I received a post card from the above agency advising that vessels that are USCG documented and occupying NC waters for over 90 days are required to be registered with that agency, effective October 1 this year, due to a new law enacted by the NC Legislature. This will effectively be a new tax disguised as a fee. Previously USCG documented vessels were not required to be registered in NC , but if they were in state waters they were placed on the tax rolls of whichever county they were slipped in if there over 180 days. I am not sure if this has changed or if the registration requirement is an attempt to identify vessels not on a county tax roll.
Registering Your U.S. Coast Guard Documented Vessel in North Carolina
Effective October 1, 2013, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) documented vessels that have been in North Carolina for more than 90 consecutive days, must be registered in the state. However, federal law restricts states from issuing titles for documented vessels since the USCG issues a Certificate of Documentation (COD) to owners of documented vessels which supersede a state title. To register a documented vessel you will need to submit a copy of your COD as proof of ownership, a completed and signed VL-1 Form and the appropriate fees for registration only.
Got the postcard; registered my documented sailboat yesterday. It’s $40 for three years before 10/1; apparently $150 per year after 10/1. The NC sticker needs to be displayed on your starboard bow, but your registration number does not need to be displayed if you’re documented, according to NC Wildlife, who administers the registrations.
I am a resident of NC and the above information sounds like all I have heard lately EXCEPT effective October 1 the $40 fee for three years jumps to $150 for three years. I think there is also a $50.00 per year registration. Needless to say I am taking my documentation to a registration office today or Monday and getting a three year $40.00 permit rather than wait until after October 1 and pay $150.00.
John Y. Jackson
On the documented vessels, between now and Oct 1, you can register your boat at the old rate of $40 for 3 years instead of $50 for one year! I and others have done it. Act fast.
New Bern, NC
Consider the similarities of this situation and the Florida requirement.
To register while in State over 90 days and or obtain a $135.00 cruising permit good for 11 months.
I called the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and asked for a citation to the NC Genreal Statutes. All they had was a Senate Bill number and not even a Session Law number. I looked up the Senate Bill number and found that it was the budget bill! They just slipped it in without any debate that I heard.
This type of thing just makes it more and more difficult for snow-birding cruisers why might be very interested in settling down at a nice dock in NC for a stretch of time. Who wants to go through the hassle of registering and unregistering your boat every 90 days? Say you spend summers in New England, the fall in North Carolina, the winter in Florida, and the spring in the Chesapeake–you might have to re-register your boat four times in a year!
As a resident of Maryland I have been looking for a place to escape to. This is compounding my delima.