View Full Version : Title for New Boat
Although I am not quite ready to title my boat which is a necessity in Wash. state; I hope that those of you out there who have built a boat and live in a state where a title is required might have some hints or tips on what would be smart to do. I've been saving all my materials receipts but I'm wondering about labor and how you evaluate it in terms of overall value of your boat. I woulld imagine that if one approaches this correctly ther would be dollars to be saved in the excise taxes States like to charge. I'm sure many of you have faced this necessity and many more will be in the future. So I hope this will be of benefit to many.. Thanks Jack O
01-03-2002, 06:40 PM
Sheesh, O, you just made a point for those who are arguing for meaningful thread topics. Pop over to the one on soup kitchens for some information on your topic. Bet you thought they were talking about soup.
This subject comes up from time to time on all the boat building fora I've read. I suspect only someone with experience in Washington can help. Seems every state is different. My Methodist upbringing was being strained something fierce when I figured 7% of $20,000 for Nebraska registration. I got confilicting information for the front line county treasure office people but figured I'd have to show up with all the reciepts sorted by in state and out state purchases. In the end, I called the head office, whinned a little and was refered to the assistant mamager at the office nearest my house. He ruled that sinece it was a home built boat they automatically assumed all taxes to have been paid. Cost me $30 for the three year ugly number I have to display on my precious.
On another forum someone in another state said he satisfied the tax man by signing an affidavit stating that all legal taxes had been paid.
A google search turned up this which may get you on the right track: http://www.wa.gov/dol/maintext.htm#Vessel
[This message has been edited by NormMessinger (edited 01-03-2002).]
Don't know about WA, here in CA the DMV will give you a Title, Hull Identification Number, CF numbers and a registration for a pile of receipts, two very basic filled out DMV forms and a check. The $ amount of the check you write is dependant on the amount you say the receipts total. Keeping the $ amount as low as reasonably possible will save you money at that time and later on county property taxes.
One other thought, to avoid "Homebuilt" on the title, I was advised by others to use SPCNS in the form for the "builder". When questioned, tell them it stands for "special construction". Seems official enough that the clerk said OK. Don't know if it's aboveboard, but it worked three times for me and once for a friend of mine.
Course your state will vary.
01-03-2002, 07:02 PM
Florida is pretty Republican in the whole matter: for boats under 16' no physical inspection is required. Take copies of all your receipts, the value of your product is moot, and $21.38 (for 15 feet) later you're titled and licensed for a year of operation.
01-03-2002, 09:33 PM
Above are correct, it varies greatly by state - All DNRs are not created equal. In Illinois, it's as easy as buying a CDL with HazMat endorsement. The regular (tri-annual) registration multi-carbon, multi-color renewal form has boxes for "new registration". I've gotten four new titles, so far. Two homebuilts, one antique (B.N.Morris), and one orphan Grumman. The form asks for a "Manufacturer's Statement of Origin", but I never did one. In each case I just filled out the form in whatever way I though looked appropriate, made a Xerox, and sent it in. The wheels of the patronage system can turn slowly in Illinois. The enforcement wing of the DNR understands this and is usually willing to accept the Xerox as an indication of good intent. (I've only been challenged once). Eventually I got a crisp new title for each vessel. The fee is based on the length of the craft.
01-04-2002, 08:49 AM
The proper title for your boat is 'Your Highness"
but "Madam" is permitted in informal settings.
Of course, endearments like 'Darling', 'Love,' and 'Honey' are acceptable for coaxing a bit of a lift to get past the bouy at West Chop.
You will not use the B or C words, even in extremis.
[This message has been edited by Ian McColgin (edited 01-04-2002).]
01-04-2002, 09:46 PM
According to Federal Income Tax law, the financial investment in a home improvement is limited to the money you actually fork out (whether to Home Depot or to contractors). In other words, you cannot jack up the size of your financial investment (and therefore your tax deduction) in your home improvement project by charging yourself an hourly wage. Can't do it for your kids who helped either. I think that the same principal applies here as well.
So when it comes time to fill out the Title papers on your new boat, your estimated value should simply be the cost of materials -period! Don't be reluctant to put down on the forms that the craft is homebuilt. The homebuilt status is a readily understood and valid explaination as to why the stated value of your boat seems so low. Also, if you ever decide to sell it, you'll probably have to 'fess up that it's a homebuilt anyway so stand proud and declare it officially.
[This message has been edited by PugetSound (edited 01-04-2002).]
01-05-2002, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by Eb:
Don't know about WA, here in CA the DMV will give you a Title, Hull Identification Number, CF numbers and a registration for a pile of receipts, two very basic filled out DMV forms and a check. The $ amount of the check you write is dependant on the amount you say the receipts total.
The DMV in California is mainly interested in collecting sales taxes owed. If you built the boat from materials you purchased in California, the sales tax has already been paid. My Weekender cost all of $9 to register. The personal property tax portion of the taxes are collected by the county, and the value (i.e., the material cost) of my Weekender will be taxed in a separate bill.
My Weekender Boatbuilding community has a FAQ on registering homebuilt boats we have started, but unfortunately, WA isn't a state listed. Our members have contributed their experiences registering homebuilt boats in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Lousiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. FAQ page is at:
Anyone who wants to add to it is certainly welcome! Just email me with your experiences in your state.
01-05-2002, 06:24 AM
On the boatbuilding Ring there is a page on registering new boats. It deals mostly with getting a hill ID number from the Coast Gaurd. This will be helpful if you ever sell it or move to another state. Also if you build mutiple boats.
01-05-2002, 10:35 AM
Um, hull ID from the Coast Guard? Not in my experience for little boats.
Do you have a URL to the Ring, Rick?
I spent a few hours one day calling USCG numbers, talking to nice people willing to help but with only another number to call. I talked to perhaps six different offices until one told me to contact the State Department of Motor Vehicles. I think (short memory, it's been a year or so) I also hit on a USCG web site that gave a phone number to call which turned out to be the Nebraska DMV. Does the USCG handle this for some states and not for others?
01-06-2002, 05:27 PM
I checked on this several months ago. Basically they require a survey, deduct any taxes on material during construction, htat gives you the adjusted value by which they asses the excize tax due. Ain't it wonderful?? Check out http://www.wa.gov/dol/vehicles/tr-ves.htm . The accesswa site changes all of the time, so check it often. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
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