WSR 00-18-081

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING


[ Filed September 5, 2000, 8:52 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-07-093.

Title of Rule: Chapter 308-93 WAC, Vessel registration identification, WAC 308-93-440, 308-93-450, 308-93-460, and 308-93-470.

Purpose: 1. To meet the criteria set forth in Governor Locke's Executive Order 97-02.

2. To clarify rules and help make them more comprehensible.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 88.02.070, 88.02.100.

Summary: Amending WAC 308-93-440 Ownership in doubt, 308-93-450 Signature of owner on application -- Exceptions, 308-93-460 Release of interest, and 308-93-470 Certificate of signatures.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Meet criteria supporting Governor Locke's Executive Order 97-02.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Patrick J. Zlateff, 1125 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, 902-3718; Implementation: Deborah McCurley, 1125 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, 902-3754; and Enforcement: Eric Andersen, 1125 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, 902-4045.

Name of Proponent: , governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The anticipated effects will be a clarification of the above-mentioned requirements.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Clarify sections needed and repeal those no longer required.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. A small business economic impact statement is not required pursuant to RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a). The proposed rule making does not impose more than a minor cost on businesses in an industry.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The contents of the proposed rules are explicitly and specifically dictated by statute.

Hearing Location: Highways-Licenses Building, Conference Room 107, 1125 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98507, on October 18, 2000, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Patrick J. Zlateff by October 17, 2000, TTY (360) 664-8885, or (360) 902-3718.

Submit Written Comments to: Patrick J. Zlateff, Rules Coordinator, Title and Registration Services, P.O. Box 2957, Olympia, WA 98507-2957, fax (360) 664-0831, by October 17, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: November 7, 2000.

September 1, 2000

Deborah McCurley, Administrator

Title and Registration Services

OTS-4326.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-09-023, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98)

WAC 308-93-440
Ownership in doubt.

((When an applicant is unable to provide an acceptable release of interest as defined in WAC 308-93-460 from the owner(s) of record for a vessel, the applicant may:

(1) Petition any district or superior court of any county of this state to receive a judgment awarding ownership of the vessel. Such judgment is required if ownership of the vessel is contested after the applicant makes application for ownership in doubt and before the three-year ownership in doubt period has lapsed; or

(2) Apply for registration only or bonded certificate of ownership as described in this rule if a judgment is unnecessary as described in subsection (1) of this section. The applicant shall:

(a) Provide evidence of ownership of the vessel such as, but not limited to, a bill of sale;

(b) Make a reasonable effort to determine ownership of the vessel by writing to the agency that issued the last known certificate of ownership or registration. For purposes of this section, an individual purchaser or transferee of a vessel may request the name and address of the owner(s) of record for that vessel from the department by satisfying (b)(i) or (ii) of this subsection and completing a form approved by the department. When satisfied the request is for obtaining proper release of interest, the department may disclose the name(s) and address of the last owner(s) of record for that vessel.

(i) If a record is found, the applicant shall send a certified or registered letter, return receipt requested, to each owner and secured party of record at the address shown on the last record. The letter shall contain information regarding the sender's claim to ownership or a notarized or certified release of interest.

(ii) If no record is found, or the previous owner did not respond within fifteen days after acknowledged receipt or the letter was returned unclaimed, the applicant shall provide an affidavit of Request for Bonded Title or Registration without Title form explaining how the vessel was acquired.

(c) Determine whether to bond the vessel and apply for a certificate of ownership or apply for registration only. A bond is required if the seller of the vessel is a Washington state vessel dealer or in lieu of the judgment described in subsection (1) of this section if there is evidence of a security agreement on the last record as found in (b) of this subsection. A bond shall be for a period of three years from the date of application and be in the amount of one and one-half times the value of the vessel as determined by one of the following:

(i) A statement from a vessel dealer showing the average retail value of that year, make and model of the vessel in average condition; or

(ii) Information provided by any guide book or other publication of recognized standing in the vessel industry; or

(iii) An agreement reached between the applicant and an authorized department agent or employee.

(d) Apply to the department after the three-year bond or registration only period has lapsed, or submit the proper endorsement on the certificate of ownership or a satisfactory release of interest. The department shall, upon proper application, issue a certificate of ownership without the bond notation.

