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e-CFR Data is current as of October 24, 2008


Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters

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PART 187—VESSEL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM

Section Contents

Subpart A—General

§ 187.1   Which States are affected by this part?
§ 187.3   What vessels are affected by this part?
§ 187.5   What are the purposes of this part?
§ 187.7   What are the definitions of terms used in this part?
§ 187.9   What is a vessel identifier and how is one assigned?
§ 187.11   What are the procedures to participate in VIS?
§ 187.13   What are the procedures for obtaining certification of compliance with guidelines for State vessel titling systems?
§ 187.15   When is a mortgage a preferred mortgage?

Subpart B—Information to be Collected by Participating States

§ 187.101   What information must be collected to identify a vessel owner?
§ 187.103   What information must be collected to identify a vessel?
§ 187.105   What information on titled vessels must be collected and what may be collected?
§ 187.107   What information must be made available to assist law enforcement officials and what information may be made available?

Subpart C—Requirements for Participating in VIS

§ 187.201   What are the compliance requirements for a participating State?
§ 187.203   What are the voluntary provisions for a participating State?

Subpart D—Guidelines for State Vessel Titling Systems

§ 187.301   What are the eligibility requirements for certification of a State titling system to confer preferred mortgage status?
§ 187.303   What terms must a State define?
§ 187.304   What vessels must be titled?
§ 187.305   What are the requirements for applying for a title?
§ 187.307   What are dealer and manufacturer provisions?
§ 187.309   What are the requirements for transfer of title?
§ 187.311   What are the application requirements for a certificate of title because of a transfer by operation of law or order of court?
§ 187.313   Must a State honor a prior State title, Coast Guard documentation, and foreign registry?
§ 187.315   What happens when a title is surrendered for the purposes of documentation?
§ 187.317   What information must be on a certificate of title?
§ 187.319   What are the requirements for applying for a redundant title?
§ 187.321   What are the hull identification number (HIN) provisions?
§ 187.323   What are the procedures for perfection of security interests?
§ 187.325   Is a State required to specify procedures for the assignment of a security interest?
§ 187.327   What are a State's responsibilities concerning a discharge of security interests?
§ 187.329   Who prescribes and provides the forms to be used?
§ 187.331   What information is to be retained by a State?
Appendix A to Part 187—Participating Authorities
Appendix B to Part 187—Participating and Certified Titling Authorities


Authority:   46 U.S.C. 2103; 49 CFR 1.46.

Source:   66 FR 15630, Mar. 20, 2001, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General
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§ 187.1   Which States are affected by this part?
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States electing to participate in the Vessel Identification System (VIS) are affected by this part.

§ 187.3   What vessels are affected by this part?
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Only vessels numbered or titled by a participating State are affected by this part. Vessels documented under 46 U.S.C. chapter 121 and 46 CFR parts 67 and 68 are not affected.

§ 187.5   What are the purposes of this part?
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The purposes of this part are to—

(a) Establish minimum requirements for States electing to participate in VIS;

(b) Prescribe guidelines for State vessel titling systems; and

(c) Explain how to obtain certification of compliance with State guidelines for vessel titling systems for the purpose of conferring preferred status on mortgages, instruments, or agreements under 46 U.S.C. 31322(d).

§ 187.7   What are the definitions of terms used in this part?
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As used in this part—

Approved Numbering System means a numbering system approved by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under 46 U.S.C. Chapter 123.

Certificate of Documentation means the certificate issued by the Coast Guard for a documented vessel under 46 U.S.C. 12103 (Form CG–1270).

Certificate of Origin or COO means a document establishing the initial chain of ownership, such as a manufacturer's certificate of origin (MCO) or statement of origin (MSO), an importer's certificate of origin (ICO) or statement of origin (ISO), or a builder's certification (Form CG–1261; see 46 CFR part 67).

Certificate of Ownership means the Certificate of Ownership issued by the Coast Guard under 46 CFR part 67 (Form CG–1330).

Commandant means the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.

