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RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 1) - Anyone who purchases or transfers a motorized vessel 14 feet or longer, who owns a personal watercraft (jet ski) or who has a lien on a vessel, regardless of size, will be required to title the vessel effective Jan. 1, 2007.

This mandatory titling requirement will affect only new vessel purchases and transfers; existing vessel owners will not be required to obtain a title certificate.

The cost to title a vessel will remain at $20 and is effective until the owner sells or transfers the vessel.

Currently, North Carolina is an optional titling state. The mandatory titling requirement, approved in the 2006 session of the General Assembly and implemented by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, will simplify the vessel registration process for North Carolinians and the more than 400 wildlife service agents across the state who process these transactions by providing a common form of proof of ownership and ensuring vessels are properly registered in a timely manner.

Mandatory titling will also align North Carolina with surrounding states, all of which require a vessel to be titled, and make it easier for owners who want to sell their vessels out of state or who move to another state.

"When someone sells their vessel to a person in another state or moves out of North Carolina, they often have a difficult time getting the vessel registered," said Lisa Hocutt, customer support services for the Commission. "Other states require a certification from North Carolina that shows the vessel was not titled and that we are an 'optional' titling state. This process is time consuming for both the owner and the Wildlife Resources Commission."

For more information, contact the Wildlife Resources Commission at (919) 707-0398.
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