(e) Upon transferring ownership during the three-year ownership in doubt period, provide the transferee with a notarized or certified release of interest. The new owner may either provide a judgment as described in subsection (1) of this section or shall apply to the department for ownership in doubt as described in subsection (2) of this section and complete the time remaining on the previous ownership in doubt period.)) (1) What do I do if I am unable to provide an acceptable release of interest as defined in WAC 308-93-460 from the owner(s) of record for a vessel? When you are unable to provide an acceptable release of interest from the owner(s) of record for a vessel, you may:

(a) Petition any district or superior court of any county of this state to receive a judgment awarding ownership of the vessel as described in subsection (10) of this section;

(b) Apply for "registration only" as described in subsection (5) of this section;

(c) Apply for bonded certificate of ownership as described in subsection (2) of this section.

(2) What is "registration only"? It is a term used to describe registration of a vessel when a certificate of ownership is not issued because ownership is in doubt. If ownership is not contested during a three-year registration only period, the registered owner(s) may apply for certificate of ownership at the end of the three-year period.

(3) What is a bonded certificate of ownership? A bonded certificate of ownership is an ownership document issued by the department that carries the brand "bonded" and is secured by a bond for one and one-half times the value of the vessel.

(4) How do I apply for "ownership in doubt"? To apply for ownership in doubt, you must:

(a) Provide evidence of ownership of the vessel, such as but not limited to, a bill of sale or purchase agreement.

(b) Make a reasonable effort to determine ownership of the vessel by writing to the agency that issued the last known certificate of ownership or registration and request the certificate of ownership or other acceptable owner documents and releases of interest.

(5) How do I obtain ownership information from the department for purposes of applying for ownership in doubt? For purposes of this section, an individual purchaser or transferee of a vessel may request the name and address of the owner(s) of record for that vessel from the department by:

(a) Satisfying subsection (2)(a) of this section; and

(b) Completing a public disclosure form provided or approved by the department.

When satisfied, the request is for obtaining proper release(s) of interest, the department may disclose the name and address of the last owner(s) of record for that vessel.

(6) What do I do once I know the name(s) and address(s) of the last known registered and legal owner(s)? If a record of the vessel is found, you must send a certified or registered letter, return receipt requested, to each owner and secured party of record at the address shown on the last record. The letter shall contain information regarding the sender's claim to ownership and a request for the released certificate of ownership or a notarized or certified release of interest on an approved department form.

If the vessel was last registered or titled in another state or jurisdiction you must write to the agency that issued the last known certificate of ownership or registration requesting owners of record, so information may be requested as in subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(7) What do I do if no record of the vessel is found or the previous owner(s) did not respond to the certified or registered letter? You must provide an affidavit or request for bonded title or registration without title form provided or approved by the department explaining how the vessel was acquired if:

(a) No record is found; or

(b) The previous owner did not respond within fifteen days after acknowledged receipt of the letter; or

(c) The letter was returned unclaimed.

(8) When am I required to apply for a bonded certificate of ownership? A bond is required if:

(a) The seller of the vessel is a Washington state vessel dealer (dealer must secure); or

(b) In lieu of the judgment described in subsection (1) (a) of this section and there is evidence of a security agreement on the last record as found in subsection (3) of this section; or

(c) Ownership of the vessel is contested after you make application for ownership in doubt and before the existing three-year ownership in doubt period has ended; or

(d) If you desire to have a certificate of ownership issued for the vessel.

(9) How long is the duration of the bond? A bond shall be for a period of three years from the date of application.

(10) In what amount is the bond issued? The bond must be in the amount of one and one-half times the value of the vessel as determined by one of the following:

(a) Information provided by any guide book or other publication of recognized standing in the vessel industry; or

(b) A value that is agreeable to the applicant and verifiable by authorized department of licensing, department of revenue, Washington vessel licensing agent, subagent or employee.

(11) If I have a bonded certificate of ownership for my vessel, how can I get a certificate of ownership without the bonded notation? To get a certificate of ownership without the bonded notation, you may apply for a certificate of ownership by submitting one of the following, in addition to other required documentation:

(a) A judgment from any district or superior court of any county of this state awarding ownership of the vessel as described in subsection (1) of this section; or

(b) The properly endorsed most previous (current) certificate of ownership or a satisfactory release of interest from the previous registered and legal owner(s); or

(c) An application to remove the bonded notation on the vessel certificate of ownership after the three-year ownership in doubt period has elapsed.

