General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 90B Motorboats, Other Vessels and Recreational Vehicles - Section 3 Application for certificate of number; display

Section 3. (a) Subject to the exceptions listed in section two, the owner of any motorboat principally used in the commonwealth shall file an application for number with the director on a form approved by him. The application shall be signed by the owner of the motorboat, and shall be forwarded to the director together with a fee, as determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven, for an original certificate of number or renewal thereof, or for the substitution of a certificate of number of a motorboat for a motorboat previously numbered. Upon receipt of the application in approved form, the director shall cause the same to be entered upon the records of the department and shall issue to the applicant, if entitled thereto, a certificate of number. The owner shall cause to be painted on or attached to each side of the bow of the motorboat the identification number appearing on the certificate of number. The identification number shall read from left to right and shall be in block characters of good proportion not less than three inches in height. The number shall be of a color which will contrast with the color of the background and so maintained as to be clearly visible and legible. Subject to the exceptions listed in section two, no identification number shall be displayed on any vessel on the waters of the commonwealth by the owner of any motorboat principally used in the commonwealth unless said owner has a valid certificate of number issued by the director. The certificate of number shall be pocket size (approximately two and one half by three and one half inches) and water resistant, and shall be available at all times for inspection on the motorboat for which issued whenever such motorboat is in operation.

(b) The requirements of this chapter shall apply to motorboats operated by manufacturers or dealers solely for the purpose of testing or demonstrating. The description of the motorboat will be omitted from the certificates of number since the numbers and certificates of number awarded may be transferred from one motorboat to another. In lieu of the description the word “manufacturer” or “dealer”, as appropriate, will be plainly marked on each certificate of number. The manufacturer or dealer may have the number awarded painted upon or attached to a removable sign temporarily but firmly mounted upon or attached to the boat being demonstrated or tested. This subsection shall not apply to motorboats owned by a dealer or manufacturer and which are used for purposes other than testing or demonstrating.

(c) The certificate of number of a livery boat shall be plainly marked “livery boat.” The description of the motor and type of fuel will be omitted from the certificate of number of a livery boat in any case where the boat is rented with different motors or with the person renting the boat supplying the motor.

(d) The owner of any motorboat already covered by a number in full force and effect, which number has been awarded by the secretary or pursuant to the numbering system of another state, which system has been approved by the secretary, shall record the number with the director within ninety days of the effective date of this chapter. Such recording shall be in the manner and pursuant to the procedure required for the award of a number under subsection (a) of this section, except that no additional or substitute Massachusetts number shall be issued. The number shall be recorded as valid for the remainder of its term and a registration fee prorated on the basis of a Massachusetts renewal of a number fee shall be charged.

(e) Should the ownership of a motorboat change, a new application form with fee shall be filed with the director and a new certificate of number shall be awarded in the same manner as provided for in an original award of number.

(f) The numbering system and pattern employed pursuant to this chapter by the division shall conform to the overall system of numbering for motorboats within the United States as prescribed by the laws of the United States, and must be approved by the secretary.

(g) All records of the division made or kept pursuant to this section shall be public records.

(h) The owner shall furnish the division notice of the transfer of all or any part of his interest other than the creation of a security in a motorboat numbered in the commonwealth pursuant to subsections (a) and (d) of this section or of the destruction or abandonment of such motorboat, within fifteen days thereof. Such transfer, destruction or abandonment shall terminate the certificate of number for such motorboat and such certificate of number shall be surrendered to the director within fifteen (15) days of such occurrence. In the case of a transfer of a part interest which does not affect the owner’s right to operate such motorboat, such transfer shall not terminate the certificate of number.

(i) Any holder of a certificate of number shall notify the division within fifteen days, if his address no longer conforms to the address appearing on the certificate of number and shall, as a part of such notification, furnish the division with his new address.

(j) An original certificate of number initially awarded pursuant to this chapter shall be valid for two years from the date of issue. Each renewal shall be valid for two years from the date of expiration of the certificate renewed. An original certificate of number may be renewed by mail or by facsimile. An applicant who is seeking the renewal of said certificate must state his name, present address, telephone number, facsimile number and social security number on the respective correspondence. The division shall inform said applicant by mail or facsimile as to whether the renewal is or is not approved. If approval is granted, the division shall mail the renewed certificate to the address of said applicant. In implementing this procedure, the director shall seek to avoid all duplicative administrative steps. The director may promulgate such regulations as he deems necessary to implement such a renewal procedure.

(k) 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 such motorboat.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015