Vehicle and Traffic Law
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S 2250. Jurisdiction of department. The registration of vessels shall be under the jurisdiction of the department. For the purposes of this article, a vessel shall be every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water. A vessel propelled by an outboard motor shall include the hull, but shall not include the outboard motor. S 2251. Registration. 1. No person shall operate or permit the operation of a vessel on the navigable waters of the state, or on any other waters within the boundaries of the state, except waters which are privately owned, unless such vessel is registered and numbered and bears a current validation sticker in accordance with the provisions of this article. 2. Issuance and period of validity. The commissioner is authorized to register a vessel, issue a registration certificate, validation sticker or stickers and assign a registration number to such vessel. Unless otherwise prescribed by the commissioner, any such registration shall be valid for a period of three years unless, prior to such expiration date, it is surrendered, cancelled, revoked or suspended pursuant to the provisions of this article, or the vessel is transferred to another owner. 3. Fees. The triennial fee for registration of a vessel shall be: twenty-two dollars and fifty cents and a vessel surcharge of three dollars and seventy-five cents, if less than sixteen feet in length; forty-five dollars and a vessel surcharge of twelve dollars and fifty cents, if sixteen feet or over but less than twenty-six feet in length; seventy-five dollars and a vessel surcharge of eighteen dollars and seventy-five cents, if twenty-six feet or over. All funds derived from the collection of the vessel access surcharge pursuant to this subdivision are to be deposited in a subaccount of the "I love NY waterways" vessel access account established pursuant to section ninety-seven-nn of the state finance law. The vessel access surcharge shall not be considered a registration fee for purposes of section seventy-nine-b of the navigation law. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this section, the difference collected between the fees set forth in this subdivision in effect on and after September first, two thousand nine and the fees set forth in this subdivision prior to such date shall be deposited to the credit of the dedicated highway and bridge trust fund. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this section, the difference collected between the vessel surcharge set forth in this subdivision in effect on and after September first, two thousand nine and the vessel surcharge set forth in this subdivision in effect prior to such date shall be deposited to the credit of the dedicated highway and bridge trust fund. 4. Application. The owner of each vessel requiring registration under this section shall present an application for registration to the commissioner, or an agent designated by the commissioner, on a blank to be prepared and furnished by the commissioner for that purpose. Such application shall contain or be accompanied by such evidence of the ownership of the vessel described in the application as may be required by the commissioner. 5. Renewal. Every owner of a vessel shall renew his registration at such times and in such manner as the commissioner shall prescribe, on payment of the same registration fees as are provided in subdivision three of this section except that, in implementing the purposes of this act, the commissioner may schedule the commencement dates, duration and expiration dates of such renewals to provide for a cycle of registration renewals through the course of a fiscal year. For registrations issued for less than the three year registration period, a portion of a month shall be considered a month and the registration fee shall be levied on a prorated basis. 6. Change of address. The owner of any vessel registered pursuant to the provisions of this section shall notify the commissioner in writing of any change in his address within ten days after such change occurs and the new address of such owner shall be noted by him on the certificate of registration for such vessel. 7. Change of ownership. Upon the change in ownership of a vessel registered pursuant to this section, unless otherwise provided by regulation of the commissioner, the certificate of registration shall be signed and dated by the owner and surrendered to the new owner and at the same time the commissioner shall be notified by the former owner, in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, of the name and address of the purchaser, the date of transfer and the identification number. 8. Destruction, theft, loss or abandonment of vessel. The owner of any vessel registered pursuant to the provisions of this section shall notify the commissioner in writing of the destruction, theft, loss or abandonment of such vessel within fifteen days thereafter, and in the event of the loss, destruction or abandonment of such vessel, the certificate of registration shall be surrendered with such notice. 9. Duplicate certificates of registration or validating stickers. In the event of loss, mutilation or destruction of any certificate of registration or validation sticker, the owner of the registered vessel may file with the department such statement and proof of the facts as the commissioner shall require with a fee of two dollars, with the department, for the issuance of a duplicate or substitute. S 2252. Exemption from registration. 1. The provisions of section twenty-two hundred fifty-one of this article shall not apply to the following vessels: (a) Vessels having a valid marine document issued by the United States or a foreign government, while being used for commercial purposes. (b) Vessels displaying a valid identification or registration number issued by another state under a numbering system which has been approved in accordance with the provisions of federal law, provided such vessel shall not have been within this state for a period in excess of ninety consecutive days. (c) Vessels owned by residents of foreign countries temporarily using the waters of the state. (d) Vessels owned by the United States, a state, or a subdivision thereof. (e) Boats which are "lifeboats." No vessel which is used for other than lifesaving purposes shall be deemed a "lifeboat" for purposes of this subdivision. (f) Vessels used exclusively for racing. (g) Any vessel which is not equipped with a motor by which it may be mechanically propelled. 2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section, the owner of a vessel which is exempt from the provisions of section twenty-two hundred fifty-one of this article may apply for, and the commissioner may issue, a registration for such vessel. If such a registration is issued, and while such registration is in effect, the provisions of this article relating to certificates of registration, registration numbers and validating stickers shall apply to such vessel. Upon the expiration of the registration of any such vessel, the registration number assigned to it shall be effectively removed from such vessel. S 2253. Certificates of registration, registration numbers, and validating stickers. 1. Issuance. Upon the approval of an application for registration and payment of the fee as provided in this article, the commissioner shall assign to a vessel a registration number, and, without further expense to the applicant, issue a certificate of registration and, effective April first, nineteen hundred eighty-six, a validating sticker or stickers, in such manner and form as the commissioner shall prescribe. 2. Certificate of registration. The certificate of registration issued by the commissioner shall be available at all times for inspection on the vessel for which it is issued whenever such vessel is in operation, unless otherwise provided by a rule or regulation of the commissioner. Every person operating a vessel shall, upon demand of any peace officer, federal officer or other person having the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter, produce the certificate of registration for inspection. The failure to produce the certificate of registration, as provided herein, shall not be an offense, but shall be presumptive evidence of operating a vessel which is not registered as required by this article. 3. Registration number. A registration number once assigned under this section shall remain with the vessel until the vessel is destroyed, abandoned or permanently removed from the state, or until changed or terminated by the commissioner. The registration number assigned to the vessel shall be painted on or attached to each side of the forward half of the vessel by the owner in such a position as to be displayed in a conspicuous manner with figures and letters at least three inches in height. The registration number shall be maintained in a legible condition so that the figures and letters are readily discernible during daylight hours at a distance of one hundred feet. No other number shall be carried on the forward half of such vessel. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subdivision, a vessel having a valid marine document issued by the United States or a foreign government shall not be required to display its assigned registration number on the vessel. 4. Validating stickers. Effective April first, nineteen hundred eighty-six, at the time of the original registration and at the time of each renewal thereof, the commissioner shall also issue to said registrant a validating sticker or stickers indicating the validity of the current registration and the expiration date thereof, which validating sticker or stickers shall be affixed to the vessel in such manner as the commissioner may prescribe provided, however, that where the hull of a vessel equipped with a windshield is constructed of wood, such validating sticker or stickers may be affixed to the windshield of the vessel. From that time and notwithstanding the fact that a vessel has been assigned a registration number, it shall not be considered as validly registered within the meaning of this article unless a validating sticker and current registration certificate have been issued. In addition, the commissioner may issue a validating sticker or stickers to the holder of a certificate of registration issued prior to April first, nineteen hundred eighty-six, without further expense to the holder, indicating the validity of the current registration and the expiration date thereof, which validating sticker or stickers shall be affixed to the vessel in such a manner as the commissioner may prescribe. The commissioner shall establish by regulation such terms and conditions as may be necessary to accomplish the issuance of such validating sticker or stickers and the date upon which their issuance shall be completed. From thirty days after such date and notwithstanding the fact that a vessel has been assigned a registration number and has a current certificate of registration, it shall not be considered as validly registered within the meaning of this article unless a validating sticker or stickers is displayed on the vessel. S 2254. Registration record. Upon the issuance of a registration for a vessel, as provided in this article, the commissioner shall enter upon the records of the department the registration of such vessel under the registration number assigned to such vessel as provided in this article, and in any other manner which he deems appropriate. S 2255. Temporary registration. A temporary registration may be issued by a dealer registered in accordance with the provisions of this article to the purchaser of a vessel sold by the dealer provided the dealer makes application on behalf of the owner for a registration under section twenty-two hundred fifty-one of this article no later than five calendar days after the issuance of the temporary registration. Such temporary registration shall be valid, if issued and used in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner, for the operation of the vessel for which it is issued for thirty days after the date of issuance. Such temporary registration may be extended by the commissioner for an additional thirty days. The commissioner shall provide registered boat dealers with documents and forms to be used in the issuance of such temporary registrations. S 2256. Suspension and revocation of registrations; offenses; penalties. 