(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a State or a State's delegate approved by the Secretary of Transportation may make information available to the Secretary if, in a manner and form prescribed by the Secretary, the State—
(1) identifies the vessel;
(2) identifies the owner of the vessel, including by—
(A) the owner's social security number or, if that number is not available, other means of identification acceptable to the Secretary; or
(B) for an owner other than an individual—
(i) the owner's taxpayer identification number; or
(ii) if the owner does not have a taxpayer identification number, the social security number of an individual who is a corporate officer, general partner, or individual trustee of the owner and who signed the application for documentation or numbering for the vessel;
(3) identifies the State in which it is titled or numbered;
(4) indicates whether the vessel is numbered or titled, or both;
(5) if titled in a State, indicates where evidence of a lien or other security interest may be found against the vessel in that State;
(6) includes information to assist law enforcement; and
(7) includes other information agreed to by the Secretary and the State.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary also may accept information under conditions and in a manner and form prescribed by the Secretary.
(c) The Secretary shall—
(1) retain information on a vessel with a preferred mortgage under section 31322(d) of this title that is no longer titled in a State making information available to the Secretary under this chapter until the mortgage is discharged or the vessel is sold; and
(2) accept information under section 31321(h) of this title only if that information cannot be provided to a State.
(Added Pub. L. 100–710, title I, §101(a), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4736; amended Pub. L. 101–225, title III, §302(2), Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1922; Pub. L. 101–595, title VI, §603(10), Nov. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 2993; Pub. L. 109–304, §15(24), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1704.)
Last modified: October 26, 2015