Boat titling legislation introduced in Tennessee

Last Thursday, the Uniform Certificate of Title Act was filed in the Tennessee General Assembly.

NMMA and its industry partners said they actively support the legislation, calling titling a vital tool in the effort to protect consumers from buying damaged, destroyed, or stolen boats.

Vessel titles, like VIN numbers, ensure that clear ownership is defined for consumers and dealers. Titling provides boaters with security and protection. A certificate of title is a legal document exhibiting ownership, whereas registration is not.

Similar to how Carfax identifies if a car has been in an accident and who the rightful owner is, vessel titling adds significant consumer protection, helping boaters avoid unwittingly purchasing a stolen or previously damaged vessel. Additionally, titles create more confidence in the marketplace, leading to more reasonable financing options for boat owners. Additionally, the proposed legislation helps protect all dealers, including small, family-owned businesses by providing more certainty that an owner has the full legal title to a boat that they are accepting as a trade-in or attempting to resell.

NMMA expressed its gratitude to Senate Finance Chairman Bo Watson and Representative Sam Whitson for sponsoring this important piece of legislation and House Finance Chairman Representative Susan Lynn for co-prime sponsoring the legislation. For more information, please contact NMMA manager of southeast policy and engagement, Lee Gatts at 

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