Budget cuts change routine for boat registration

The state has switched from letters to postcards, so vessel owners will need to either go online or register in person this year.

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WALLA WALLA -- Due to budget cuts, the annual registration renewal for watercraft owners could be either easier or harder this year.

The state Department of Licensing recently mailed postcards to all vessel owners to remind them it is time to renew their licenses. The postcards have replaced the former renewal notice people could fill out and mail back. That was eliminated this year as a cost-cutting measure, said Walla Walla County Auditor Karen Martin.

"Unfortunately, the postcard does not list any of the pertinent information that you need to license your vessel," Martin said. In order to renew, watercraft owners must either go online or visit the county Auditor's Office. In both cases, people need to make sure they have their vessel license number or hull identification number to complete the process.

The deadline to renew all vessel decals is the last day of June.

To renew online, people can go to the state Department of Licensing Web site and under "skip a trip, go online" select "renew." Then from the drop-down box select "vessel decals." After that, they need to select "start renewal" and then follow the instructions to complete the process.

Watercraft owners who come to the county Auditor's Office will need to print a copy of the renewal form, fill it out and bring it with them, Martin said. The form can be downloaded for printing from the Auditor's Office Web site.

At this time, the Auditor's Office can only accept cash or personal checks, Martin said.


On the Net

Walla Walla County Auditor's Office section vessel registration page: tinyurl.com/29npeof

Washington state Department of Licensing: www.dol.wa.gov

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