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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 98-15



[58 PA. CODE CH. 93]


[28 Pa.B. 40]

   The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) by this order amends Chapter 93 (relating to boat registration and numbering). The Commission is publishing these amendments under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendments relate to boat registration.

A.  Effective Date

   These amendments will go into effect upon publication of an order adopting the regulations.

B.  Contact Person

   For further information on the amendments, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Esq., (717) 657-4546, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000. This final rulemaking is available electronically through the Commission's Web site at

C.  Statutory Authority

   These amendments are published under the statutory authority of section 5122 of the code (relating to registrations, licenses, permits, plates and statistics).

D.  Purpose and Background

   The amendments are designed to update, modify and improve Commission regulations pertaining to boat registration. The specific purpose of the amendments is described in more detail under the summary of changes.

   Prior to acting on final rulemaking, the Commission solicited the advice of the Boating Advisory Board and received two comments, both favoring the changes. The Commission adopted the regulations as proposed, with the exception of a few minor corrections to the wording of the regulations.

E.  Summary of Changes

   1)  Section 93.1 (relating to registration). The Commission has clarified the existing regulation to provide that 1-year registrations will not be issued.

   2)  Section 93.2 (relating to permanent and temporary registration). In addition to some minor wording changes, the Commission has amended this section to make it clear that a person acquiring a previously registered boat must register it in the new owner's name and to provide that temporary decals will display the expiration date, instead of the issuance date, and that the expiration date will be last day of the second month after issuance. The Commission has amended the regulations to clarify the requirement that boats previously registered in this Commonwealth display temporary and new registration stickers.

   3)  Section 93.3 (relating to application for boat registration). The Commission has amended this section to make it consistent with the titling regulations. In addition, the Commission has amended the section to make it clear that the holder of a registration who trades or replaces a previously registered boat may transfer the remaining period of registration (but not the number) to the new boat on the payment of the $5 transfer fee. The Commission also has spelled out the procedures to be used when the last known registrant of a boat with expired registration has not signed the forms to transfer the boat to the applicant for registration.

   4)  Section 93.4 (relating to certificate of registration). The Commission has amended this section to require that a small validation sticker be applied to the certificate of registration. To validate the registration, the certificate will have to be signed (as presently required) and the small sticker applied. A similar approach is used in Maryland.

   5)  Section 93.7 (relating to duplicate certificate of registration). The Commission has made a clarifying change in the regulation regarding duplicate registration certificates.

   6)  Section 93.10 (relating to change of address). The Commission has amended this section to provide that change of address notifications be made in writing.

   7)  Section 93.12 (relating to dealers, manufacturers and jobbers). The Commission has clarified the definition of ''manufacturers.'' In addition, the Commission has made changes to this section to deal with the registration status of boats traded in to dealers.

   8)  Section 93.13 (relating to issuing agents). The Commission has added a provision clarifying issuing agents' responsibilities for handling of nonpublic information about persons registering boats.

   9)  Section 93.14 (relating to proof of ownership). The Commission has clarified the requirements on proof of ownership of boats for initial registration and to require submission of a Form PFBC-734, instead of an affidavit, when other documentation is not available.

   10)  Section 93.17 (relating to abandoned boats). This amended provision, modeled on a similar provision in the titling regulations, sets forth how an applicant can obtain registration for an abandoned boat.

F.  Paperwork

   The amendments hereby adopted will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements.

G.  Fiscal Impact

   The amendments hereby adopted will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The amendments will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.

H.  Public Involvement

   A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 27 Pa.B. 4445 (August 30, 1997). None of the changes attracted public comment.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  Public comment period was provided and no comments were received.

   (3)  The adoption of the regulations of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing statutes.


   The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 93, are amended by amending §§ 93.1, 93.2, 93.4, 93.7, 93.10, 93.14 and 93.17 to read as set forth at 27 Pa.B. 4445 (August 30, 1997) and by amending §§ 93.3, 93.12 and 93.13 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director will submit this order, 27 Pa.B. 4445 and Annex A to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director shall certify this order, 27 Pa.B. 4445 and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48A-70 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A



Subpart C.  BOATING



§ 93.3.  Application for boat registration.

