HOUSE BILL NO. 4901

May 25, 2021, Introduced by Reps. Bolden and Filler and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled

"Natural resources and environmental protection act,"

by amending section 80312 (MCL 324.80312), as amended by 2000 PA 65.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 80312. (1) The secretary of state may issue a certificate of title for a watercraft to a person who complies with subsection (2) or (3) if the transfer of ownership of that watercraft is any of the following:

(a) By operation of law including, but not limited to, inheritance, devise, bequest, order in bankruptcy, insolvency, replevin, or execution of sale.

(b) By sale to satisfy a storage or repair charge.

(c) By repossession upon default in performance of the terms of a security agreement.

(d) As provided in subsection (3).

(2) A person applying for a certificate of title under this section shall do all of the following:

(a) Surrender to the secretary of state either a valid certificate of title or the manufacturer's or importer's certificate for the watercraft or, if surrender of a certificate for that watercraft is not possible, present proof satisfactory to the secretary of state of the applicant's ownership of and right of possession to the watercraft.

(b) Pay the fee prescribed in section 80311.

(c) Present to the secretary of state an application for certificate of title.

(3) A person may petition the secretary of state for a certificate or certificates of title for 1 or more registered watercraft that the person does not own, if each all of the following circumstances exists:exist:

(a) The record owner of the registered watercraft dies without leaving other property that requires the procurement of letters under the estates and protected individuals code, 1998 PA 386, MCL 700.1101 to 700.8102.700.8206.

(b) The total value of the deceased owner's interest in all watercraft subject to the petition for a certificate or certificates of title under this section is $100,000.00 or less.$300,000.00 or less, as adjusted for the calendar year of the deceased owner's death. The adjustment shall be made each year, beginning January 1, 2024, by multiplying $300,000.00 by the cost-of-living adjustment factor and rounding to the nearest $1,000.00. The department of treasury shall certify and publish the adjusted dollar amount for each calendar year. As used in this subdivision:

(i) "Cost-of-living adjustment factor" means a fraction, the numerator of which is the United States Consumer Price Index for the year before the prior calendar year and the denominator of which is the United States Consumer Price Index for 2021.

(ii) "United States Consumer Price Index" means the annual average of the United States Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers as defined and reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, or its successor agency.

(c) The person petitioning for a certificate or certificates of title under this section petitioner is 1 of the following, in the following order of priority:

(i) The surviving spouse of the watercraft owner.

(ii) A person entitled to the certificate or certificates of title in the order specified in section 2103 of the estates and protected individuals code, 1998 PA 386, MCL 700.2103.

(d) The person who petitions for a certificate of title under this section petitioner furnishes the secretary of state with proof satisfactory to the secretary of state of each all of the following:

(i) The death of the owner of each watercraft for which a certificate of title is sought.

(ii) The petitioner's priority to receive the decedent's interest in each watercraft for which a certificate of title is sought.

(4) A certification by the person, or agent of the person, to whom possession of the watercraft passed, that sets forth the facts entitling that person to possession and ownership of the watercraft, together with a copy of the journal entry, court order, instrument, or other document upon which the claim of possession and ownership is founded, are satisfactory proof of ownership and right of possession. If the applicant cannot produce proof of ownership, the applicant may apply to the secretary of state for a certificate of title and submit evidence that establishes that person's ownership interest in the watercraft. If the secretary of state finds the evidence sufficient, the secretary of state may issue to that person a certificate of title for that watercraft. The office of secretary of state shall examine the records in its possession and, if it determines from that examination that a lien is on the watercraft, and if the applicant fails to provide satisfactory evidence of extinction of the lien, the secretary of state shall furnish a certificate of title that contains a statement of the lien.

Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect 90 days after the date it is enacted into law.