Substitute House Bill No. 6375

Public Act No. 99-114

An Act Concerning Vessel Registration Plates.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 15-145 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) A marine dealer or marine engine manufacturer may obtain one or more marine dealer's registration numbers upon application to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and upon payment of a fee of [twenty-five] fifty dollars for each number. Such funds shall be deposited in the boating account of the Conservation Fund. Such application shall contain an affidavit stating that (1) such marine dealer is a person engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling or repairing new or used vessels and that such person has an established place of business for the sale, trade, display or repair of such vessels, or (2) such marine engine manufacturer is a person engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling or repairing marine engines and that such person has an established place of business for the sale, trade, display or repair of such engines. A marine dealer's or marine engine manufacturer's registration certificate shall be denominated as such and shall state the dealer's or engine manufacturer's name, residence address, business address, registration number, the expiration date of the certificate and such other information as the Commissioner of Environmental Protection may prescribe. The certificate, or a copy of the certificate, shall be carried aboard and shall be available for inspection upon each vessel which displays the dealer's registration number whenever such vessel is in operation. A number or certificate may not be used on more than one vessel at a time. Each certificate shall be renewed on the first day of May of the year following the date of issue and shall expire on the last day of April of the year following such renewal, unless sooner terminated or surrendered. At least thirty days prior to the expiration day of each certificate, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall notify each dealer and manufacturer of such expiration. Within ninety days before its expiration, each dealer's or manufacturer's certificate may be renewed upon application and upon payment of the fee provided in this section. Each registration number assigned to a marine dealer or marine engine manufacturer shall remain the same so long as such dealer or manufacturer continues, under the same name, in the business described in such dealer's or manufacturer's application affidavit as required pursuant to this subsection.

(b) A marine dealer's registration number shall be displayed in such manner as the Commissioner of Environmental Protection prescribes on vessels operated for the purpose of sale, [or] trade, repair or transport and on any vessel sold by such dealer for not more than five days after the date of such sale, and on any vessel used by a marine engine manufacturer for the sole purpose of testing or demonstrating marine engines manufactured or repaired by such person. Any vessel displaying a marine dealer's registration number shall be presumed to be properly registered.

(c) No marine dealer or marine engine manufacturer may (1) rent, or allow or cause to be rented, (2) operate, or allow or cause to be operated, for hire, or (3) use, or allow or cause to be used, for the purpose of conveying passengers or merchandise or freight for hire, any vessel registered with a marine dealer's or marine engine manufacturer's number and certificate. No marine dealer or marine engine manufacturer may loan a number certificate to any person except (A) for the purpose of demonstrating a vessel; (B) when a vessel owned by or lawfully in the custody of such person is undergoing repairs; or (C) when such person has purchased a vessel, the registration of which has not yet been completed and in any case for not more than five consecutive days. Each marine dealer or marine engine manufacturer shall keep a record of each loaned number certificate showing the date loaned, the vessel hull identification number (HIN) of the vessel on which such number is displayed, the date returned and the name and address of the person operating any vessel with such loaned number certificate. Such dealer or engine manufacturer shall give a copy of this record to each person to whom such number certificate is loaned, which copy shall be carried in the vessel at all times when operated. This record shall be retained by the dealer or engine manufacturer for a period of six months from the date on which the number certificate was loaned and such record shall be available during business hours for examination by any police officer, marine officer or conservation officer.

(d) Any marine dealer may operate, or cause to be operated by a bona fide full-time employee, a vessel with a marine dealer's registration number (1) while a potential purchaser or customer is aboard, (2) when running a new vessel from an import terminal to the dealer's place of business, (3) when test running a new vessel after receiving it from the manufacturer, (4) when delivering a sold vessel to the new owner, (5) when running a trade-in vessel from a buyer, (6) when test running a trade-in vessel before it is made available for sale, (7) when running a vessel to, and using a vessel in, a fishing tournament, and (8) when test running a vessel after repairs, maintenance or winter storage. Each marine dealer shall maintain a record of the following: (A) Each marine number certificate issued by the commissioner to such dealer, (B) the name, address and occupation of any bona fide full-time employee to whom such certificate has been assigned, (C) the date of assignment of such certificate, and (D) the exact location of each unassigned certificate. For the purposes of this subsection, "bona fide full-time employee" means a person who is employed by a marine dealer for not less than thirty-five hours per week and who appears on the records of such marine dealer as an employee for whom tax is withheld for Social Security, federal income tax and any other withholding or deductions from salary required by law.

(e) No person may use a vessel with a marine dealer's or marine engine manufacturer's registration number for any purpose other than the purposes described in this section. The commissioner may revoke any marine dealer's or marine engine manufacturer's registration number under this section if any vessel with a number issued to such dealer or engine manufacturer is used in violation of this section.

Approved June 3, 1999

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