5-321. Numbering; registration fees; exemption from taxation; penalty; procedures

A. Except as provided in section 5-322, the owner of each motorized watercraft requiring numbering by this state shall file an application for a registration number with the department, or its agent, on forms approved by the department.  Except as provided by rule adopted by the commission, the application shall be signed by the owner of the motorized watercraft and shall be accompanied by a registration fee.  After the effective date of this amendment to this section, the commission shall establish by rule a registration fee for each motorized watercraft requiring numbering by this state.

B. Pursuant to article IX, section 16, Constitution of Arizona, watercraft are exempt from ad valorem property tax and from license taxes in lieu of property tax.

C. The length of the motorized watercraft shall be measured from the most forward part of the bow excluding the bowsprit or jibboom, over the centerline to the rearmost part of the transom excluding sheer, outboard motor, rudder, handles or other attachments.

D. The commission may assess an additional registration fee, to be collected at the same time and in the same manner as the registration fee imposed by subsection A of this section.  The amount of the additional fee shall be determined by the commission and may be imposed in different amounts with respect to resident and nonresident owners. An additional registration fee under this subsection is to be used solely for the purpose of the lower Colorado river multispecies conservation program under section 48-3713.03.

E. On receipt of the application in approved form with the applicable fees, the department or its agent shall enter the application on the records of its office and issue to the applicant two current annual decals and a certificate of number stating the number issued to the watercraft and the name and address of the owner.  The owner shall display the assigned number and the current annual decals in such manner as may be prescribed by rules of the commission. The number and decals shall be maintained in legible condition.  The certificate of number or commission approved proof of valid certificate of number, except as provided in section 5-371, shall be available at all times for inspection by a peace officer whenever the watercraft is in operation.  No number issued by another state or the United States coast guard, unless granted exemption or exception pursuant to this chapter, shall be displayed on the watercraft.

F. No person may operate a motorized watercraft on the waterways of this state unless the watercraft displays the assigned number and current annual decals or the person is in possession of a valid thirty-day temporary registration as prescribed by this article.

G. No motorized watercraft shall be purchased, sold or otherwise transferred without assignment by the owner of the current numbering certificate or other documentation as may be prescribed by rules of the commission.  Within fifteen days after such transfer, the person to whom such transfer is made shall make application to the department to have the motorized watercraft registered in the person's name by the department, for which the department shall charge a transfer fee as prescribed in rule by the commission. The department shall not issue or transfer a numbering certificate for a motorized watercraft to a person who is subject to the use tax under title 42, chapter 5, article 4 unless the applicable tax has been paid as shown by a receipt from the collecting officer.  Persons doing business as marine dealers and licensed as such by this state are not required to register in their name any watercraft in their possession that may be offered for resale.

H. In the event of the loss or destruction of the certificate of number or annual decal, the department shall issue a duplicate to the owner on payment of a fee as prescribed in rule by the commission.

I. The department may issue any certificate of number directly or may authorize any person to act as agent for the issuance of the certificate of number in conformity with this chapter and with any rules of the commission. An agent that contracts with the commission to renew certificates of number by telecommunication may impose additional fees for the services as provided in the contract.

J. The owner shall furnish to the department notice of the transfer of all or any part of the owner's interest other than the creation of a security interest in a motorized watercraft numbered in this state pursuant to this chapter or of the destruction or abandonment of such watercraft within fifteen days. Such transfer, destruction or abandonment shall terminate the certificate of number of such watercraft, except that in the case of a transfer of a part interest that does not affect the owner's right to operate such watercraft, the transfer shall not terminate the certificate of number.

K. Any holder of a certificate of number shall notify the department within fifteen days if the holder's address no longer conforms to the address appearing on the certificate and, as a part of such notification, shall furnish the department with the holder's new address.  The commission may provide in its rules for the surrender of the certificate bearing the former address and its replacement with a certificate bearing the new address or the alteration of an outstanding certificate to show the new address of the holder.

L. On renewal of any motorized watercraft registration that has not been renewed by the current expiration date, the department shall assess a penalty unless the watercraft ownership has been transferred and the watercraft was not registered subsequent to the expiration date. The commission shall establish the penalty by rule.  If more than twelve months have lapsed since the expiration date of the last registration or renewal, the penalty and back fees are waived.