ALBANO & MILAM BILL TO SIMPLIFY TRANFER OF TITLE FOR ABANDONED VESSELS ADVANCED BY ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE

(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 by requiring the title transfer application be made to the state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) was recently approved by an Assembly panel.

“Right now, an individual or entity interested in transferring the title of an abandoned vessel must apply to a court for the transfer. This bill would require 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 bill (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 would have to apply to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for transfer of title to the vessel.

“Simplifying the title transfer process would 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 bill 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 bill, the owner of an impounded vessel would be responsible for the cost of the transportation, disposal, and other incidental costs associated with the impounded vessel.