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Old 21-11-2013, 06:43   #1
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USCG Documented, live in VA...help please

I finally got my USCG documentation back. (submitted July 15th, received the documentation on October 20th!!) The boat is in Maryland waters, but I live in Virginia. I am moving aboard next week and heading south for a year or two. Do I need to tell VA I have this boat? I will have an address at a PO box up here in VA. What are the rules? I keep reading that once the boat is USCG documented, I don't need any state registration. Is this true? Will they tax me somehow? Should I visit my county to pay their tax? I believe the previous owner had it registered in MD too...as there are number stickers on the side, and a MD sticker. Do I need any of that? as a USCG documented boat, do I need anything on it besides the name and hailing port?

Next question...my dinghy. Do I need to register that anywhere? Do I need number stickers on it? It hangs off my davits. I have a 4hp outboard which is mounted on the stern rail. The dinghy is an accessory to the sailboat...so I don't need to do anything with it right? Or do I have to register it in VA?

Any experience anyone has with these questions would be helpful.
Thanks.
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Old 21-11-2013, 07:42   #2
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Re: USCG Documented, live in VA...help please

Maryland law requires any boat, including USCG documented boats, that stay in their waters more than 3 months to register with the state and pay any residual sales tax. Any previously paid sales tax will be credited. There is an exception for boats listed for sale with a Maryland brokerage or boats out of service, ie on the hard. For a USCG documented boat you get a sticker that you put in your forward portlight or on the mast.

I am surprised that you were able to buy it in Maryland without registering it or signing a statement that you will remove it from Maryland waters in 90 days. I think all Maryland brokerage firms are required to obtain that statement or register the boat.

My advice is to leave Maryland ASAP, head south and if you never spend more than 3 months in any state you should not have to register or pay sales tax.

Your dinghy will have to be registered in some state to be legal. Your main vessel's USCG documentation has no effect. You could register it in Va or any state that you spend more than 3 months in, but Va makes the most sense. Even if you don't spend 3 months in any state, an unregistered dinghy will be illegal in any state.

David
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Old 21-11-2013, 07:44   #3
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Re: USCG Documented, live in VA...help please

You're supposed to pay taxes to the VA county in which you "reside" even if your boat is USCG Documented. You are also supposed to register your dinghy since it has a motor, and you need numbers and sticker. Hope this helps (although not the answer you want!). Happy cruising!
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Old 21-11-2013, 08:13   #4
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Re: USCG Documented, live in VA...help please

Thanks for the replies. Registering the dinghy is no problem...I just wanted to make sure I'm legal. Registering is cheaper than fines.

My boat was already USCG documented, but I didn't get a new sticker. I take it there should be a sticker on it already? What does it say?
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Old 21-11-2013, 08:22   #5
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Re: USCG Documented, live in VA...help please

No sticker for the mothership if you're in VA (some other states do require a sticker). Good idea to register the dinghy here -- otherwise, Florida will make you register it there when they catch you (and they probably will, if you spend any time there).
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Old 21-11-2013, 08:38   #6
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Re: USCG Documented, live in VA...help please

If you keep the motor OFF the dinghy you do not need to register. But the second you put the motor on it needs registration. Before you put the motor on it is just a row boat.
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Old 21-11-2013, 08:39   #7
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Re: USCG Documented, live in VA...help please

Someone mentioned that if the boat is on the hard in MD, then it's not considered in service and no tax would be required. I wonder if the same holds true for a boat in Va if the owner lives out of state?
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Old 21-11-2013, 10:28   #8
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Re: USCG Documented, live in VA...help please

Oh my, you are going to meet so many wonderful and helpful water cops on your trip. Every frigging state you pass through is going to site you for lacking registration. They don't care if they are legally right or not, they will write the ticket and you will pay it, or spend the next 6 months fighting it down at their courthouse.
If, by South, you mean still in the USA, register it fully in whatever state you want, but if some states charge more than you paid, they may still demand the difference.
If, by South, you mean Panama, head out to sea and come on down. Stop by and kiss the soil of Cuba on your way.
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