(12) If my vessel is "registration only" because ownership is in doubt, how can I get a certificate of ownership? You may apply for a certificate of ownership by submitting one of the following, in addition to other required documentation:

(a) A judgment from any district or superior court of any county of this state awarding ownership of the vessel as described in subsection (1) of this section; or

(b) A certificate of ownership properly released or a release of interest from the most previous registered and legal owner(s); or

(c) An application from the registered owner to remove the registration only notation on the vessel certificate of ownership after the three-year ownership in doubt period has elapsed.

(13) May I sell or release my interest in the vessel during the three-year ownership in doubt period? Yes, upon transferring ownership during the three-year ownership in doubt period, you must provide the new owner(s) with a notarized or certified release of interest. The new owner may:

(a) Provide a judgment as described in subsection (1)(a) of this section; or

(b) Apply to the department for ownership and complete the time remaining on the previous ownership in doubt period.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 88.02.070. 98-09-023, 308-93-440, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 88.02.070, 88.02.100 and 46.12.380. 96-03-046, 308-93-440, filed 1/11/96, effective 2/11/96. Statutory Authority: 1983 c 7 20 and 1983 2nd ex.s. c 3 46. 83-23-076 (Order 736-DOL), 308-93-440, filed 11/18/83.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-09-023, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98)

WAC 308-93-450
Signature of owner on application -- Exceptions.

((All vessel owners are required to sign the application for certificate of ownership except:

(1) When the application is for the sole purpose of removing a secured party of record from the certificate of ownership;

(2) When authorized supportive documentation is used in lieu of the signature or signatures;

(3) When the legal owner applies for a duplicate certificate of ownership;

(4) When there is a statutory authorized lien filed by a government agency against the vessel;

(5) When an existing legal owner's perfected security interest is transferred to another party and the new secured party is perfecting their security interest.

(6) Only one owner's signature is required when:

(a) The last certificate of ownership was issued in another jurisdiction; and

(b) The last certificate of ownership shows multiple registered owners; and

(c) Ownership is not changing.)) (1) When is the signature of a registered owner(s) required? Each registered owner is required to sign the application for certificate of ownership except when:

(a) The application is for the sole purpose of removing a secured party of record from the certificate of ownership;

(b) Authorized supportive documentation, such as a power of attorney, is used in lieu of the signature(s);

(c) The legal owner applies for a duplicate certificate of ownership;

(d) There is a statutorily authorized lien filed by a government agency against the vessel;

(e) An existing legal owner's perfected security interest is transferred to another party and the new secured party is perfecting its security interest.

(2) If there are multiple registered owners on an application for certificate of ownership, when is only one registered owner's signature required? Only one registered owner's signature is required when:

(a) The last certificate of ownership was issued in another jurisdiction; and

(b) The last certificate of ownership shows multiple registered owners; and

(c) Ownership is not changing.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 88.02.070. 98-09-023, 308-93-450, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 88.02.070 and 88.02.100. 92-24-035, 308-93-450, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92. Statutory Authority: 1985 c 258. 85-23-066 (Order TL-RG-19), 308-93-450, filed 11/19/85. Statutory Authority: 1983 c 7 20 and 1983 2nd ex.s. c 3 46. 83-23-076 (Order 736-DOL), 308-93-450, filed 11/18/83.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-09-023, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98)

WAC 308-93-460
Release of interest.

(((1) Vessel owner(s) and secured parties who intend to release interest in a vessel shall:

(a) Sign the release of interest provided on the certificate of ownership issued by the department; or

(b) Sign a release of interest document or form approved by the department.

(2) In lieu of subsection (1)(a) and (b) of this section, secured parties who intend to release their interest in a vessel may provide:

(a) Their properly completed official lien release form; or

(b) A release of interest on their official letterhead, if the secured party is a business entity.

(3) If the Washington certificate of ownership is a paperless title, the secured party may release their interest electronically or by signing an affidavit in lieu of title. If the affidavit in lieu of title is printed at their business location, the signature need not be notarized.

(4) Signatures releasing owner interest on department approved documents other than the certificate of ownership must be notarized or certified in accordance with WAC 308-93-470. Signatures releasing interest on the certificate of ownership issued by the department or another jurisdiction do not need to be notarized or certified.

(5) Secured parties who are businesses do not need to have their signatures notarized or certified when releasing interest in a vessel in accordance with subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section if the current certificate of ownership is submitted with an application for a new certificate of ownership.

