sec. 6.)

9880.
  

(a) The department shall not renew the certificate of number of, or allow a transfer of any title to or interest in, a vessel if the county tax collector has notified the department pursuant to Section 3205 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, that taxes are delinquent upon the vessel, and the department shall not subsequently issue a certificate of number for, or a new certificate of ownership reflecting a transfer of title to or interest in, that vessel until the department receives a certificate of clearance from the county tax collector that the delinquent taxes have been paid on that vessel or until the county tax collector has provided notice to the department that the delinquency has been satisfied.

(b) The department shall record the notice of delinquent taxes on the vessel. If the department is notified by the county tax collector that the delinquency has been satisfied, the department shall, if all other requirements are satisfied, issue a certificate of number for, or a new certificate of ownership reflecting a transfer of title to or interest in, the vessel. The department shall assess a fee upon each county tax collector in an amount that is sufficient to reimburse the department for its actual costs of administering this section.

(c) Whenever a vessel subject to this section is transferred, or not renewed for 26 months, the department shall notify the county tax collector of that fact.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 546, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 1998.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH