Pram License

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Theron, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Steve Unwin

    Steve Unwin Active Member

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    I can't swear it but I think in WA the driver is allowed to have an open container as long as he is under the limit.
     
  2. PETI

    PETI Member

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    This is the line to pay attention to. You don't need a license even with a motor.

    Exempt if:
    • Vessels less than 16 feet long with a motor of 10 horsepower or less, if used on non-federal waters only.
     
  3. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    True, but he said he may want to check crabs and crabs live in Federal waters.

    To summarize:

    1. No motor, no license, no matter what size, no matter what water

    2. No license if using only in non-Federal waters (aka freshwater ponds, small lakes and small rivers) and are less than 16 feet long with a motor of 10 horsepower or less.

    3. License all motorized boats if using in Federal water (aka salt water and other big bodies of freshwater - Lake Wash., Columbia River, etc).

    See this list for what is Federal and non-Federal: http://www.uscg.mil/d13/docs/cg_navigable_waterways.pdf
     
  4. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Freestone is correct, but I'll add one detail. If your boat is over 16' and has a sail you'll need to be registered too.
     
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  5. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    In my case I have an 8' fiberglass pram that I bought from a private seller in an all-cash deal several years ago. The boat was unlicensed/un-registered, and had no title associated with it - since that'd make about as much sense as getting a title for a wheelbarrow.

    Anyhow - the way I read the regulations, I have to get the boat registered if I want to use the motor in the Puget Sound, which I do. I took a look at the "Vessel Title Application Form" (http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420289.pdf) and my best guess was that I could just leave spaces that I can't complete (because the information required doesn't exist) blank, identify myself as the first legal owner, and call it good.

    It's hard for me to get away from work during working hours to visit a licensing office in person, and I couldn't get anyone at the local licensing office to pick up the phone, so I called the customer service line at the WADOL and spoke to a very pleasant fellow who seemed as confused as I was. He agreed that I needed to register the boat if I was going to use it with a motor in the Puget Sound, but when I asked how I could go about doing so in the absence of a registration/title/etc the conversation became less helpful as he kept looping back to the fact that I'd need the bill of sale, use or excise tax receipts (I forget which it was), etc.

    I replied that I'd be happy to provide those documents if they existed, but since I picked up the boat from a skinny-chain-smoking guy in an all cash deal transacted in a vacant lot, the said documents wouldn't be forthcoming and I'd need to figure out another way to get the boat registered. We did a couple more laps around this same loop before I thanked the gentleman for his time and concluded our conversation.

    I just finished sending an e-mail outlining my dilemma to the DOL e-mail helpline, and will report back once they chime in, but if anyone has successfully negotiated this process before and can let me know how they managed to get their pram/rowboat/dinghy registered without having any of the documentation that the state seems to need, let me know. If it's as easy as taking the "Vessel Title Application Form" to the licensing office, that'd be great, but my previous experience with the DOL makes that seem unlikely and I'd like to avoid making several trips if I can.
     
  6. Milanmark

    Milanmark New Member

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    I'm from Michigan and just registered my pontoon today! Same BS! They were hung up on similar stuff, no serial number, no title, no certificate of origin etc... I finally told the lady the only reason this needs to be registered is because of the electric motor and that's why the other stuff doesn't exist! Didn't help! Three clerks and another on the phone and I finally got the registration. The clerks were just trying to do their job and one understood better than the others that lower end watercraft doesn't fit all the rules... finally made it fit... as broke as my state is I would have thought they would just take the money and run ! In the past now so I can relax!
     
  7. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    Just in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar dilemma - here's what I learned after a navigating a byzantine labrinyth of nonsensical rules constructed to form a the procedural equivalent of a mobius strip that you'll never escape from if you rigidly adhere to the rules as they are written.

    "You'll need the bill of sale and the registration...."
    "Neither of those documents exist. This is a 3rd or fourth hand, 15 year old, unpowered, 8 foot long fiberglass pram that was only used in non-Federal waters, that I bought in a cash sale from a private party several years ago."
    "Yea - if you bring in the bill of sale..."

    All I can think is that the folks I was speaking with were using variable intonation or something to communicate what they couldn't actually come right out and say, which is that you basically just have to forge a bill of sale and bring in that, along with a pencil-etching of the hull-identification number and you'll have enough documents for them to feed into the bureaucratic machinery to insure that it spits out your stickers and registration. After three years of uncontested registration, you can apply for a full title, if you actually want one for whatever reason.
     

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