ALBANO & MILAM BILL TARGETING ABANDONED VESSELS SIGNED INTO LAW

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Nelson T. Albano and Matthew Milam (both D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland) that would make transferring the title of an abandoned vessel simpler was signed into law Monday.

“Right now, an individual or entity interested in transferring the title of an abandoned vessel must apply to a court for the transfer. This law requires that they apply to the MVC instead,” said Albano. “The MVC already handles vessel licensing and registration, so it makes sense for those seeking ownership of abandoned vessels to be able to do this through the MVC.”

The law (A-4177) removes the requirement that a person, entity, municipality, or harbor commission looking to acquire title to an abandoned vessel must apply to a court for transfer of title to the vessel. Instead, the person, entity, municipality, or harbor commission will have to apply to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for transfer of title to the vessel.

“Simplifying the title transfer process will help reduce blight created by boats that have been relinquished,” said Milam. “Abandoned boats are unsightly and can be problematic for docks, but we also want to make sure we give boat owners, who may have legitimate reasons for the delay, enough time to move their boats, before they are deemed abandoned and impounded.”

The law also increases from seven days to 30 days the period of time after which a vessel that has remained moored, grounded, docked, or otherwise attached or fastened to any public land or waterway or any private property may be impounded.

Under the law, the owner of an impounded vessel will be responsible for the cost of the transportation, disposal, and other incidental costs associated with the impounded vessel.