TITLE 46
Waters and Navigation

CHAPTER 46-22
Regulation of Boats

SECTION 46-22-4


§ 46-22-4. Identification number and registration fee.

(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b), the owner of each motorboat shall file biennially an application for registration with the department of environmental management on forms approved by the director. The application shall be accompanied by a registration fee according to the following schedule:

OVERALL LENGTH AT LEAST FEET BIENNIAL FEE
NOT MORE THAN FEET
UNDER 15 $30
16 20 $40
21 25 $60
26 30 $100
31 35 $200
36 40 $250
41 45 $300
46 50 $400
51 and over $600

(i) For the purpose of the above fee schedule, "overall length" shall be defined as the horizontal distance between the foremost part of the stem, and, the aftermost part of the stern, excluding bowsprits, bumpkins, rudders, outboard motor brackets, and similar fittings or attachments. For purposes of this section, a fraction of a foot shall be deemed to be the next higher foot.

(ii) The fee payable under this section for any motorboat owned by a nonprofit organization shall not exceed fifty dollars ($50.00).

(iii) All vessels over thirty feet (30') may, upon request, pay the registration fee annually at the rate of one-half (1/2) the biennial fee for a vessel of the same length.

(2) Upon receipt of the completed application and correct registration fee, the department of environmental management shall enter the application and registration fee into its records, and issue to the owner a certificate of number stating the 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 such manner as may be prescribed by rules and regulations of the department of environmental management 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 that motorboat is in operation.

(b) The owner of any motorboat already covered by an identification 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 with the department of environmental management prior to operating the motorboat on the waters of this state in excess of the ninety (90) day reciprocity period provided for in § 46-22-6(a). The recordation shall be in the manner and subject to the procedure and fees required for the award and transfer of a number under subsections (a) and (c) through (i), except that no additional or substitute number shall be issued.

(c) Should the ownership of a motorboat change, a new application form shall be filed with the department of environmental management. Should the change in ownership take place before the date upon which the certificate of number expires, the new owner shall pay an administrative fee of ten dollars ($10.00). The number assigned to the vessel shall remain with the vessel and be non-transferable while the vessel remains certified in the state of Rhode Island; provided, however, that upon the request of the owner of a duly registered vessel of historic value that is more than fifty (50) years old, the number assigned to the vessel may be transferred to a different historic vessel owned by the same person. The original vessel will be given a new registration number and the owner shall pay a transfer fee of six dollars ($6.00) for each vessel.

(d) 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 chapter by the department of environmental management shall be in conformity therewith.

(e) All records of the department of environmental management made or kept pursuant to this section shall be public records.

(f) The department of environmental management shall fix a day and month of the year on which the certificate of number is due to expire and no longer be of any force and effect, unless renewed pursuant to this chapter.

(g) The owner shall furnish the department of environmental management notice of the transfer of all or any part of the owner's interest, other than the creation of a security interest in a motorboat numbered in this state, pursuant to subsections (a) and (b), or of the destruction or abandonment of the motorboat, within fifteen (15) days thereof. That destruction shall terminate the certificate of number for the motorboat.

(h) Any holder of a certificate of number shall notify the department of environmental management within fifteen (15) days if the holder's address no longer conforms to the address appearing on the certificate and shall, as a part of the notification, furnish the department of environmental management the new address. The department of environmental management may provide, in its rules and regulations, for the surrender of the certificate bearing the former address or for the alteration of an outstanding certificate to show the new address of the holder.

(i) No number, other than the number awarded to a motorboat or granted reciprocity pursuant to this chapter, shall be painted, attached, or otherwise displayed on either side of the bow of the motorboat.

(j) Biennial registration shall be phased in, alphabetically, over a two (2) year period starting January 1, 1999 at which time all owners whose last names begin with the letters "A" through "M" applications for registration will be accepted for consideration on a biennial basis. Owners whose last names begin with the letters "N" through "Z" shall be subject to biennial registration starting January 1, 2000.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1959, ch. 187, § 1; P.L. 1965, ch. 134, § 1; P.L. 1967, ch. 184, §§ 1 to 3; P.L. 1969, ch. 243, § 1; P.L. 1970, ch. 317, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 370, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 406, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 65, art. 24, § 2; P.L. 1992, ch. 133, art. 16, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 185, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 229, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 268, § 1.)