CA boat registration

Dream to fish

Deck Swaby
Jul 25, 2009
380
139
Hell, CA
Name
Phil
Boat
20' Beachcraft Cuddy
Hopefully someone can help me out here before I end up with a large bill at the dmv. Do boats accrue back fees and penalties? If I buy a boat that hasn't had the registration paid for several years, am I going to have to pay the back fees?
 
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Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,679
    3,113
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    I'd also be concerned about the condition of a boat whose owner decided not to pay registration fees for several years.
     
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    Mike_I

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    May 19, 2006
    1,235
    592
    Irvine
    Name
    Mike_I
    Boat
    Cabo 216 First Love
    I have no idea and a guess is irrelevant but it's hard to believe any taxing agency in this state would not tax when they can.
     
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    Laukia

    boss
    Nov 30, 2004
    954
    352
    Carpinteria
    Name
    Dave R
    Boat
    28' Carolina Classic (sold) Pursuit 2350 FreeSwimmer
    San Diego tax code is pretty clear on this one point (wish I had known). The registered owner of the boat on Jan. 1 is liable for the unsecured property tax for the following year tax bill due even if you sell the boat before the tax year even begins (June 1, 2021-2022). Seems like unrepresentative taxation......but it is what it is. Expensive lesson learned. If you plan on selling.......do it before Jan. 1. Also the tax evaluation is based on the newer sale price if it's higher than the previous year. If the back taxes are not paid......DMV will not give a current registration tag.
     
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    Shewillbemine

    "should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,679
    3,113
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    San Diego tax code is pretty clear on this one point (wish I had known). The registered owner of the boat on Jan. 1 is liable for the unsecured property tax for the following year tax bill due even if you sell the boat before the tax year even begins (June 1, 2021-2022). Seems like unrepresentative taxation......but it is what it is. Expensive lesson learned. If you plan on selling.......do it before Jan. 1. Also the tax evaluation is based on the newer sale price if it's higher than the previous year. If the back taxes are not paid......DMV will not give a current registration tag.

    He's buying the boat.

    So does that mean it's still the previous owner's debt even after ownership has changed?
     
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    Dream to fish

    Deck Swaby
    Jul 25, 2009
    380
    139
    Hell, CA
    Name
    Phil
    Boat
    20' Beachcraft Cuddy
    I got ahold of the dmv after holding for an hour. The answer is YES. They told me exactly how much money it would be to bring it current. So if dude hasn't paid the registration it's on you! Take that into consideration when settling on a price....
     
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    clevel

    Skipper
  • Jun 4, 2011
    1,235
    1,049
    Laguna Niguel
    Name
    Cabo Jack
    Boat
    Cobia 261
    I got ahold of the dmv after holding for an hour. The answer is YES. They told me exactly how much money it would be to bring it current. So if dude hasn't paid the registration it's on you! Take that into consideration when settling on a price....
    If your boat is valued at more than $400, be prepared to pay "unsecured property tax" annually to the county the boat is located in. It is 1.0% plus local county tax (typically 0.1%) of the boat value. It is based upon who owns the boat on Jan.1 of each year, and yes, the County Tax Collector will collect upon missed assessments. Go check the web site of your local county tax collector for more info on "unsecured property tax."
     
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    Shewillbemine

    "should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,679
    3,113
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    I got ahold of the dmv after holding for an hour. The answer is YES. They told me exactly how much money it would be to bring it current. So if dude hasn't paid the registration it's on you! Take that into consideration when settling on a price....
    Damn, alright partner.

    Also, next time you might just want to call AAA to avoid that one hour DMV hold.
     
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    plj46

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Jan 7, 2008
    8,817
    12,023
    Socal
    Name
    john
    Boat
    24 ft grady white
    I find it hard to believe the DMV wouldn't have you pay the back fees.I would also assume there will be a penalty/late charge also.
     
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    Dream to fish

    Deck Swaby
    Jul 25, 2009
    380
    139
    Hell, CA
    Name
    Phil
    Boat
    20' Beachcraft Cuddy
    I find it hard to believe the DMV wouldn't have you pay the back fees.I would also assume there will be a penalty/late charge also.
    Yes, the new owner is responsible for unpaid back fees. It's just the normal annual registration fee per year that wasnt paid and the late fee was minimal and fixed from what I understood.
     
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    Dream to fish

    Deck Swaby
    Jul 25, 2009
    380
    139
    Hell, CA
    Name
    Phil
    Boat
    20' Beachcraft Cuddy
    If your boat is valued at more than $400, be prepared to pay "unsecured property tax" annually to the county the boat is located in. It is 1.0% plus local county tax (typically 0.1%) of the boat value. It is based upon who owns the boat on Jan.1 of each year, and yes, the County Tax Collector will collect upon missed assessments. Go check the web site of your local county tax collector for more info on "unsecured property tax."
    I thought the number was $5000 for some reason. Perhaps it's different county to county? The kicker is that the county doesn't base prices on NADA. They find the highest price comparable boat for sale and set the value at that.
     
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