Dealer means any person who engages wholly or in part in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging new or used vessels, or both, either outright or on conditional sale, bailment, lease, chattel mortgage or otherwise. A dealer must have an established place of business for the sale, trade, and display of such vessels.

Documented vessel means a vessel documented under 46 U.S.C. chapter 121.

Hull Identification Number or HIN means the number assigned to a vessel under subpart C of 33 CFR part 181.

Issuing authority means either a State that has an approved numbering system or the Coast Guard in a State that does not have an approved numbering system.

Manufacturer means any person engaged in the business of manufacturing or importing new vessels for the purpose of sale or trade.

Owner means a person, other than a secured party, having property rights in, or title to, a vessel. “Owner” includes a person entitled to use or possess a vessel subject to a security interest in another person, but does not include a lessee under a lease not intended as security.

Participating State means a State certified by the Commandant as meeting the requirements of subpart C of this part. States meeting this definition will be listed in Appendix A to this part.

Person means an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint-stock association, or governmental entity and includes a trustee, receiver, assignee, or similar representative of any of them.

Secured party means a lender, seller, or other person in whose favor there is a security interest under applicable law.

Security interest means an interest that is reserved or created by an agreement under applicable law and that secures payment or performance of an obligation.

State means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

Titled vessel means a vessel titled by a State.

Titling authority means a State whose vessel titling system has been certified by the Commandant under subpart D of this part. Titling authorities participating in VIS will be listed in Appendix B to this part.

Vessel includes every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

Vessel Identification System or VIS means a system for collecting information on vessels and vessel ownership as required by 46 U.S.C. 12501.

[66 FR 15630, Mar. 20, 2001, as amended by USCG–2008–0179, 73 FR 35024, June 19, 2008]

§ 187.9   What is a vessel identifier and how is one assigned?
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(a) The vessel identifier for a vessel having a valid HIN is the HIN.

(b) If a vessel does not have a valid HIN, a vessel identifier is assigned under the following table:

Table 187.9(b)—Vessel Identifier Assignments

If the vessel is:And does not have a valid HIN:Then the vessel identifier is:
(1) DocumentedThe official number assigned by the Coast Guard under 46 CFR part 67.
(2) DocumentedAnd is transferred to a new ownerThe HIN assigned by the Coast Guard.
(3) UndocumentedAnd must be numbered under 33 CFR parts 173 and 174The number issued on a certificate of number by the issuing authority of the State of principal operation, provided the number will not be used in the future to identify a different vessel.
(4) UndocumentedAnd is transferred to a new ownerThe HIN assigned by the issuing authority of the State of principal operation.
(5) UndocumentedAnd the vessel is required to be numbered or titled in a new State of principal operationThe HIN assigned by the issuing authority of the State of principal operation.
§ 187.11   What are the procedures to participate in VIS?
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(a) A State must submit a written request to the Commandant (CG-5422) certifying that it will comply with the VIS participation requirements in subpart C of this part.

(b) The Commandant will review the request and determine if the State is complying with the VIS participation requirements. If so, the Commandant will certify compliance by listing the State in Appendix A to this part.

(c) Appendix A to this part will list those States certified by the Commandant to participate in VIS. When the Commandant determines that a State is not complying with the participation requirements, it will lose its certification and will be deleted from Appendix A to this part.

[66 FR 15630, Mar. 20, 2001, as amended by USCG–2008–0179, 73 FR 35024, June 19, 2008]

§ 187.13   What are the procedures for obtaining certification of compliance with guidelines for State vessel titling systems?
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(a) A State must submit a written request to the Commandant (CG-5422). The request must include a copy of the State's titling laws, regulations and administrative procedures, and certify that the State will comply with the VIS participation requirements in subpart C of this part.

(b) The Commandant will review the request and determine if the State is complying with the Guidelines for State Vessel Titling Systems in subpart D of this part. If the State is complying with the guidelines, the Commandant will certify compliance and list the State in Appendix B to this part.

(c) Appendix B to this part will list States certified by the Commandant. When the Commandant determines that a State is not complying with the vessel titling guidelines, it will lose its certification and be deleted from Appendix B to this part.

