1997 Regular Session
To: Wildlife and Fisheries
By: Senator(s) Hewes
Senate Bill 2611
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO REQUIRE CERTAIN BOATS TO BE REGISTERED FOR CERTIFICATE OF TITLE; TO REQUIRE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE FOR MOTORS; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO ISSUE CERTIFICATES OF TITLE; TO ESTABLISH FEES AND PROCEDURE FOR ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following words, as used in this act, shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Certificate of origin" means the document provided by the manufacturer of a new vessel, or its distributor, which is the only valid indication of ownership between the manufacturer, its distributor, its franchised new vessel dealers and the original purchaser.
(b) "Dealer" means any person engaged wholly or in part in the business of selling or offering for sale, buying or taking in trade for the purpose of resale, or exchanging, displaying, demonstrating or offering for sale vessels or motors, and who receive or expect to receive money, profit or any other thing of value.
(c) "Department" means the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
(d) "Documented vessel" means a vessel documented under 46 U.S.C., Chapter 121.
(e) "Lienholder" means a person holding a security interest.
(f) "Manufacturer" means any person engaged in the manufacture, construction or assembly of vessels, or their importation into the United States, for the purpose of sale or trade.
(g) "Motor" means any type device providing motorized propulsion for vessels operated by any type fuel.
(h) "Operate" means to navigate or otherwise use a vessel.
(i) "Owner" means a person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a vessel or motor. The term includes a person entitled to the use or possession of a vessel or motor subject to an interest in another person, reserved or created by agreement and securing payment of performance of an obligation, but the term excludes a lessee under a lease not intended as security.
(j) "Person" means an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint-stock association or governmental entity and includes a trustee, receiver, assignee or similar representative of any of them.
(k) "Security interest" means an interest which is reserved or created by an agreement which secures payment or performance of an obligation and is valid against third parties generally.
(l) "State of principal operation" means the state on whose waters a vessel is used or to be used most during a calendar year.
(m) "Titling authority" means a state whose vessel titling system has been certified by the Coast Guard as complying with the guidelines for state vessel titling systems listed in 33 CFR, Part 187.
(n) "Use" means to operate, navigate or employ a vessel. A vessel is in use whenever it is upon the water.
(o) "Vessel" means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, that is required to be numbered in accordance with the Mississippi Boating Law, Chapter 21 of Title 59, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 2. (1) Any owner of a vessel principally operated on the waters of the state and required to be numbered may apply to the department for a certificate of title for the vessel or the motor.
(2)(a) The application shall contain the name and mailing address of the owner, and the names and addresses of all persons having any liens or encumbrances upon the vessel or motor in the order of their priority. The application shall contain the signatures of all owners certifying that statements made are true and correct to the best of the applicant's knowledge, information and belief, under penalty of perjury.
(b) Every application for a certificate of title shall contain a description of the vessel or motor to be titled, including the state certificate of number (if previously assigned), hull length, type and principal material of construction, model year, the date of purchase, hull identification number, manufacturer, horse power, serial number and the name and address of the person from whom the vessel or motor was purchased. The application shall contain the date of sale and gross purchase price of the vessel or motor, or the fair market value if no sale immediately preceded the transfer and any additional information the department requires. If the application is made for a vessel or motor previously registered or titled in another state or foreign country, it shall contain this information. The application shall be on forms prescribed and furnished by the department and shall contain any other information required by the department.
(3) If a dealer buys or acquires a used numbered vessel or motor for resale, he shall report the acquisition to the department on forms the department provides, or he may apply for and obtain a certificate of title as provided in this act. If a dealer acquires a new vessel or motor requiring titling for resale, he may apply for and obtain a certificate of title as provided in this act.
Every dealer transferring a vessel or motor requiring titling, as determined by the department, shall assign the title to the new owner, or in the case of a new vessel or motor assign either the certificate of origin or, if titled, the title.
