Feb 8, 2010

Sure the lines are long and the workers unfriendly

When it comes to registering boats with the state of Illinois, I'm starting to become an expert.  I've done it three times now and each time has been a pain.  Why can't it be easy?  To start, there is nothing but a website to guide you through a thousand different possibilities.  The law says I need to register a boat within 15 days of purchase, I'm starting to wonder if that is even possible.

First it was The Good Ship Clif - my old two man bass boat which will forever be missed.  Looking back, it was my most simple transaction.  Even though the seller had no title, it was only a lost title form and some extra money.

Then came my aluminum row boat, it too had no title but the seller I bought from had never licensed it.  I called the DNR for advice and they said I just needed to have the previous registered owner fill out the lost title form.  The last time it was registered was the early eighties and had passed through an unknown number of hands before I got it.  I asked who the previous owner was and she looked it up on her computer.  However she wasn't allowed to tell me the name over the phone - I'd have to pay for a title search and fill out a form.  The title search revealed the name of a deceased fellow and I found his son in the phone book.  Deceased owner?  That's a completely different form, it's called "power of attorney."

Now I've bought a kayak; third time's a charm right?  This one is a little different because it is brand new.  Now I have to write two separate checks to the same payee, fill out the RUT-25 "use tax form" and file the "manufacturer's statement of origin."  I received no such statement with the yak, after a call to the seller the statement arrived today.  I think I have all the forms ready and I will be mailing them tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

I never thought I'd say this but I have a new found appreciation for the DMV.  At least when dealing with cars, you can go talk to someone.  Sure the lines are long and the workers unfriendly, but they know the system and you can get it all done in a day. 


  1. Oh, the joy of dealing with the Government. After you get it all registered, how about a picture?

  2. I bought a new boat in MO in June of 07 and didn't get the sticker from the State of IL until almost 11 months later. Part of that was applying for a lost title for the boat I traded in. But without that we're still talking more than 6 months. They used to have a page on their web site that would tell you how far behind they were. It would basically say they were processing applications received on a certain date. Good Luck!

  3. @Tubeman - I'll do you one better. How about a video?

    @Bill - oooooo, a transfer from out of state...I thought I'd seen it all.
    I think they must have gotten behind in updating the web page, so they took it down! :)

  4. Just think all of this stress for just a trip around the pond to catch a fish!

  5. In Illinois it's simple - don't buy a used boat without a title.
    It's actually agianst the law to sell a watercraft without a title. If you get a new boat, make sure you get the manufacturer's statement of origin.
    AND put yourself together a "yard sale kit": Registration Form, Power of Attorney Form(lost title), Small Estate Affidavit(use when ownwer of boat is deceased), and Generic bill of sale, all in a manila envelope.
    Keep it in your truck so when you pass a boat "for sale" that you just have to have but the owner DIED/LOST TITLE it can make things go smoother for you and your "bargain" boat if you have them fill out all the forms at the time of purchase.

  6. The anonymous commenter has left us with words to live by.

    The "yard sale kit" is certainly good advice if you're in the market for a boat. Next time...next time.

  7. I'm trying to twist this entry into soothing my boat deprived soul into believing I'm probably better off not having the drift boat I want. Dealing with all that doesn't sound pleasant.

    Like I said, I'm trying.....

  8. Rebecca, all the work is absolutely worth it

  9. Every time I go to the DMV...I usually have to go back and forth to my house two or three times before I have all the correct documents needed to get my stickers. I'm from Missouri...so I guess it's pretty much the same where ever you go. The common denominator is "government".

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