1. The commissioner may suspend any registration pursuant to this article for violation of this article or a violation of the navigation law upon the recommendation of the commissioner of parks, recreation and historic preservation by the holder thereof. Such suspension or revocation shall be ordered only after a hearing, unless waived. However, the commissioner may temporarily suspend a registration pending a hearing. 2. Any person who violates any provisions of this article or regulation adopted pursuant thereto shall be guilty of a violation punishable as provided in the penal law except the maximum fine may not exceed one hundred dollars. S 2257. Registration of dealers. 1. For the purposes of this article, a dealer shall be any person engaged in the business of buying, selling or trading vessels. A person who sells three or more vessels for profit within one calendar year shall be presumed to be a dealer if such vessels were purchased, acquired or otherwise obtained by such person for the purpose of resale, and were never placed in his consumer use. On and after April first, nineteen hundred eighty-six, no person shall engage in business as a dealer, or represent or advertise that he is engaged, or intends to engage, in such business in this state, unless there shall have been issued to him a certificate of registration as provided in this section. A person shall not be required to be registered as a dealer if he sells no vessels other than vessels determined by regulation of the commissioner to be vessels or devices which would not ordinarily be considered as usable for transportation on water. 2. Application for registration. Every dealer shall file an application for registration as a dealer with the commissioner of motor vehicles, together with all required fees, in such form and detail and containing such information as the commissioner shall reasonably prescribe. 3. Issuance of certificate. If the commissioner approves the application, he shall issue a certificate of registration in such form as he may prescribe. For the purposes of implementing this article, the commissioner may, in his discretion, issue such certificates of registration and number plates on a staggered expiration basis, in which event the fees set forth in subdivision five of this section for such certificate shall be prorated on a monthly basis. 4. Demonstrator numbers and trailer number plates. (a) Upon payment of the required fee, a dealer shall be entitled to receive one or more demonstrator numbers, which may be used in lieu of a registration issued under section twenty-two hundred fifty-one of this article for the operation of any vessel owned or controlled by the registrant and held for sale or demonstration. Demonstrator numbers shall be displayed in a manner prescribed by the commissioner. (b) Upon payment of the required fee, a dealer shall be entitled to receive one or more number plates which may be used in lieu of any registration issued under section four hundred one of this chapter for the operation of any boat trailer owned or controlled by the dealer and held for the purpose of sale or demonstration, provided such operation is directly related to the sale or demonstration of any boat trailer or vessel. The provisions of section four hundred two of this chapter with respect to the care and display of number plates shall apply to number plates issued under this subdivision. (c) The commissioner may, in his discretion, limit the number of demonstrator numbers or number plates which shall be issued to any registrant. The fee for the replacement of lost, mutilated, or destroyed demonstrator numbers or number plates shall be two dollars. 5. Fees. Every application, other than a renewal application, shall be accompanied by an application fee of ten dollars, which shall in no event be refunded. The triennial fee for such registration or renewal thereof shall be seventy-five dollars. The triennial fee for demonstrator numbers or number plates shall be sixty dollars for each number or number plate. The application for registration, demonstrator numbers and number plates shall be accompanied by the required fees. There shall be no refund of any registration fee or any fee for demonstrator numbers or number plates. 6. No dealer shall sell a vessel except in accordance with regulations established by the commissioner. The commissioner may, in his discretion, require a registrant to maintain a record in a prescribed form of all vessels received or disposed of by him. Upon request of an agent of the commissioner or of any peace officer acting pursuant to his special duties, a registrant shall produce such records and permit said agent or peace officer to examine them, and any vessels on the premises subject to the record keeping requirements of this section during usual business hours or while the registrant is conducting business. The failure to produce such records or to permit such inspection as required by this subdivision shall be a violation. S 2257-a. Suspension, revocation or refusal to issue dealer registration; suspension or revocation of dealer demonstrator number or trailer plate; suspension of authority to issue temporary registration; civil penalty. 