H. B. 4550
(By Delegates Martin and Michael)
[Introduced February 24, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section twelve, article seven,
chapter twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to further amend
said article by adding thereto a new section, designated
section twelve-b, all relating to motorboat identification
numbers, application for numbers, fees establishing the
requirement for a boating safety education certificate.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twelve, article seven, chapter twenty of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said article be
further amended by adding thereto a new section, designated
section twelve-b, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. LAW ENFORCEMENT, MOTORBOATING, LITTER.
§20-7-12. Motorboat identification numbers required; application
for numbers; fee; displaying; reciprocity; change of ownership; conformity with United States regulations; records; renewal of certificate; transfer of interest, abandonment, etc.; change of address; unauthorized numbers; information to be furnished assessors.
Every motorboat, as herein defined, operating upon public
waters within the territorial limits of this state, shall be
numbered as herein provided:
(a) The owner of each motorboat requiring numbering by this
state shall file an application for a number with the
commissioner on forms approved by the division of motor vehicles.
The application shall be signed by the owner of the motorboat and
shall be accompanied by a fee of fifteen dollars for a three-year
registration period if propelled by a motor of three or more
horsepower. The fee may be prorated by the commissioner for
periods of less than three years. There shall be no fee for
motorboats propelled by motors of less than three horsepower.
Provided, that beginning on the first day of April, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-nine, the fee for a three year registration
period shall be as follows:
(1) Class A, motorboats less than sixteen feet in length,
thirty dollar fee;
(2) Class B, motorboats sixteen feet or over and less than
twenty-six feet in length, forty-five dollar fee;
(3) Class C, motorboats twenty-six feet or over and less than forty feet in length, sixty dollar fee; and
(4) Class D, forty feet in length or over, seventy-five
All such fees, including those received under subdivision
(b) of this section, shall be deposited in the state treasury and
fifty percent shall be credited to the division of motor vehicles
and shall be used and paid out upon order of the commissioner
solely for the administration of the certificate of number
system. The remaining fifty percent shall be credited to the
division of natural resources and shall be used and paid out upon
order of the director solely for the enforcement and safety
education of the state boating system. Upon receipt of the
application in approved form, the commissioner shall enter the
same upon the records of the division and issue to the applicant
a number awarded to the motorboat and the name and address of the
owner. The owner shall paint on or attach to each side of the
bow of the motorboat the identification number in the manner as
may be prescribed by rules of the commissioner in order that it
may be clearly visible. The number shall be maintained in
legible condition. The certificate of number shall be pocket
size and shall be available at all times for inspection on the
motorboat for which issued, whenever the motorboat is in
(b) In order to permit a motorboat sold to a purchaser by a
dealer to be operated pending receipt of the certificate of number from the commissioner, the commissioner may deliver to
dealers, upon application therefor and payment of one dollar for
each, temporary certificates of number to in turn be issued to
purchasers of motorboats. Every person who is issued a temporary
certificate by a dealer shall, under the provisions of
subdivision (a) of this section, apply for a certificate of
number no later than ten days from the date of issuance of the
temporary certificate. A temporary certificate shall expire upon
receipt of the certificate, upon recision of the contract to
purchase the motorboat in question or upon the expiration of
forty days from the date of issuance, whichever shall first
occur. It is unlawful for any dealer to issue any temporary
certificate knowingly containing any misstatement of fact or
knowingly to insert any false information on the face thereof.
The commissioner may by rule prescribe additional requirements
upon the dealers and purchasers as are consistent with the
effective administration of this section.
(c) The owner of any motorboat already covered by a number
in full force and effect which has been awarded to it pursuant to
then operative federal law or a federally approved numbering
system of another state shall record the number prior to
operating the motorboat on the waters of this state in excess of
the sixty-day reciprocity period provided for in section fourteen
of this article. The recordation shall be in the manner and
pursuant to procedure required for the award of a number under subdivision (a) of this section, except that an additional or
substitute number shall not be issued.
(d) Should the ownership of a motorboat change, a new
application form with fee shall be filed with the commissioner
and a new certificate of number shall be awarded in the same
manner as provided for in an original award of number.
(e) In the event that an agency of the United States
government shall have in force an overall system of
identification numbering for motorboats within the United States,
the numbering system employed pursuant to this article by the
division of motor vehicles shall be in conformity therewith.
(f) All records of the director made or kept pursuant to
this section shall be transferred to the commissioner and shall
be maintained as public records.