(4) No person may sell, assign or transfer a vessel or motor titled by the department without delivering to the purchaser or transferee a certificate of title with an assignment on it showing title in the purchaser or transferee's name. No person may purchase or otherwise acquire a vessel or motor titled by the department without obtaining a certificate of title for it in his name.
(5) Every certificate of title shall contain the owner's name; the address of the principal place of residence of an individual owner and the address of the principal place of business of an owner that is not an individual, including zip code; date of title issuance; vessel or motor description, including the vessel or motor identification number as described in 33 CFR 187.05, name of manufacturer or model, year built or the model year, vessel length, vessel type, drive or propulsion type, motor horsepower, vessel use, hull material and fuel type; each lienholder's name and address; recording or perfection date of new liens and original recording date of any liens outstanding; and other items as required by the department. Space must also be provided for assignment of interest, with a certification that statements provided on the title assignment are true and correct to the best of the owner's knowledge, under penalty of perjury.
(6) The department shall retain the evidence used to establish the accuracy of the information required for titling purposes, and shall maintain a record of any certificate of title it issues.
SECTION 3. (1) The department may charge a fee not to exceed Ten Dollars ($10.00) to issue a certificate of title; a transfer of title or a duplicate or corrected certificate of title.
(2) The holder of an original title shall apply for a duplicate title within thirty (30) days after, or after the discovery of, the loss, theft, mutilation or destruction of an original certificate of title. The department shall issue a duplicate certificate of title plainly marked "duplicate" across its face upon application by the person entitled to hold the certificate if the department is satisfied that the original certificate has been lost, stolen, mutilated, destroyed or has become illegible. The applicant shall furnish information concerning the original certificate and the circumstances of its loss, theft, mutilation or destruction. Mutilated or illegible certificates shall be returned to the department with the application for a duplicate. If a duplicate certificate of title has been issued and the lost or stolen original is recovered, the original shall be promptly surrendered to the department for cancellation.
SECTION 4. (1) No dealer shall purchase or acquire a new vessel or motor without obtaining from the seller a manufacturer's or importer's certificate of origin. No manufacturer, importer, dealer or other person shall sell or otherwise dispose of a new vessel or motor to a dealer for purposes of resale without delivering to the dealer a manufacturer's or importer's certificate of origin.
(2) The manufacturer's or importer's certificate of origin shall be a uniform or standardized form prescribed by the department and shall contain: a description of the vessel or motor including its trade name, model year, length, type and hull identification number; an assignment form, including the certification of date of transfer of vessel or motor, the name and address of transferee; certification that the vessel or motor is new, and a warranty that the vessel or motor at the time of delivery is subject only to such liens and encumbrances as set forth and described in full in the assignment.
(3) Every dealer shall maintain for at least three (3) years a record of any vessel or motor bought, sold, exchanged or received for sale or exchange. This record shall be available for inspection by department representatives during reasonable business hours.
SECTION 5. (1) Every vessel shall have a hull identification number assigned and affixed. The department shall assign a hull identification number to an undocumented vessel not having a hull identification number at the time of numbering or applying for a certificate of title after transfer of ownership or change of state of principal operation. Every motor shall have a motor serial number affixed.
(2) A person may not destroy, remove, alter, cover or deface the manufacturer's hull identification number or motor serial number, the plate bearing it or any hull identification number or motor serial number the department assigns to any vessel or motor, without authorization from the department.
SECTION 6. (1) In the event of a transfer by operation of law of the title or interest of an owner in a vessel or motor titled under this act, the transferee or his legal representative shall apply to the department for a certificate of title within thirty (30) days of the transfer. The application shall be accompanied by the title or other states registration previously issued for the vessel or motor, if available, together with any instruments or documents of authority, or certified copies thereof, satisfactory to the department as proof of ownership and the required fee.
(2) For purposes of this act, transfer by operation of law shall include transfers to anyone as legatee or distributee or as surviving joint owner or by an order in bankruptcy or insolvency, execution sale, repossession upon default in the performing of the terms of a lease or executory sales contract, or transfers pursuant to any written agreement ratified or incorporated in a decree or order of a court of record, or otherwise than by the voluntary act of the person whose title or interest is so transferred.
