WSR 00-12-084

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING


[ Filed June 6, 2000, 3:33 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

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

Title of Rule: Chapter 308-93 WAC, Vessel registration identification.

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 88.07.070, 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; Enforcement: Eric Andersen, 1125 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, 902-4045.

Name of Proponent:

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, 1125 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98507, on July 24, 2000, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Patrick J. Zlateff by July 20, 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 July 20, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 8, 2000.

June 6, 2000

Deborah McCurley, Administrator

Title and Registration Services

OTS-4103.1


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) Apply for registration only as described in subsection (2) of this section;

(b) Apply for bonded certificate of ownership as described in subsection (9) of this section; or

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

(2) What is "registration only"? 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 the three-year period of registration only, the registered owner(s) may apply for certificate of ownership.

(3) How do I apply for "registration only"?

(a) If the vessel was last registered or titled in Washington, you must:

(i) Provide evidence of ownership of the vessel such as a bill of sale, or other reasonable proof that you have purchased the vessel;

(ii) Send a certified letter (return receipt requested) requesting a notarized release of interest from registered owner and/or legal owner; and

(iii) Complete an affidavit for registration only form approved by the department.

(b) 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. If a record is found, you must send a certified letter with return receipt, to each registered owner and legal owner/secured party at the address shown on the last record. The letter must contain information regarding your claim to ownership and request a notarized release(s) of interest.

(4) What if I do not know who the owner(s) of record is? For purposes of this section, an individual purchaser or transferee of a vessel may request and receive the name and address of the owner(s) of record for that vessel from the department to satisfy subsection (3)(a)(ii) of this section.

(5) What if no record is found or no response is received from the registered owner? If no record is found, or the previous owner did not respond within fifteen days after acknowledged receipt or the letter was returned unclaimed, you must provide an affidavit of request for bonded title or registration without title form explaining how the vessel was acquired.

(6) What if no response is received from the known legal owner/secured party? If the legal owner/secured party did not respond within fifteen days after acknowledged receipt or the letter was returned unclaimed, you must provide a Washington court order from a district or superior court of any county awarding you ownership of the vessel.

(7) What is a bonded certificate of ownership? A bonded certificate of ownership is an ownership document that carries the brand "BONDED" and secured by an ownership bond for one and one-half times the value of the vessel. The value is determined by:

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

(b) Information provided by any valuation guide book or other publication recognized by the vessel industry; or

(c) An agreement reached between the applicant and an authorized department agent, subagent or employee; or

(d) A department of revenue appraisal. The bond is required for three years from the time of application to the department. At the end of this period of time you may apply to the department for a certificate of ownership without the bond brand.

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

(a) If the seller of the vessel is a Washington licensed vessel dealer without a clear certificate of ownership. The Washington licensed vessel dealer must obtain a bonded certificate of ownership to provide to buyer; or

(b) When ownership is in doubt and you need proof of ownership for the vessel to be used as collateral.

(9) Where do I obtain a bond? You may obtain a bond from an insurance or bonding company.

(10) When do I need to obtain a court order? A court order is required if:

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

(b) You are unable to obtain a release of interest from the legal owner/secured party of the vessel.

When the court order is submitted to the department, you may be issued a certificate of ownership without the bond brand.

(11) 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, provide the new owner with a notarized or certified release of interest. The new owner may:

(a) Provide a court order as described in subsection (9) of this section; or

(b) Apply to the department for ownership in doubt as described in subsection (1) of this section and complete the time remaining on the previous ownership in doubt period.

(12) What happens after the three-year (ownership in doubt) period has ended? You may apply to the department after the three-year bond or "registration only" period has ended. The department shall, upon proper application, issue a certificate of ownership without the bond brand.

(13) May I obtain a certificate of ownership before the three-year (ownership in doubt) period has ended? Yes, to receive a certificate of ownership, you must submit the notarized/certified release of interest from the previous owner(s), a properly endorsed certificate of ownership to the department or provide a court order awarding ownership.

[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 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;

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

(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) 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;

(d) 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;

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

(f) Repossession;

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

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

(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 as a lessee or sublessee on an ownership document.

(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

(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.

These documents are provided to the United States Coast Guard by the lien holder/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 when a vessel is removed from being marine documented? 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 lien holder/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 is:

(a) Drivers 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.

[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