(6) A release of interest is not required:

(a) From an owner identified as a lessee; or

(b) If a valid marine document has been issued by or applied for from the United States Coast Guard documentation office; or

(c) When other appropriate documents are submitted in lieu of the release of interest. Such documents may include, but are not limited to, a certified or notarized: Bill of sale, affidavit in lieu of title with the release of interest portion properly completed, release of interest form, affidavit of loss of title with the release of interest portion properly completed, or letter of release.

(7) If a vessel is documented, a United States Coast Guard abstract may be used to release the interest of the secured party for a vessel registered in Washington.

(8) Secured parties who intend to release interest on a vessel that has a marine document issued by the United States Coast Guard, documentation office shall provide:

(a) Their properly completed official lien release form; or

(b) A release of interest on their official letterhead, if the secured party is a business entity;

(c) Provide a certified copy of the satisfaction of Preferred Marine Mortgage;

(d) Provide a certified copy of the document abstract from the United States Coast Guard, documentation office showing the lien has been satisfied.

(9) When a vessel is removed from being marine documented, the owner shall provide:

(a) A copy of the removal letter from the United States Coast Guard, documentation office; or

(b) Documentation described in subsection (8) of this section; and

(c) If ownership is changing, approved releases of interest as described in this rule.)) (1) How does an owner release their interest in a vessel? A vessel owner(s) or secured party who intends to release interest in a vessel shall:

(a) Sign the release of interest provided on the certificate of ownership; or

(b) Sign a release of interest document or form approved by the department.

(2) What documentation may be used in lieu of a release of interest? Documents that may be used in lieu of a release of interest include, but are not limited to, a certified or notarized:

(a) Bill of sale;

(b) Affidavit in lieu of title with the release of interest portion properly completed;

(c) Release of interest form;

(d) Letter of release;

(e) Affidavit of repossession;

(f) Abandoned vessel reported on an abandoned vehicle report and the affidavit of sale on the report has been completed by the issuing tow company;

(g) Other documentation approved by the department.

(3) What forms may secured parties use in lieu of subsection (1)(a) and (b) of this section when their intent is to release interest? Secured parties who intend to release their interest in a vessel may provide one of the following if accompanied by the most recently issued certificate of ownership:

(a) Their properly completed official lien release form; or

(b) If the secured party is a business entity, a release of interest on its official letterhead.

(4) How is the release of interest submitted on an electronically generated Washington certificate of ownership? If the Washington certificate of ownership is a paperless certificate of ownership (title), the secured party may release its interest electronically or by signing an affidavit in lieu of title.

(5) When do signatures releasing interest need to be notarized or certified? An owner's release of interest on department approved documents other than the certificate of ownership must be notarized or certified in accordance with WAC 308-93-470.

(6) Are there situations when signatures would not need to be notarized or certified in order to release interest? Yes, the following are situations where notarization or certification is not required:

(a) A signature releasing interest on the certificate of ownership issued by the department or another jurisdiction;

(b) A signature releasing interest on an affidavit in lieu of title printed at a Washington paperless title institution's location;

(c) If the Washington certificate of ownership is a paperless certificate of ownership (title), the secured party may release its interest electronically;

(d) When there is a secured party and:

(i) The secured party is a business; and

(ii) Release of interest in a vessel is in accordance with subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section; and

(iii) The current certificate of ownership is submitted with the separate release of interest and an application for a new certificate of ownership;

(e) A release of interest or bill of sale from the registered owner when the vessel is from a jurisdiction which does not title this type of vessel;

(f) Dissolution of marriage if awarded through the court;

(g) Death of the registered owner (refer to WAC 308-93-520);

(h) Repossession;

(i) A release of interest or a bill of sale from a wrecker or insurance company; or

(j) If a valid marine document has been issued by or applied for from the United States Coast Guard documentation office;

(k) A court order awarding the vessel;

(l) Determined by the director as not needed.

(7) When is a registered owner's release of interest not required? A release of interest is not required when a registered owner is identified:

(a) As a lessee or sublessee on an ownership document or a lienholder sells a contract to another lienholder;

(b) When documentation is required by the department in the event of death; or

(c) By dissolution of a marriage.

(8) What is required to release the interest of a secured party in a documented vessel registered in Washington? A United States Coast Guard abstract may be used to release the interest of the secured party for a vessel registered in Washington.