1. Suspension, revocation and refusal to renew a registration, demonstrator number or number plate. The commissioner may deny the application of any person for registration under section twenty-two hundred fifty-seven of this article or suspend or revoke a certificate of registration, demonstrator number or number plate issued under such section or refuse to issue a renewal thereof if he determines that such applicant or registrant or any other person directly or indirectly interested in the business: (a) has made a material false statement or concealed a material fact in connection with his application; (b) has used or permitted the use of demonstrator numbers or number plates contrary to law; (c) has been guilty of fraud or fraudulent or deceptive practices, or has practiced dishonest or misleading advertising; (d) does not have a place of business as defined by regulation of the commissioner; (e) was the former holder, or was an officer, director, stockholder, or partner, in a corporation or partnership which was the former holder of a dealer's registration, which was suspended or revoked by the commissioner; or (f) has failed to comply with any of the rules and regulations of the commissioner for the enforcement of this article or with any provision of this chapter applicable thereto. 2. In lieu of suspending or revoking the certificate of registration of a dealer, the commissioner may, for any of the grounds specified in subdivision one of this section, suspend the authority of a dealer to issue temporary registrations pursuant to section twenty-two hundred fifty-five of this article. 3. Civil penalty. The commissioner, or any person deputized by him, in addition to or in lieu of revoking or suspending the certificate of registration, or in addition to suspending the authority to issue temporary registrations, may in any one proceeding by order require the registrant to pay to the people of this state a penalty in a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars for each violation and upon the failure of such registrant to pay such penalty within twenty days after the mailing of such order, postage prepaid, registered, and addressed to the last known place of business of such registrant, unless such order is stayed by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, the commissioner may suspend the certificate of registration of such registrant until such penalty is paid. Civil penalties assessed under this subdivision shall be paid to the commissioner for deposit into the state treasury, and unpaid civil penalties may be recovered by the commissioner in a civil action in the name of the commissioner. In addition, as an alternative to such civil action and provided that no proceeding for judicial review shall then be pending and the time for initiation of such proceeding shall have expired, the commissioner may file with the county clerk of the county in which the registrant is located a final order of the commissioner containing the amount of the penalty assessed. The filing of such final order shall have the full force and effect of a judgment duly docketed in the office of such clerk and may be enforced in the same manner and with the same effect as that provided by law in respect to executions issued against property upon judgment of a court of record. 4. No certificate of registration, demonstrator number or number plate shall be suspended or revoked, civil penalty imposed or authority to issue temporary registrations suspended until such registrant shall have been given the opportunity to be heard, upon written notice to the registrant, before an officer or employee of the department designated for such purpose by the commissioner. However, the commissioner may temporarily suspend a registration, demonstrator numbers or number plates and/or the authority to issue temporary registrations pending a hearing. Upon the denial of an application for a certificate of registration, the applicant shall, upon written request made within ten days after the applicant is notified of such denial, be entitled to a hearing before an officer or employee of the department designated for such purpose by the commissioner. 5. Following the suspension or revocation of the certificate of registration of a dealer, demonstrator numbers or number plates, or the suspension of the authority to issue temporary registrations, pursuant to this section, the failure of the holder or any other person possessing the certificate of registration, demonstrator numbers, number plates or temporary registrations, issued to a dealer pursuant to the regulations of the commissioner, to deliver the same to the suspending or revoking officer is a misdemeanor. Failure of the holder or any person possessing the certificate of registration to deliver the same to any peace officer acting pursuant to his special duties, directed by the commissioner to secure possession thereof shall be a misdemeanor. S 2257-b. Yacht brokers. 1. A yacht broker is any person who, for a fee or commission, acts as an agent for either the buyer or seller of a vessel. On and after April first, nineteen hundred eighty-six, a person who engages in business as a yacht broker shall certify to the commissioner that he is a yacht broker. The failure of a person engaged in business as a yacht broker to certify to the commissioner that he is a yacht broker shall be a violation. 2. A yacht broker shall be required to keep records of all transactions concerning the purchase and sale of any vessel in which he acted as agent for either the buyer or seller. Such records shall be maintained in a manner prescribed by the commissioner and shall be available upon request during business hours to any peace officer or agent of the commissioner. The failure to produce such records as required by this section shall be a violation. S 2258. Rules and regulations. The commissioner is hereby empowered to make such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this article. Top of Page