Titling and Registering my Sunfish - 2 of them.

elainealderman

New Member
I recently tried to register my 2 Sunfish when I found out that any boat over 12' (whether with a motor or without) must be registered in Louisiana. I brought the paperwork which included the notarized Bill of Sale and the numbers on the Sunfish to La Dep of Wildlife and Fisheries. I even had a picture of the Alcort plate.

I was unable to register them because I didn't have titles for either of the sunfish. The officer also said the plate and number were not valid numbers. He said they had never been registered in Louisiana and were not Coast Guard-approved. And I'm thinking WTH? Attached is a picture of the plate. The picture quality isn't great but the numbers are 60286. The other sunfish is a newer one with an AMF number. Any ideas on how I can overcome this problem?

A friend of mine suggested I get them titled or registered in a more "friendly" state and then try to register them again here in Louisiana. It's Greek to me. The "old" guys say don't worry about it, that I won't get stopped by the patrol boat for either the Sunfish or the Hobie 16'. I would prefer to be legal but I'm not planning on parking them for 3 years in my garage.
 

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Oh geez. Yeah, this is an issue in "titled" states. I ran into that before when I tried to register an untitled kayak. Illinois just recently relaxed the laws regarding titling small boats.
I wonder if I can title your boats in Illinois on a bill of sale, then you can transfer title in Louisiana? Let me check the DNR site.
 
I bought 2 older Sunfish (pre-HIN) in Illinois and they were able to be registered in Minnesota without having titles or getting titles. The bill of sale was an official looking form printed off the interwebs. Up here they want to see language about 'sales tax paid' or they may charge you tax. It also seems easier to sell something for 1 dollar versus giving it away for free.

Based on comments above, I would say the agent did not really know how to fully deal with an older, pre-HIN, untitled boat. I would be inclined to call the LA state department of whichever handles these titles and registrations and ask the questions again. There might be another form or two needed to make all of this work. It gets more complicated up here too if you are not buying from the last known owner.

When I registered my last homebuilt boat, I was obligated to add 12-13-14 something leading zeroes to the one-digit serial number until the field on the computer was satisfied. Perhaps they can do that with the deck plate serial number to make a HIN.
 
Being one of the old guys I would agree and say forget about it. Sail the boats and enjoy. When your government at ANY LEVEL follows their own rules then perhaps think about "being legal". Rules for thee not me. We the people own the country, why would you need to pay to use it?
 
In Michigan we have several times acquired untitled old boats. Went to the sec of state and asked them to generate one. No problem especially for pre-title aged small boats. Just find a clerk who is willing. Try a different office location maybe out in the backwoods.
 
I recently tried to register my 2 Sunfish when I found out that any boat over 12' (whether with a motor or without) must be registered in Louisiana. I brought the paperwork which included the notarized Bill of Sale and the numbers on the Sunfish to La Dep of Wildlife and Fisheries. I even had a picture of the Alcort plate.

I was unable to register them because I didn't have titles for either of the sunfish. The officer also said the plate and number were not valid numbers. He said they had never been registered in Louisiana and were not Coast Guard-approved. And I'm thinking WTH? Attached is a picture of the plate. The picture quality isn't great but the numbers are 60286. The other sunfish is a newer one with an AMF number. Any ideas on how I can overcome this problem?

A friend of mine suggested I get them titled or registered in a more "friendly" state and then try to register them again here in Louisiana. It's Greek to me. The "old" guys say don't worry about it, that I won't get stopped by the patrol boat for either the Sunfish or the Hobie 16'. I would prefer to be legal but I'm not planning on parking them for 3 years in my garage.
I looked at the Louisiana website and am thankful I live in Michigan which is far less draconian when coming to registering older used boats for the first time. The website says this is what is required:

  • If you purchased your boat used and do not have a complete chain of ownership from the last registered owner of the boat, you may be required to obtain a court order to register your boat. Please call 225.765.2898 for more information.

Wow! Really? I would think that a bill of sale for a boat that has never been registered would be good enough. What if you treated the boat as if it was purchased out of state? One of the problems is that older Sunfish (prior to 1972) had serial numbers, but not "Hull Identification Numbers". In Michigan, they will assign a HID to you if all you have is a serial number. We are technically required to etch that HID into the transom, which is where all post 1972 Sunfish have their HIDs. The Louisiana website says this about that situation:

  • If your boat does not have a Hull Identification Number (homemade boats) or has an incorrect Hull Identification Number and you’re applying for registration for the first time, your boat must be inspected by LDWF and must be titled in addition to being registered. You must submit an Application for a Boat Inspection along with your completed registration application and provide receipts for building materials indicating taxes paid (for homemade boats) at the time of inspection. LDWF will send you a letter with information to call and make an appointment for your inspection.

So, my recommendation, FWIW, is to treat this as a homemade boat that has no HID, have it inspected, get a state assigned HID and then you should be able to register it.
 
