APRIL 15, 2019

Boat Titling Bills on the Move in Three States

Boat titling legislation advanced in the Alabama, Florida, and Georgia state legislatures last week. Strong titling laws provide critical protections to the entire boating community – including consumers, dealers, and manufacturers – and expanding these protections throughout the U.S. is a top NMMA state advocacy priority.

The titling language introduced in all three states would require a special alert be added to titles of totaled or substantially damaged vessels, letting potential buyers know the boat has a checkered history. Reducing the number of inferior products on the market also incentivizes financial institutions and insurance companies to issue more affordable loans and policies, often improving access to reasonable financing and premiums.

A breakdown of the bills’ progress in each state is available here:

Alabama: Sen. William Beasley (D-28) recently introduced a uniform titling bill, S152, which would establish a boat titling program in the state. The bill will be heard before the Government Affairs Committee next week. NMMA also expects a house companion bill to be introduced next week.

Florida: The uniform titling bill, HB475, will be heard in the State Affairs Committee on Thursday, while and the senate companion, SB676, passed its first of three committees unanimously on Tuesday. These bills would strengthen Florida’s existing titling law by providing consumers with an added layer of protection from buying a previously damaged or destroyed boat.

Georgia: House Bill 314, which would establish a titling program in Georgia, is scheduled to be heard on the senate floor today. This bill passed the house chamber and senate committees earlier this month. Georgia does not currently have any boat titling protections.

For more information on these bills, please contact NMMA director of state government relations, Libby Yranski at lyranski@nmma.org or NMMA policy and engagement manager for the southeast, Lee Gatts at lgatts@nmma.org.