(g) (f) The license shall be valid for a maximum period of
three years. If at the expiration of that period ownership has
remained unchanged, the owner shall, upon application and payment
of the proper fee, be granted a renewal of the certificate of
number for an additional three-year period.
(h) (g) The owner shall furnish the commissioner notice of
the transfer of all or any part of an interest, other than the
creation of a security interest, in a motorboat numbered in this
state pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section, or of
the destruction or abandonment of the motorboat, within fifteen
days thereof. The transfer, destruction or abandonment shall terminate the certificate of number for the motorboat, except
that in the case of a transfer of a part interest which does not
affect the owner's right to operate the motorboat, the transfer
shall not terminate the certificate of number.
(i) (h) Any holder of a certificate of number shall notify
the commissioner within fifteen days if his or her address no
longer conforms to the address appearing on the certificate and
shall, as a part of the notification, furnish the commissioner
with his or her new address. The commissioner may provide rules
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.
(j) (i) No number other than the number awarded to a
motorboat or granted reciprocity pursuant to this article shall
be painted, attached or otherwise displayed on either side of the
bow of the motorboat.
(k) (j) It shall be the duty of the commissioner on or
before the thirtieth day of August of each year, commencing with
the year one thousand nine hundred eighty, to forward to the
assessor of each county a list of the names and addresses of all
persons, firms and corporations owning vessels and operating the
same or other boats registered with the commissioner under the
provisions of this article. In furnishing this information to
each county assessor, the commissioner shall include the information as to make and model of the vessels and other
equipment required to be registered for use by said owner or
operator thereof under the provisions of this article: Provided,
That the commissioner need not furnish the information to the
assessor if the cost price of the vessel does not exceed five
hundred dollars or the cost of the motor does not exceed two
hundred fifty dollars.
(l) (k) No person may operate an unlicensed motorboat upon
any waters of this state without first acquiring the certificate
of number or license as required by law.
§20-7-12b. Boating Safety Education Certificate.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c) of this
article, beginning on the first day of January, two thousand, no
person born on or after the thirty-first day of December, one
thousand nine hundred eighty-four, may operate a motorboat or
personal watercraft on any waters of this state without first
having obtained a certificate of boating safety education from
this or any other state, which certificate was obtained by
satisfactorily completing a course of instruction in boating
safety education administered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary;
the U.S. Power Squadron; the West Virginia Division of Natural
Resources; any person certified to teach the course administered
by West Virginia Natural Resources Boating Safety Education
Section personnel; or any person authorized to teach the course
prescribed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in this or any other state.
(b) Any person who is subject to subdivision (a) of this
article must possess the certificate of boating safety education
when operating a motorboat or personal watercraft on the waters
of this state and must show the certificate on demand of any West
Virginia Conservation Officer or other law enforcement officer
authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
(c)The following persons are exempt from the requirements
of subdivision (a) of this article:
(1)A person who is a resident of a state other than West
Virginia and who is visiting the state for sixty days or less in
a motorboat or personal watercraft from another state if:
(A)The person is fifteen years of age or older; and
(B)The person has been issued a boating safety education
certificate by that state in accordance with the criteria
recommended by the National Association of State Boating Law
(2)A person who is visiting the state for ninety days or
less in a motorboat or personal watercraft from a country other
than the United States;
(3)A person who is operating a motorboat or personal
watercraft in connection with commercial purposes.
(d)The division shall issue a certificate of boating
safety education to a person who:
(1)Passes any course prescribed in subdivision (a) of this article; or
(2)Passes a boating safety equivalency examination
administered by persons authorized to administer a boating safety
education course as outlined in subdivision (a) of this article.
Upon request, the division shall provide, without charge, boating
safety education materials to persons who plan to take the
boating safety equivalency examination.
(e)No person who owns a motorboat or personal watercraft
or who has charge over a motorboat or personal watercraft may
authorize or knowingly permit it to be operated in violation of
subdivision (a) of this article.
(f)The provisions of subdivision (a) of this article may
only be enforced as a secondary action when the officer detains
an operator of a motorboat or personal watercraft for a suspected
violation of another provision of the West Virginia Code or rules
adopted in accordance with the West Virginia Code. A person may
not be taken forthwith to a court or detention facility solely
for a violation of subdivision (a) of this article.
Note: The purpose of the bill is to require certain
operators of motorboats and personal watercraft to obtain a
certificate of boating safety education training before operating
motorboats or personal watercraft and to raise the registration
fees of motorboats.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.
§20-7-12b is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.