(9) What documentation will be provided by the United States Coast Guard documentation office? The United States Coast Guard documentation office must provide the following documentation for secured parties who intend to release interest on a marine documented vessel:

(a) Their properly completed official lien release form; or a release of interest on their official letterhead, if the secured party is a business entity;

(b) Provide a certified copy of the satisfaction of preferred marine mortgage;

(c) Provide a certified copy of the document abstract from the United States Coast Guard, documentation office showing the lien has been satisfied.

These documents are provided to the United States Coast Guard by the lienholder/secured party, seller, new owner etc. Copies of these items may be requested from the United States Coast Guard for submission to the department when applying for certificate of ownership.

(10) What must the owner provide to the department when a vessel will no longer be documented with the United States Coast Guard? The owner must provide:

(a) A copy of the removal letter from the United States Coast Guard documentation office; and

(b) Documentation described in subsection (9) of this section for removing lienholder/secured party; and

(c) If ownership is changing, approved releases of interest as described in this rule.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 88.02.070. 98-09-023, 308-93-460, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 88.02.070 and [88.02].100. 93-14-082, 308-93-460, filed 6/30/93, effective 7/31/93. Statutory Authority: 1983 c 7 20 and 1983 2nd ex.s. c 3 46. 83-23-076 (Order 736-DOL), 308-93-460, filed 11/18/83.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-09-023, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98)

WAC 308-93-470
Certification of signatures.

(((1) Signatures shall be notarized by a notary public or certified by agents and subagents appointed by the director to conduct vessel title and registration activities on behalf of the department. The certification must include the signature and the county, office, and operator numbers of the person certifying the signature. Signatures may also be certified by one of the following:

(a) Employees authorized by the director to certify signatures. These employees are:

(i) Deputy director; and

(ii) Assistant director for vehicle services; and

(iii) Administrator and managers of the division primarily responsible for vessel title and registration; and

(iv) Persons assigned to liaison duties between the department and its agents and subagents; and

(v) Persons assigned the responsibility of accepting title and registration applications at the department's offices; and

(vi) Persons assigned the responsibility for investigating vessel dealer activities; and

(b) Persons named on a Washington vessel dealer's bond, filed with the department, if the vessel is sold by that licensed vessel dealer. The certification must include the signature, title, and dealer number of the person certifying the signature.

(2) The person certifying the signatures shall require proof of identification. Approved identification is:

(a) Driver's license; or

(b) Any photo identification card; or

(c) Any two of the following:

(i) A nationally or regionally recognized credit card (signed);

(ii) A signed ID card issued by a city, county, state or federal government agency;

(iii) Any certificate or other document issued by a government agency for the purpose of establishing identity; or

(d) Other documentation satisfactory to the person certifying the signature.)) (1) Who may certify or notarize vessel certificate of ownership and registration activities on behalf of the department? Signatures shall be notarized by a notary public or certified by agents and subagents appointed by the director. The certification must include the signature and the county, office, and operator numbers of the person certifying the signature. Signatures may also be certified by one of the following:

(a) Employees authorized by the director to certify signatures. The employees are:

(i) Deputy director; and

(ii) Assistant director for vehicle services; and

(iii) Administrator and managers of the division primarily responsible for vessel title and registration; and

(iv) Persons assigned to liaison duties between the department and its agents and subagents; and

(v) Persons assigned the responsibility of accepting title and registration applications at the department's offices; and

(vi) Persons assigned the responsibility for investigating vessel dealer activities.

(b) Persons named on a Washington vessel dealers bond, filed with the department, if the vessel is sold by that licensed vessel dealer. The certification must include the dealer number, signature, and title, of the person certifying the signature.

(2) What proof of identification must be presented to the person certifying the signature(s)? The person certifying the signatures shall require proof of identification. Approved identification includes:

(a) Drivers license; or

(b) Any signed photo identification card; or

(c) Any two of the following:

(i) A nationally or regionally recognized credit card (signed);

(ii) A signed ID card issued by a city, county, state or federal government agency;

(iii) Any certificate or other document issued by a government agency for the purpose of establishing identity; or

(d) Other documentation satisfactory to the person certifying the signature.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 88.02.070. 98-09-023, 308-93-470, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98. Statutory Authority: 1983 c 7 20 and 1983 2nd ex.s. c 3 46. 83-23-076 (Order 736-DOL), 308-93-470, filed 11/18/83.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office