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Old 15-10-2019, 10:48   #1
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WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

I apologize in advance for what may be a long post. I recently purchased a vessel, moored in WA; the USGS documentation, owner title transfer & state registration was completed on 09/01/2019 for Oregon where I'm currently living. The boat is moored in WA (Port Ludlow) & I'm on a mooring waiting list for Sequim WA which is my intentional home port, John Wayne Marina. That is anticipated sometime in late spring. The title company said I had to register the boat in the state I lived in, hence OR, which was good since I avoided WA tax. I intend to register when Sequim mooring materializes - my understanding of the WA rules is that if boat is out of WA for 6 months, I won't need to pay tax when I register. I booked a mooring in Portland, thinking I'll have Sept-Mar which would be the 6 months window.

Issue: The insurance only insured for 'Port Risk' due to a few items on the survey, 2 of which need a haul-out. Insurance will only insure a one-time movement from Ludlow to Port Townsend. I can't get a haul-out until late November/early December which violates WA laws that say the boat has to be moved to its registration state within (this is the crazy part), I've found WA statements of 15 days, 30 days, 45 days & 6 months. This also buggers up the plan of being in OR for 6 months.

Any experience/knowledge of this type of situation? Thanks in advance.
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Old 15-10-2019, 12:21   #2
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

Will a Nonresident vessel permit solve your problem?

RCW 88.02.620
Nonresident vessel permit.
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Old 15-10-2019, 12:22   #3
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=88.02.620
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Old 15-10-2019, 13:09   #4
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

Thx Cheryl! That might at least give me a bit of legal breathing room, looks like I meet all the requirements. Thanks again!
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Old 16-10-2019, 20:24   #5
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

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Originally Posted by tizzlizz27 View Post
The title company said I had to register the boat in the state I lived in, hence OR, which was good since I avoided WA tax.

Just curiously, how much would the tax be? Good luck with the registration.
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Old 16-10-2019, 20:37   #6
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

feels very unlikely the WA taxman is going to enforce that quickly.
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Old 16-10-2019, 20:58   #7
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

When I was contemplating moving the boat to WA remember WA wanted the difference between tax paid in state first registered and what would have been due in WA soon after the boat entered their waters.
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Old 16-10-2019, 20:59   #8
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

Not our experience, we live in Oregon and have a boat at a slip in Washington, and registered it after owning for a year, with most of that time is was in a shipyard. We bought our boat from another Oregon resident, but it was moored in Washington. You will need to pay the tax when you register the boat in Washington unless you can prove you paid the 'sales/duty' tax in another state.

As a non resident can get 60 days in Washington for 'free' and then get a permit for another 60 days and with one extension. After that you need to remove the boat or register in Washington. If you boat is in their waters and you a past 60 days and no request for a permit, and try to register it... expect some grief.

The tax calculation is done by a local licensing office by looking up the boat value in a standardized table. If you paid less than the "value", then you can leave the licensing office and head to the Washington state treasury office with a bill-of-sale and then try and reduce the tax bill based on the paid value... and then head back to the licensing office. There is no one-stop shop if you want to challenge the tax owned by a bill-of-sale.

Good luck, the licensing folks are nice folks and prepare to pay the tax man.
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Old 16-10-2019, 21:52   #9
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

ronstory is right - there is no way of keeping an Oregon boat in Washington indefinitely without satisfying the sales/use tax requirements. And those 60 day cruising permits don't just raise a bit of money for the state, they document your day of entry into the state for use tax purposes - clever little buggers. You really want to mind your p's and q's here as they do fine for not meeting deadlines. However there is a special allowance for boats bought in WA for use by out-of-state owners in the state for a year, and then the boat must stay out for 2 years. This is done by purchasing a vessel use permit at the time of purchasing the boat. This is what you should have done.

Most states require local registration if their state is the primary use location, sometimes defined as using it within the state for 2 or 3 months at a time. I think your title company is just wrong about registering it in your home state if you are keeping it in another state.

It seems you have been given some bad advice. It would have been easy to check yourself: https://dor.wa.gov/get-form-or-publi...s-nonresidents At this point you may have to pay that sales/use tax, or get the boat out of Washington quickly. Remember, as long as you own the boat outright the only insurance you are required to have is liability, which you probably can get (depending on the specific deficiencies). I find it difficult to recommend sailing down the coast to Astoria right now; another option is to truck her to Portland, or possibly Kalama for a shorter trip. You could even look for a winter berth in Canada. Or just pay up and not have to mess with this stuff in the future.

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Old 16-10-2019, 21:54   #10
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

If you actually have a USCG documented vessel and you then registered in a state and placed state registration numbers on the bow you have just invalidated your USCG documentation. On the other hand if you only "state registered" it for state tax purposes and then place a state tax dept. sticker or decal on the boat you should be OK.
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Old 17-10-2019, 07:16   #11
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

@CarinaPDX

Thanks, I didn't know about the vessel use permit option, good to know.

@TizzLizz

I grew up in Astoria and while a slip there is pretty much free, the marinas are 'rough' and the sail down will be bumpy this time of year. We looked at the option, but decided that we could transfer occupancy of the current slip which, is at really nice marina, to give the puget sound a try. One of our best decisions, the sailing is way better, more to see, don't need to deal with the Columbia Bar plus way fewer sand bars.
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Old 17-10-2019, 07:37   #12
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
If you actually have a USCG documented vessel and you then registered in a state and placed state registration numbers on the bow you have just invalidated your USCG documentation. On the other hand if you only "state registered" it for state tax purposes and then place a state tax dept. sticker or decal on the boat you should be OK.

I know that placing state registration numbers on a doc boat is prohibited but I'm not sure that would automatically invalidate the doc. That would leave you a boat without a title. Is that written down somewhere?



Anyway WA does require registration to be paid and (only) the decal attached for doc boats.
https://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420082.pdf
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Old 17-10-2019, 08:25   #13
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

Thanks everyone for the very informative replies. I did know about the vessel use permit but my intention is to be in WA so the one year in/2 years out doesn't work. I know I'll have tax to pay when I register in WA. This is more about not having insurance.

I have yet to receive the USCG documentation, title company says they are backlogged up to 4 months due to a system hack/crash this year. So I can't get any registration until I receive that.

The non-resident vessel permit application is the way to go. I'll take care of that today, thanks again everyone!
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Old 17-10-2019, 11:36   #14
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

Believe me when I say Washington will get its pound of flesh.

BTW-I currently reside on B dock at John Wayne Marina in Sequim and love the place.

Long story short. I found my retirement boat in Sausalito a couple of years ago. I overpaid because it had a transferrable slip at SYH, sold the house in Port Townsend and spent six months doing a complete refit/upgrade.

Sailed back to Washington in June of last year and when I registered the boat I was informed that according to the state I had underpaid for my boat and owed them in excess of $1k in additional sales tax they felt I should have paid when I purchased my 40-year old boat in California.

This is the result of a regressive tax system that preys upon and cannibalizes its citizenry.

The State of Washington is a beautiful place to live and sail buth it will make sure you pay no matter what.
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Old 17-10-2019, 11:56   #15
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Re: WA/OR State Registration/Insurance Issue

In CA the tax man collects all the marina, aircraft rolls from the marinas and airfields on the January 1 every year and send the bills out to those people. Ok, except for the county of Alameda which never takes you off the rolls are horrible to deal with but that is not your issue.

Tax rolls are not collected from FBO's (mechanic shops for airplanes) and shipyards nor are they collected from anchor outs. A PITA but you could simply not have a slip in your name and be anchored out and then get a slip after they have collected the info. Depends how badly you want to not pay the tax
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