   (a)  New registration. Application for a boat registration for a new boat or a used boat that was not previously registered in this Commonwealth shall conform with the following:

   (1)  Forms. The owner of a boat desiring registration shall apply on Form REV-336, provided by the Commission. The completed form shall be forwarded to the Fish and Boat Commission, Licensing and Registration Section.

   (2)  Required information. The applicant shall provide the following information on the application (REV-336) for a boat registration:

   (i)  The name, mailing address, residence address, phone number, county and zip code of the owner. If there is more than one owner, the principal owner shall be listed first.

   (ii)  The name of the person from whom the boat was purchased.

   (iii)  The State registration number, if any, currently assigned to the boat.

   (iv)  The hull material, such as, wood, steel, aluminum, plastic or fiberglass or other.

   (v)  The full Hull Identification Number (HIN).

   (vi)  The make, model and year built, if known.

   (vii)  The length of the boat in feet and inches.

   (viii)  The type of propulsion, such as, outboard, inboard sterndrive or unpowered.

   (ix)  The type of fuel, such as, gas, diesel or other.

   (x)  The capacity plate information.

   (xi)  The temporary validation decal number, if one was issued.

   (xii)  The primary usage such as, pleasure, rental/livery, manufacturer/dealer/jobber, commercial passenger, and the like.

   (xiii)  A certificate of ownership. For initial registration in this Commonwealth this shall be supported by title, bill of sale, a completed PFC-734 ''Statement of Purchase'' or other positive proof of ownership.

   (xiv)  The date the applicant completed the form.

   (xv)  The signature of the owners and certification, under penalty of law, that they are the owners of the boat and that the information contained in the application is true and correct.

   (xvi)  Complete Sales and Use Tax information.

   (xvii)  The date of birth of the primary registrant.

   (3)  Manufacturers, jobbers or dealers. Paragraph (2)(iv)--(x) and (xvi) do not apply to manufacturers, jobbers or dealers.

   (4)  Boat rental business. Paragraph (2)(viii) and (ix) does not apply to a boat rental business if a motor is not rented with the boat.

   (5)  Incomplete or incorrect applications. Incomplete or incorrect applications will not be processed until completed and may be returned by the Commission to the applicant or issuing agent.

   (b)  Renewals. Only Forms PFBC-730a and PFBC-733 shall be used to renew registrations of boats which are being kept by the same owner. If the registration has lapsed, the owner shall obtain Form PFBC-730a or PFBC-733 from the Licensing and Registration Section of the Commission to renew the lapsed registration.

   (c)  Previously registered boats. Application for a certificate of registration for a boat previously registered in this Commonwealth shall conform with the following:

   (1)  Form REV-336 shall be completed by the purchaser and seller and signed by the last registered owner.

   (2)  A bill of sale, signed by the last registered owner, may be substituted for the required signature on REV-336.

   (3)  If the registered owner of a boat to be transferred is deceased, the personal representative (executor/administrator) of the decedent shall sign Form REV-336 for the deceased owner. The personal representative shall indicate his capacity with his signature and shall provide documentation--an original death certificate and letters testamentary, letters of administration, original short certificate, court order filed under small estates procedures or Form PFBC-R1--certifying his capacity to act on behalf of the decedent's estate. An original death certificate is not required if Form PFBC-R1 is signed by the attending physician or funeral director. If the boat registration is to be transferred from joint ownership, when one of the joint owners is deceased, the other joint owner shall present the original death certificate to effect the transfer.

   (4)  When an applicant seeks to register a boat having an expired registration and the last registered owner has not signed the REV-336 or bill of sale because the applicant is not the seller of the boat, the Commission will, prior to processing the application for registration, notify the last registered owner at his last known address that the applicant is seeking to register the boat. If the last registered owner claims an ownership interest in the boat and objects to the transfer of the registration to the applicant, the Commission will defer further processing until the parties resolve the ownership issues through established civil processes. If the last registered owner does not object to the transfer or fails to respond to the notice after 30 days, the Commission may process the request for registration if it is otherwise satisfied that the applicant is the true and lawful owner of the boat and entitled to registration.

   (d)  Transfer of registration to new boat. The holder of a valid Pennsylvania registration certificate on a boat previously owned by the holder may transfer the registration certificate for the remainder of the original boat's registration period to a new boat upon payment of the transfer fee for multiyear registrations as set forth in the code and submission of a complete Form PFBC R-4. If the registration fee for the new boat is greater than the registration fee for the old boat based on the length of the boat, the applicant shall also pay the difference between the registration fees for the new and old boat. The applicant shall submit the certificate of registration for the old boat and certify that the validation stickers have been removed from the old boat at the time of transfer. The old boat's number shall remain with the old boat, and the new boat shall be issued a new number unless it was previously numbered in this Commonwealth.