[66 FR 15630, Mar. 20, 2001, as amended by USCG–2008–0179, 73 FR 35024, June 19, 2008]

§ 187.15   When is a mortgage a preferred mortgage?
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A mortgage, instrument, or agreement granting a security interest perfected under State law covering the whole of a vessel titled under the law of a participating State is a preferred mortgage if the State is certified under §187.13.

Subpart B—Information to be Collected by Participating States
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§ 187.101   What information must be collected to identify a vessel owner?
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(a) A participating State must collect the following information for a vessel it has numbered or titled when an individual owns the vessel and make it available to VIS:

(1) Names of all owners.

(2) Principal residence of one owner.

(3) Mailing Address, if different from the address in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(4) One of the following unique identifiers for each owner:

(i) Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

(ii) If the SSN or ITIN is not available, birth date and driver's license number.

(iii) If the SSN, ITIN, and driver's license number are not available, birth date and other unique identifier prescribed by the State.

(b) A participating State must collect the following information for a vessel that it has numbered or titled when the vessel's owner is not an individual, but a business or other type of organization:

(1) Names of all businesses or organizations that own the vessel.

(2) Principal address of one business or organization.

(3) Mailing address, if different from the address in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(4) Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for the principal business or organization.

(5) If the TIN for the principal business or organization is not available, one of the following unique identifiers for a corporate officer, a partner, or the individual who signed the application for numbering:

(i) Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

(ii) If the SSN or ITIN is not available, birth date and driver's license number.

(iii) If the SSN, ITIN, and driver's license number are not available, birth date and other unique identifier prescribed by the State.

§ 187.103   What information must be collected to identify a vessel?
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A participating State must collect the following information on a vessel it has numbered or titled and make it available to VIS:

(a) Manufacturer's hull identification number (HIN), if any.

(b) Official number, if any, assigned by the Coast Guard or its predecessor.

(c) Number on certificate number assigned by the issuing authority of the State.

(d) Expiration date of certificate of number.

(e) Number previously issued by an issuing authority.

(f) Name of manufacturer, builder, or make.

(g) Model year, manufacture year, or year built.

(h) Overall length.

(i) Vessel type. Authorized terms are “open motorboat”, “cabin motorboat”, “auxiliary sail”, “sail only”, “personal watercraft”, “pontoon”, “houseboat”, “rowboat”, “canoe/kayak”, or “other”.

(j) Hull material. Authorized terms are “wood”, “aluminum”, “steel”, “fiberglass”, “rigid hull inflatable”, “rubber/vinyl/canvas”, or “other”.

(k) Propulsion type. Authorized terms are “propeller”, “sail”, “water jet”, “air thrust”, or “manual”.

(l) Engine drive type. Authorized terms are “outboard”, “inboard”, or “inboard/stern drive”.

(m) Fuel. Authorized terms are “gasoline”, “diesel”, or “electric”.

(n) Primary use. Authorized terms are “pleasure”, “rent or lease”, “dealer or manufacturer demonstration”, “charter fishing”, “commercial fishing”, “commercial passenger carrying”, or “other commercial operation”.

§ 187.105   What information on titled vessels must be collected and what may be collected?
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(a) A participating State must collect the following information on a vessel it has titled and make it available to VIS:

(1) Information required under §187.103.

(2) Title number.

(3) Issuance date of the most recently issued title or redundant.

(4) Where evidence may be found on the security interest or lien against the vessel.

(5) Name of each secured party.

(6) Address (city and State) of each secured party.

(b) A participating State may collect the following information on a vessel it has titled and make it available to VIS:

(1) Information concerning the discharge of the security interest.

(2) Information concerning the surrender of the certificate of title.

§ 187.107   What information must be made available to assist law enforcement officials and what information may be made available?
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(a) A participating State must make the following information available to VIS for use by law enforcement officials:

(1) Vessel identifier(s), as required by §187.9.

(2) Notice of law enforcement status. Authorized terms are “lost”, “stolen”, “destroyed”, “abandoned”, or “recovered”.

(3) Date of notice of law enforcement status.

(4) Point of contact for the agency or official reporting the status.