(3) If the holder of a certificate of title is deceased and there has been no qualification on his estate, a transfer may be made by a legatee or distributee. The legatee or distributee presents to the department the original certificate of title and a statement made to the effect that there has not been or expected to be a qualification on the estate and that the decedent's debts have been paid or that the proceeds from the sale of the vessel or motor will be applied against his debts. The statement shall contain the name, residence at the time of death, date of death of the decedent, and the names of any other persons having an interest in the vessel or motor for which the title is to be transferred. If these persons are of legal age, they shall indicate in writing their consent to the transfer of the title.
SECTION 7. (1) The department, upon receiving an application for a certificate of title to a vessel or motor showing security interest on the vessel or motor, shall show upon the face of the certificate of title all security interest in the order of their priority as shown on the application. When a security interest exists, the application for a certificate of title must also contain the name and address of the secured party and the date and amount of the security interest.
(2) Security interest created after the original issue of title to the owner must be shown on the certificate of title. The owner shall surrender the original certificate of title to the department and file an application with the department containing the name and address of the secured party, the amount of the security interest, the date and payment of a filing fee. The department shall then issue a new certificate of title showing name and address of the secured party. The newly issued certificate of title shall be sent to the secured party.
For the purpose of recording a subsequent security interest, the department shall require any secured party to deliver the certificate of title to the department. Upon receipt of the certificate of title, completion of the forms and required fees, the department shall then issue a new certificate of title showing the security interest in the order of their priority according to the date of the filing of the application. The newly issued certificate of title shall be sent to the first secured party listed on the certificate of title.
(3) The certificate of title when issued by the department showing a security interest shall be adequate notice to the state, creditors and purchasers that a security interest exists. The recording or filing of the security interest in the county or city where the purchaser or debtor resides shall not be required.
(4) If application for the recordation of a security interest is filed in the principal office of the department within five (5) days from the date of the applicant's purchase of the vessel or motor, it shall be valid to all persons as if the recordation had been done on the day the security interest was acquired.
(5) The security interest, except security interest in inventory held for sale, shown on the certificates of title issued by the department pursuant to applications for certificates shall have priority over any other liens or security interest however created and recorded, except for liens designated by the department.
(6) The certificate of title shall be delivered to the person holding the security interest having first priority. The title shall be retained by that lienholder until the entire amount of the security interest is fully paid by the owner. The certificate of title shall then be delivered to the secured party next in order of priority and so on, or, if none, then to the owner.
(7) Upon the satisfaction of a security interest, the secured party shall attach to the certificate of title a release of security interest or in whatever form as may be prescribed by the department. Within five (5) days the secured party shall mail or deliver the certificate of title to the owner and a copy of the security release, if required by the department. Upon request of the owner and upon receipt of a copy of the security release, if required, and the certificate of title, the department shall correct its records and issue a new certificate of title to the owner.
(8) It shall constitute a misdemeanor for a secured party who holds a security interest as provided for in this act to refuse or fail to surrender the certificate of title to the person to whom it is legally entitled within five (5) days after the security interest has been paid and satisfied. The misdemeanor is punishable as provided in Section 59-21-153(a).
(9) This section does not apply to any of the following: a lien given by statute or rule of law to a supplier of services or materials for the vessel or motor; a lien given by statute to the United States, a state or a political subdivision thereof; or any lien arising out of an attachment of a vessel or motor.
SECTION 8. Issuance of a certificate of number shall be prima facie evidence of ownership of a vessel and entitles a person to a certificate of title, but certificate of number and certificate of title shall be subject to rebuttal.
SECTION 9. (1) The department shall adopt the necessary rules and regulations to implement this act.
(2) The department shall prescribe and provide suitable forms of applications, certificates of title, notices of security interests and all other notices and forms necessary to carry out this act.
(3) The department may make necessary investigations to procure information required to carry out this act.
SECTION 10. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.