Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 19 of 38

Chapter 18: Lien Sales – Abandoned – Abated Vehicles

18.160 Vessel or Vessel and Trailer Combination Valued at $1,500 or Less (CH&NC §504 and 507)

DMV must promptly furnish the lienholder with the names and addresses of the owner(s) of record upon receipt of an Information Request from Registration Records (INF 1126) (PDF) and the nonrefundable filing fee.

  • An Application for Lien Sale Authorization and Lienholder’s Certification Vessel or Vessel/Trailer Valued Over $1500 (BOAT 152) (PDF).
  • A written statement from a licensed yacht and ship broker showing the fair market value of the vessel obtained within 30 days of submission.
  • A copy of the DMV printout or the nonrefundable filing fee for a printout, to:
    Department of Motor Vehicles
    Lien Sale Section, MS D143
    PO Box 932317
    Sacramento, CA 93232-3170

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

Step 1

Upon receipt of the names and addresses, the lienholder shall immediately send by mail, return receipt requested, to the registered and legal owners of record, and any other interested parties the following:

  • A completed Notice of Pending Lien Sale for Vessels or Vessel/Trailers Valued at $1,500 or Less (BOAT 156) (PDF).
  • A return envelope preaddressed to DMV.

On the same day the notices are sent to the registered and legal owner(s) of record, and any other interested parties, the lienholder shall send to DMV by certified mail, return receipt requested a:

  • Completed BOAT 156.
  • Fair market value statement obtained from a licensed yacht and shipbroker verifying that the vessel value or vessel/trailer is under $1,500. See the Vessel Liens—Boaters Lien Law section in this chapter.

Step 2

DMV receives the BOAT 156 and marks the record. Thereafter, any person having a proprietary interest in the vessel will be notified of the pending lien sale.

The sale date must be set for no less than 35 days, but no more than 60 days, from the date of mailing.

Step 3

Owners and interested parties have 15 days from the date the notice is mailed to oppose the sale.

Step 4

To oppose the sale, the Declaration of Opposition must be signed and returned to DMV.

Within 16 days of receipt of the Declaration of Opposition, DMV sends a denial to conduct the lien sale letter to the lienholder, unless one of the following occurs:

  • The lienholder files an action in court within 20 days of date the notice and judgment is issued in favor of the lienholder.
  • The declarant (the opposer) releases interest in the vessel.

If the lienholder has attempted service upon the opposer at the address shown on the Declaration of Opposition and the letter is returned unclaimed, the lienholder may proceed with the lien sale.

Step 5

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

Step 6

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

Step 7

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 interest on the sum at the legal rate from the date thereof until repayment (CH&NC §506.5)

Step 8

Within 15 days of the sale, the lienholder must submit any excess fees with a copy of the BOAT 156 to the DMV Lien Sale Unit.

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

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. The purchase price and date of purchase must be shown.
  • A Certification of Lien Sale for Vessel or Vessels With Trailers Valued at $1,500 or Less (BOAT 177) form completed by the lienholder or agent.
  • The certified or bulk mail receipts.
  • The DMV printout of the vessel record.
  • Any bill(s) of sale needed to complete the chain of ownership.
  • Fees due. See the Determining Fees section in this chapter.

The procedures below must be followed:

  • Assign a HIN. If there is no vessel HIN, follow the instructions in Chapter 24.
  • Verify that the 10-day redemption period has passed before clearing the application.
    When a Declaration of Opposition is made, the sale may be authorized by a Release of Interest (BOAT 153) form or a certified copy of the court judgment issued in favor of the lienholder.
  • 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.
  • If the proceeds of the sale exceed the amount of the lien, forward the application to the Lien Sale Unit in DMV headquarters.

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

  • An Application for Title or Registration (REG 343) form.
  • If there is no record on file for the trailer, a Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form.
  • All items previously listed for the vessel lien sale clearance. Photocopies are acceptable.
  • If a title is requested, a Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) Certification (REG 4017) form.