(5) National Crime Information Center code for the reporting agency or official.

(b) A participating State may make the following information available to law enforcement officials:

(1) Notice that the vessel is being sought for a law enforcement purpose other than a purpose listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(2) Location of vessel when reported lost, stolen, destroyed, abandoned, or recovered.

(3) Vessel insurance policy number.

(4) Name of insurance company.

(5) Address of insurance company.

(6) Mailing address of insurance company, if different from the address in paragraph (b)(5) of this section.

(7) Telephone number of insurance company.

(8) Date the vessel was recovered.

(9) Location of the vessel when recovered.

(10) Names and telephone numbers of contacts not listed under paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

(11) Request to be notified if vessel is sighted.

(12) Purpose of sighting notification request.

(13) Date and time vessel last sighted.

(14) Location of vessel when last sighted.

Subpart C—Requirements for Participating in VIS
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§ 187.201   What are the compliance requirements for a participating State?
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A participating State must comply with the following requirements:

(a) Collect the required information listed in subpart B of this part and provide that information to VIS under the applicable Coast Guard-State Memorandum of Agreement.

(b) Obtain specific evidence of ownership, such as the COO or current certificate of title and/or number, to identify a vessel's owner.

(c) Retain previously issued evidence of ownership, such as certificate of number, title, or Certificate of Documentation, and notify the issuing authority or the Coast Guard by mail or electronic message.

(d) Retain information identifying the type of evidence used to establish the accuracy of the information required to be made available to VIS and make it available to the Commandant upon request.

(e) Update the information required to be made available to VIS by providing, within 48 hours, a copy of transactions that enter, modify, or cancel records in the vessel files.

§ 187.203   What are the voluntary provisions for a participating State?
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A participating State may—

(a) Provide VIS with the optional information listed in subpart B of this part;

(b) Make available to VIS updated information provided by the vessel owner, government agency, or secured party about a vessel that has been moved to a non-participating State of principal operation; and

(c) Interact with non-participating States to make information available to, or request information from, VIS concerning a vessel or nationwide statistics.

Subpart D—Guidelines for State Vessel Titling Systems
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§ 187.301   What are the eligibility requirements for certification of a State titling system to confer preferred mortgage status?
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The Commandant, under 46 U.S.C. 31322(d)(1)(A) and §187.13, may certify a State vessel titling system that meets the requirements of this subpart as complying with the guidelines for vessel titling systems. This certification is for the purpose of conferring preferred mortgage status on a mortgage, instrument, or agreement granting a security interest perfected under State law, covering the whole of a vessel titled in that State. The State must also comply with the VIS participation requirements of §187.11 and subpart C of this part and make vessel information it collects available to VIS.

§ 187.303   What terms must a State define?
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A State must define the terms “certificate of origin”, “dealer”, “documented vessel”, “issuing authority”, “manufacturer”, “owner”, “person”, “secured party”, “security interest”, “titling authority”, and “vessel” substantially as defined in §187.7.

§ 187.304   What vessels must be titled?
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A State must require that all vessels required to be numbered in the State under 46 U.S.C. chapter 123 be titled only in that State, if that State issues titles to that class of vessels.

§ 187.305   What are the requirements for applying for a title?
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(a) A State must require application for a title within a specified period of time, not to exceed 60 days, after a vessel required to be titled is first purchased, ownership is transferred, or there is a change in vessel data listed on the certificate of title.

(b) A State must require disclosure in its titling application form of any secured party holding an unsatisfied security interest in the vessel.

(c) The application must include an entry for identification of the State or country in which the vessel was last numbered, titled, documented, or registered under the laws of a foreign country.

(d) A State must require that a COO for a vessel be submitted together with the application for any new vessel not previously numbered, titled, documented, or registered under the laws of a foreign country.

(e) A State must require that the application include a signed certification that the statements made are true and correct to the best of the applicant's knowledge, information, and belief, under penalty of perjury or similar penalties as prescribed by State law.

