Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 19 of 38

Chapter 18: Lien Sales – Abandoned – Abated Vehicles

18.165 Vessel or Vessel and Trailer Combination Valued Over $1,500 (CH&NC §503)

For a vessel valued at $1,501 or more, the lienholder must submit an Application for Lien Sale Authorization and Lienholder’s Certification Vessel or Vessel/Trailer Over $1,500 (BOAT 152) form and the nonrefundable filing fee to:
Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados
Lien Sale Section, MS D143
P.O. Box 932317
Sacramento, CA 94232-3170

The REG 152 must contain the vessel’s make, hull identification number (HIN), and state of registration. If it does not have either a California CF number or a HIN, a Vessel Verification (BOAT 111) form completed by a licensed vessel verifier or a law enforcement officer must be submitted with the request.

All lien sale notices must specify the make, HIN, CF/license number, state of registration, if available, and the specific date, exact time, and place of sale.

The lien sale process for a vessel or vessel/trailer combination valued over $1,500 is as follows:

Step 1

DMV sends a copy of the BOAT 152 and a return envelope pre-addressed to DMV to the registered and legal owners and any interested parties by mail with a return receipt requested and places a stop on the vessel record. DMV will also notify the lienholder if an outstanding property tax lien has been placed on the vessel.

Step 2

To oppose the sale, a signed Declaration of Opposition must be returned to DMV within 15 days from the date the notice was mailed. If DMV receives a Declaration of Opposition within the allotted time, DMV shall, within 16 days of receipt of the declaration, send a letter denying the lien sale, unless the lienholder files a court action within 60 days of the opposition notice.

The lien sale cannot be conducted unless judgement is issued in favor of the lienholder or the declarant (opposer) releases interest in the vessel. DMV shall promptly authorize the sale if the lienholder attempted service upon the declarant at the address shown on the opposition form and the letter is returned to the lienholder unclaimed.

Step 3

The lienholder may immediately continue with the lien sale process upon receipt of authorization from DMV.

Step 4

At least 10 days, but not more than 30 days, prior to the sale date (not counting the day of sale) the lienholder must give notice of the sale by advertising once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the vessel is located. If there is no newspaper published in the county, notice shall be given by posting a notice of sale in three of the most public places in the area in which the vessel is located and at the place of sale for 10 consecutive days prior to and including the day of sale.

Step 5

The lienholder must mail a Notice of Pending Lien Sale for Vessels or Vessel/Trailers Valued at Over $1,500 (BOAT 166) form 20 days prior to the sale (not counting the sale date) with a return receipt requested, to the registered and legal owners of record (if registered in California), any other interested parties, and DMV.

Step 6

The vessel must be available for inspection at a location easily accessible to the public at least one hour before the sale and must be at the place of sale at the specified time and date (CH&NC §506).

Step 7

The lienholder shall conduct the sale in a businesslike manner. Sealed bids are not allowed (CH&NC §506).

Step 8

After the sale, the lienholder must keep the vessel for a 10-day redemption period.

If applicable, the license plate on the trailer must be removed and destroyed.

The vessel may be redeemed by the registered or legal owner by paying the amount of the lien, all costs and expenses of the lien, and the interest on the sum at the legal rate from the date thereof until repayment (CH&NC §506.5).

Step 9

Within 15 days of the sale, the lienholder must submit any excess fees with a copy of the Certification of Lien Sale for Vessel or Vessels With Trailers Valued Over $1,500 (BOAT 178) form to the DMV Lien Sale Unit.

For the vessel, the following must be submitted:

  • An Application for Registration Number, Certificate of Ownership, and Certificate of Number for Undocumented Vessel (BOAT 101) form.
  • A BOAT 178 completed by the lienholder or agent.
  • Postal receipts attached to the BOAT 178 (bulk mail receipts are acceptable).
  • An authorization letter from DMV, certified copy of the court judgment issued in favor of the lienholder, or release of interest from the declarant (opposer).
  • Any bill(s) of sale needed to complete the chain of ownership

If a “Delinquent Vs. Tax” message appears on the HQ RESPONSE SINGLE HIT screen, the applicant must submit a Vessel Tax Disposition (BOAT 120) form.

If the BOAT 120 is:

  • Submitted, continue processing the application.
  • Not submitted, forward the application to the Lien Sale Unit in DMV headquarters for the required BOAT 120.

Refer to Chapter 24 for additional information.

The procedures below must be followed:

  • If there is no HIN on the vessel, assign a HIN following instructions in Chapter 24.
  • Verify that the 10-day redemption period has passed before clearing the application.
  • Give the buyer an ABCs of California Boating booklet.
  • If the vessel is motorized, issue one set of Vessel Carbon Monoxide Warning Stickers with the companion brochure and advise the customer to affix the stickers as explained in Chapter 24.
  • Forward the application to the Lien Sale Unit in DMV headquarters, if the proceeds of the sale exceed the amount of the lien.

For the trailer if any, the following must be submitted:

  • A completed Application for Title and Registration (REG 343) form.
  • If there is no record on file for the trailer , a Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form.
  • Items previously indicated for vessel clearance. Photocopies are acceptable.
  • If a title is requested, a Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) Certification (REG 4017) form.