Today was the last potential point to loose our momentum on actually gaining ownership of Kate. annnnnd…. we didn’t:)
Caye and I were up at 6:30ish (pretty standard for us – give/take an hour) and around 7:20 I spent a full 4o minutes talking to our new good friend Jennifer at the Madison DNR headquarters. The conversation was great and between the two phone calls yesterday, hours of research last night, scouring the boat for any type of registration and conversations with the last owners, I had more than enough questions and answers to get through a huge amount of the “footwork” involved in finding our way through this maze of legally transferring ownership of the boat. Just for kicks, here are the general complicating factors:
- The boat was sold from an aunt to the current owners a decade ago, but no transfer of State Registration was ever performed – the registration just kept getting renewed under the old name.
- The boat has Federal Documentation – a totally separate/parallel registration that operates only at the national level. So, already we need to deal with two totally different government offices to transfer ownership – one state (DNR) and one federal (Coast Guard).
- Federal Documentation and a state title are mutually exclusive – so the boat has no title. It was likely destroyed or sent in when the boat was documented in the 1970s.
- The Certificate of Documentation that should serve as a de facto title is not around – aka, one of the 4 family members that owned or partially owned this boat at one time misplaced/misfiled it.
- The last time the boat was actually re-documented was in 1984
- The boat is Federally Documented to a deceased family member
- The Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center currently is processing applications (of any kind) received on May 25 – ie they have a two month backlog.
- The only way to register the boat in WI without a title or Certificate of Documentation is to show some kind of official document from the aforementioned National Vessel Documention Center – ie wait 2 months to put Kate in the water.
On the positive side:
- The family is great and now that we have met them face-to-face a couple times, communication is moving quickly and easily
- The boat was registered in WI up until 2008, which makes proving past “chain of ownership” to the Coast Guard reasonably easy.
Keeping all of the above in mind, here is what the long phone call to the DNR turned up – we do need to wait 2 months to get the proper documents from the USCG, that we NEED in order to do anything with the state registration, BUT and this is the big, super positive, make my day but…. we can register the boat to my name right away and having temporary and totally legal registration, with a pending application until the USCG documents arrive!!!! Here’s the real kicker, there is an online form and checkout for this that takes about 5 minutes and gives you the temporary registration right at your computer!