§ 187.307   What are dealer and manufacturer provisions?
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A State must include the following provisions applicable to any dealer or manufacturer building, buying, acquiring, selling, or transferring a vessel in that State:

(a) Dealers or manufacturers must not be allowed to apply for a certificate of title for a vessel not required to be numbered. Dealers or manufacturers owning a new or used vessel primarily used in their business, held for sale or lease, and required to be numbered may be permitted or required to apply for a certificate of title for the vessel. The State may impose other reporting requirements on dealers or manufacturers.

(b) Dealers or manufacturers transferring a vessel required to be titled in the name of the dealer or manufacturer must be required to assign the title to the new owner or, for a new vessel, assign a COO for a new vessel. Dealers or manufacturers transferring a vessel permitted to be titled in their name must be required to assign to the new owner any certificate of title which has been issued and not surrendered.

(c) Dealers or manufacturers must not be permitted to provide a redundant COO if VIS contains information concerning the vessel.

(d) Dealers or manufacturers must be permitted to provide a redundant COO to the vessel owner only upon receipt of information concerning the original certificate and the circumstances of its loss, theft, mutilation, or destruction and receipt of any recovered original COO or remains from the vessel owner. This information must be declared under penalty of perjury or similar penalties as prescribed by State law. The term “REDUNDANT” must be clearly and permanently marked on the face of a redundant COO.

(e) Dealers or manufacturers must be required to maintain for at least 3 years a record of any vessel bought, sold, exchanged, or received for sale or exchange, and open such records for inspection by the State.

§ 187.309   What are the requirements for transfer of title?
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To complete the sale, assignment, or transfer of a titled vessel, a State must require that a manufacturer, dealer, or individual must deliver the vessel's certificate of title to the new owner or new owner's designee, except for transfers by operation of law or order of court.

§ 187.311   What are the application requirements for a certificate of title because of a transfer by operation of law or order of court?
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A State must require a new owner to apply for a certificate of title within a specified period of time, not to exceed 60 days, after ownership of a vessel is transferred by operation of law or order of court. This application must include an original or authenticated copy of the legal transfer document.

§ 187.313   Must a State honor a prior State title, Coast Guard documentation, and foreign registry?
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(a) A State must honor a title issued by another State as proof of ownership for transfer or sale of a vessel and for applying for a certificate of number or title in the new State of principal operation.

(b) A State must honor a Coast Guard-issued Certificate of Ownership or a Certificate of Deletion as proof of ownership and deletion from documentation.

(c) A State must honor an authenticated copy of a foreign registry, or evidence of deletion from the foreign registry, as proof of ownership and deletion from the foreign registry.

§ 187.315   What happens when a title is surrendered for the purposes of documentation?
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A State title is invalid when it is surrendered to the Coast Guard in exchange for a Certificate of Documentation. Upon notification from the Coast Guard of the surrender of a title, a State must process the cancellation of the title.

§ 187.317   What information must be on a certificate of title?
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(a) A certificate of title must contain the following information concerning the vessel:

(1) Names of all owners (individuals, businesses, and organizations).

(2) Address of one individual, business, or organization owning the vessel.

(3) Title number.

(4) Date of issuance of title.

(5) Vessel identifier under §187.9.

(6) Name of manufacturer, builder, or make.

(7) Model year, manufacture year, or year built.

(8) Overall length.

(9) Vessel type. Authorized terms are “open motorboat”, “cabin motorboat”, “auxiliary sail”, “sail only”, “personal watercraft”, “pontoon”, “houseboat”, “rowboat”, “canoe/kayak”, or “other”.

(10) Hull material. Authorized terms are “wood”, “aluminum”, “steel”, “fiberglass”, “rigid hull inflatable”, “rubber/vinyl/canvas”, or “other”.

(11) Propulsion type. Authorized terms are “propeller”, “sail”, “water jet”, “air thrust”, or “manual”.

(12) Engine drive type. Authorized terms are “outboard”, “inboard”, or “inboard/stern drive”.

(13) Name of each secured party.

(14) Address (city and State) of each secured party.

(15) Recording or perfection date of new security interest and original recording or perfection date of any security interest outstanding.

