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Exemptions from Numbering (O.C.G.A. § 52-7-6)

Legal Commentary. It should be noted that all boats need not be numbered in order to operate on Georgia public waters. This statute outlines the exceptions to the rule. One class of boats that need not be numbered is boats that are not motor propelled, such as canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and rubber rafts. Additionally, other exemptions include boats owned by the U.S. government, small sailboats, lifeboats, boats registered in other states and using Georgia waters for less than two months, racing boats, and boats used on private lakes and ponds do not have to be numbered.

We offer a free confidential consultation, to boat operators who have been injured in an accident. To set up your free consultation, contact Scholle Law today or call toll-free at 866-972-5287 or in Atlanta at 770-717-5100. As an experienced boat accident lawyer, Charles Scholle has represented catastrophically injured people and bereaved families for nearly two decades, building a strong record of successes.

See the full text of the statute below:

Exemptions From Numbering (O.C.G.A. § 52-7-6)

A vessel shall not be required to be numbered under Code Sections 52-7-4 and 52-7-5 if it is:

  1. Not motor propelled; provided, however, that sailboats 12 feet or more in length shall require registration;
  2. Covered by a certificate of number in full force and effect which has been issued to it pursuant to federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state, provided that such vessel shall not be used on the waters of this state for a period in excess of 60 consecutive days;
  3. From a country other than the United States, provided that such vessel shall not be used on the waters of this state for a period in excess of 60 consecutive days;
  4. A vessel whose owner is the United States, a state, or a subdivision thereof, which vessel is used exclusively in the nonrecreation public service and which is clearly identifiable as such;
  5. A vessel's lifeboat if the boat is used solely for lifesaving purposes; this exemption does not include dinghies, tenders, speedboats, or other types of craft carried aboard vessels and used for other than lifesaving purposes;
  6. A vessel that is used exclusively for racing;
  7. A vessel belonging to a class of boats which has been exempted from numbering by the department after the department has found that:
    1. The numbering of vessels of such class will not materially aid in their identification;
    2. An agency of the federal government has a numbering system applicable to the class of vessel to which the vessel in question belongs; and
    3. The vessel would also be exempt from numbering if it were subject to the federal law;
  8. Operating temporarily by virtue of evidence that a recent application for a certificate of number has been submitted; or
  9. Used exclusively on privately owned ponds or lakes, except for those licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1960, p. 235, § 5; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1427, § 5; Ga. L. 1981, p. 147, § 4; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 52; Ga. L. 1987, p. 567, § 5; Ga. L. 2006, p. 96, § 4/HB 1490.

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