If you pay taxes on property, you do not own it you are only renting/leasing it from the government. If you doubt that try and sell property that has back taxes, the government will not allow you to do so as they hold the deed, literally. When you register your car you hand them the receipt correct, once you do that you have turned over ownership to the government. They issue a registration which "allows" you to use their vehicle. Again, you can not "legally" transfer ownership without the governments blessing, they own it not you. A vehicle registration merely indicates you are allowed to use that vehicle. If you don't believe that, "illegally" park it and they will confiscate, tow and hold (own) that vehicle because it is theirs even before a appearance or trial conclusion. And you are correct, my vehicle is currently not registered or inspected. I received a ticket three years ago for an expired inspection. Keep in mind my home state is the only state in the union that requires a vehicle to pass an emissions test just like the day it rolled out of the factory. On a 10 year old vehicle that can be problematic and expensive to achieve. Once you have spent $1500 on repairs trying to achieve that end they will issue you a wavier but by accepting that wavier you MUST destroy (and provide proof) the vehicle within one year. If the vehicle does not posses a valid inspection they will not renew the vehicles registration. So, my vehicle will not economically pass a state emission inspection, thus they wont renew the registration so I have neither. The ticket for an uninspected vehicle in this state is a maximum of $125. They always offer you a plea to a couple of parking tickets which besides being fraudulent typically total $150 to $200 and most people jump at that because the state does not disclose the lower max fine for expired inspection. For those of you who are thinking I am single handedly destroying the environment, in my state commercial vehicles (which includes pickup trucks registered commercially) do not require emission inspections nor do vehicles older than 25 years old. So if it is 24 years old you must pass emissions but add a day and you are good to go. Humm...

I have friends that have a vehicle from my home state at their home in Florida. The home state will not re-register their vehicle unless they drive it back to the home state and have it inspected. They changed their rules about 5 years ago to make that all happen just everyone's safety or was it for the money.

I also sold our home, the current owner is paying in excess of $18,000 a year take home in taxes, we were just under $12k when we sold. We stopped playing that game, the state lost.

As far as the boats go, the government has set up their rules (not yours) to make sure you are considered a criminal so they can collect more money. The boats were properly manufactured to the rules prior to 1972. The government then changed the rules leaving you no recourse but to pay more lease money, ignore them or revolt. Like most organized crime families if you pay protection money (inspection, receipts for tax owed, registration) they will let you be (not invoke violence) until they need more money and change their own rules once again. (14 days to flatten the curve) Who is the victum here anyway?

If you go the route to register it homemade they get their tax money on the "materials". Name one store you can walk into to and not pay taxes on as an average citizen. Because you will not have the receipts indicating that you paid taxes on those specific materials you will pay them the tax if you want the registration, at todays tax rate not the tax rate when the boat was constructed. Then you will pay for the registration. In the socialist state that I live in, if you are from out of state and own (lease/rent) a motor home, airplane or boat and it stays in the state more than 90 days the state can and does assess an 8% use tax for using that item in their state. So if you are traveling and park the boat for the winter, the state goes through the marinas in the off season, sees the hailing ports and heads to the marina office for your papers. I purchased a boat in Maryland in 2005. The boat stayed in the very marina that I purchased it in for 18 months. Within in 6 months my home state placed a lean on my house because I had not paid them sales tax on that vessel. When I indicated that the vessel was still in another state and not theirs, they said prove it. How exactly do you prove something is there that's not there? It took over 10 years to clean that state stupidity up even after I moved the vessel to my home state and paid sales tax on it. When we went to sell our home the state still had a lean upon the home from that vessel transaction. That vessel by the way is still federally documented by the owner, two owners ago. The last guy who owned it before me never redocumented it (yes there is a semi annual fee). I could not redocument it or remove the documentation against it because the guy before me didn't do anything. He is dead so showing complete chain of custody would be difficult and the United States Coast Guard wants $375 to correct their incorrect records even though they even indicate the documentation has expired over 10 years ago. My state would not register the vessel to me until the Coast Guard sent them a letter stating that the documentation was invalid due to non renewal but would not corrected it officially with out payment. I believe that letter cost me $65. So much for public servants.

Amazing that if your boats were 10ft 11inches you are free to use those vessel. No sane person makes these rules. If it were me I would forget the government mandates, use the boats and enjoy them. If you get stopped tell them that they are your uncles from out of state and you are simply using them. Oh that damn use tax... Most people follow and want to follow the rules but when the rules become so absurd and restrictive its time to tell em to screw off. If we are all created equal how is it that one person has higher authority than another to make such rules with out our approval?

By the way, the constitution clearly says you are entitled to free and unimpeded travel through out the United States. The supreme court has upheld this on many occasions. Under the law you need a drivers license to operate a vehicle, but you do not need one to travel in you own vehicle. Blacks law dictionary, the one that law uses for legal definitions states that driving means that you are doing so commercially and are being monetarily compensated for it. If you are simply traveling from point A to point B you are not being compensated and do not need a license. The thin blue line always states you are operating a vehicle thus you need a license. Not so according to the Supreme court. Also, an officer will always make a statement and ask you if you understand? If you agree and state you understand, understand means you have given them authority over you and you stand under their authority to what ever they state. Never state you understand, it does not mean what you think it means legally.

Go sailing before they tax the wind...
 
Yep, they probably have it like this so in the wild chance some may have stolen a boat, it's their form of a dragnet (reason the court order in some places)...

Like said before some states allow you to do very little paperwork (description and what the "value" is) and then they charge sales tax on the random value, and then leave it to you to etch the number on the hull that they give you to match the fresh paperwork.
 

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