§ 93.12.  Dealers, manufacturers and jobbers.

   (a)  Dealer, manufacturer and jobber registrations issued under section 5307 of the code (relating to dealer registration) will be issued only to businesses that prove to the satisfaction of the Commission that they are clearly recognizable as bona fide dealers, manufacturers or jobbers. Special registrations will not be issued to a person or business that fails to prove to the satisfaction of the Commission that it is regularly engaged in the business of being a boat dealer, manufacturer or jobber. It is unlawful for a person to provide false information in applying for dealer, manufacturer or jobber registrations or to seek to obtain special registration for a boat for the purpose of avoiding applicable Commonwealth taxes.

   (b)  A dealer is a business regularly engaged in the business of selling new or used boats. An applicant for a dealer's registration shall demonstrate that the business is clearly recognizable as a boat dealership on a regular basis. Applicants shall provide the information requested by the Commission. Proof of bona fide boat dealer status may include the following:

   (1)  Maintenance of a boat display area capable of regularly displaying at least three boats or a minimum of 1,200 square feet, indoors or outdoors.

   (2)  Annual sales of substantial numbers of new and used boats. ''Substantial sales'' normally means sale of five or more boats unless the applicant can show unusual circumstances justifying lesser sales.

   (3)  Consistent identification of the business as a boat dealer in advertising, signs, telephone book listings, and the like. The dealership shall be clearly identifiable as such by a person who visits or deals with it.

   (4)  Location of a dealership in areas where zoning permits boat sales and commercial operations.

   (5)  Regular hours of operation between April 30 and September 30 on at least 5 days per week.

   (c)  To be eligible for a jobber's registration, an applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the applicant is regularly engaged in the boat jobber business. A jobber is a person or business selling boats only to retailers or institutions.

   (d)  A manufacturer is a person or business engaged in building, testing or constructing boats or boat parts from raw material or parts. To be eligible for a manufacturer's registration, an applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the applicant is regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing or testing boats or boat parts for sale.

   (e)  Dealer, jobber and manufacturer registrations shall be issued only in the name under which the applicant is regularly engaged in the business of selling, jobbing or manufacturing boats.

   (f)  The Commission may recall special registrations for dealers, jobbers and manufacturers upon finding that:

   (1)  The dealer, jobber or manufacturer is no longer entitled to special registration.

   (2)  The dealer, manufacturer or jobber has made or permitted to be made an unlawful use of a watercraft, certificate of registration, registration number or validation decal.

   (g)  Boat dealers, jobbers or manufacturers who take in trade a boat bearing previous Pennsylvania boat registration are required, within 15 days of obtaining thed boat, to place the boat under the dealer/jobber/manufacturer's dealer registration. The dealer, jobber or manufacturer shall complete Form 336 and forward it to the Boat Registration Section. No fee is applicable to a transaction when dealers place boats taken in trade under their dealer registrations. It is unlawful for a boat dealer, jobber or manufacturer to operate or allow to be operated a boat received in trade bearing a Pennsylvania boat registration until the boat is placed under their dealer registration under this subsection.

§ 93.13.  Issuing agents.

   (a)  The designation of issuing agents for temporary boat registrations shall be limited to the Commission and Commission offices, county treasurers and businesses dealing in boats, boating equipment or sporting goods.

   (b)  To maintain an agency, the agent shall issue at least 25 temporary boat registrations during the calendar year.

   (c)  If the Executive Director determines that a sufficient number of agents are not available in an area reasonably to address the needs of the boating public, the Executive Director may appoint additional agents from other interested individuals or reduce the number of temporary boat registrations that existing agents are required to issue during the year.

   (d)  Issuing agents shall have access to nonpublic information concerning holders of boat registrations and titles, including their home addresses. Issuing agents who are provided nonpublic information about boat registration holders or boat owners in the course of their duties may not release or disclose the nonpublic information except for official purposes.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 98-15. Filed for public inspection January 2, 1998, 9:00 a.m.]

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