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General Media Contacts: Business Hours (512) 389-4406,

Media Contact for This Release: Kristen Everett, (512) 389-8046,

Sept. 8, 2003

TPWD Implements Marine Dealer, Boat Titling Changes

AUSTIN, Texas At its regular meeting Aug. 28, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Commission adopted rules which comply with House Bill 2926, passed during the recent legislative session. Some of the new rules address the following issues:

bulletLicense regulations for Marine Dealers, Distributors, and Manufacturers.
bulletRegistration decal placement for specific circumstances.
bulletDefining acceptable situations for the issuance of bonded tiles for vessels or outboard motors.

"This legislation provided administrative cleanup and expansion to laws that protect the consumer and provide for the collection of existing fees outlined by law," said Frances Stiles, manager of boat titling and registration at TPWD.

There are a variety of new rules. Some will begin to be enforced Jan. 1, some March 1. Following is a breakdown by those dates of some new key rules.

Jan. 1:

bulletPeople must register U.S. Coast Guard-documented vessels and must display a registration decal.
bulletFor antique boats, the registration decal may be placed on the windshield. If the boat does not have a windshield, the decal may be attached to the wallet-sized certificate of number and carried on board.
bulletThere will be a new "Bonded Title" fee of $35. This security bond allows another avenue for the consumer to follow-through on ownership when there is lack of documentation, like a non-signed title transfer.

March 1:

bulletThere will be mandatory licensing process for all marine dealers and an increase in the license fee from $130 to $500. Game Wardens will be allowed to inspect records held by anyone selling boats and motors.

"We didn't have lot of control over these dealers it was a voluntary system but they didn't have to buy a license if they didn't want to," said Dennis Johnston, who was Chief of Marine Enforcement at TPWD until Sept. 1. "If they sell five or more boats or motors in a calendar year, they need to have a license."

Johnston said it's hard to estimate how many marine dealers there are now since it's been a voluntary program but there are about 1,200 people in the state who currently hold a marine dealer's license.

These rules will go to the Texas Register for posting soon. For more information, call Frances Stiles (512) 389-4860 or Al Campos, assistant chief of marine enforcement at (512) 389-4627.




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