(b) Space must be provided on the title form for assignment of interests in the vessel, with a signed certification that the statements made are true and correct to the best of the owner's knowledge, information, and belief, under penalty of perjury or similar penalties as prescribed by State law.

§ 187.319   What are the requirements for applying for a redundant title?
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(a) A State must require the holder (owner or secured party) of an original title to apply for a redundant title after the discovery of the loss, theft, mutilation, or destruction of the original.

(b) The holder must provide information, declared under penalty of perjury or similar penalties as prescribed by State law, concerning the original certificate and the circumstances of its loss, theft, mutilation, or destruction.

(c) The holder must surrender to the State any recovered original title or remains.

(d) The State must clearly and permanently mark the face of a redundant certificate of title with the term “REDUNDANT.”

§ 187.321   What are the hull identification number (HIN) provisions?
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A State must—

(a) Upon proof of ownership, assign an HIN and require that it be affixed to a vessel that does not have an HIN at the time of application for certificate of number or title; and

(b) Prohibit removal or alteration of an HIN without authorization from the Commandant.

§ 187.323   What are the procedures for perfection of security interests?
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(a) A State must specify, at a minimum, the following procedures for perfection of a security interest in a vessel titled in that State:

(1) Submission of an application for new or amended certificate of title on which the secured party must be noted.

(2) Surrender of any outstanding certificate of number and any outstanding title issued by another State.

(3) Surrender of the Certificate of Documentation of any documented vessel that is to be numbered and titled by the State.

(4) Submission of an authenticated copy of any foreign registry of the vessel and evidence of deletion from the foreign registry of the vessel that is to be numbered and titled by the State.

(5) Determination of the date of perfection.

(b) A State must recognize, under 46 U.S.C. 31322(e)(1), that, if a vessel is covered by a preferred mortgage when an application for a certificate of title is filed in that State, then the status of the preferred mortgage covering the vessel is determined by the law of the jurisdiction in which the vessel is currently titled or documented.

(c) A State must recognize, under 46 U.S.C. 31322(d)(2), that, if a vessel titled in a State is covered by a preferred mortgage, that mortgage will continue to be a preferred mortgage even if the vessel is no longer titled in the State where the mortgage, instrument, or agreement granting a security interest perfected under State law became a preferred mortgage.

(d) A State must recognize, under 46 U.S.C. 31322(d)(1), the preferred status of a mortgage, instrument, or agreement granting a security interest perfected under State law covering the whole of a vessel titled in a State after the Commandant has certified that State's titling system and the State participates in VIS with respect to the vessel.

(e) The State must provide that the perfection procedures required to be established under this section do not apply to—

(1) A lien given by statute or rule of law to a supplier of services or materials for the vessel;

(2) A lien given by statute to the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof;

(3) A lien arising out of an attachment of a vessel;

(4) A security interest in a vessel created by a dealer or manufacturer who holds the vessel for sale, irrespective of whether the vessel is titled;

(5) A security interest claimed in a vessel's proceeds, as defined in the Uniform Commercial Code in effect in the State, if the security interest in the vessel did not have to be noted on a vessel's title in order to be perfected; or

(6) Any vessel for which a certificate of title is not required in the State.

§ 187.325   Is a State required to specify procedures for the assignment of a security interest?
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Yes, a State must specify the procedures that apply to the assignment of a security interest in a vessel titled in that State.

§ 187.327   What are a State's responsibilities concerning a discharge of security interests?
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A State must specify the evidence and information that a secured party is required to submit regarding discharge of a security interest and establish procedures for its submission.

§ 187.329   Who prescribes and provides the forms to be used?
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A State must prescribe and provide the forms needed to comply with the titling system.

§ 187.331   What information is to be retained by a State?
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A State must retain the evidence used to establish the accuracy of the information required for vessel titling purposes and make it available on request to the Coast Guard, participating States, and law enforcement authorities.

Appendix A to Part 187—Participating Authorities
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The following States comply with the requirements for participating in VIS:

[Reserved]

Appendix B to Part 187—Participating and Certified Titling Authorities
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The following States comply with the requirements for participating in VIS and have a certified titling system: [Reserved]

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