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  1. #1
    SCHNORR12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Lake George, NY

    PWCs with liens; how do you know?

    I was thinking about how automobiles have titles which show any liens that may be in place against the vehicle and how those liens transfer to the new owner if they aren't paid off. How do you know if a PWC has a lien on it? I believe in most states PWCs have a transferrable registration. I know that is true here in NY. When buying a ski, how do you confirm there is not a lien against it?

  2. #2
    YoYamma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Central Florida
    In Florida PWC's have titles, I don't know why every state can't do this.
    I bought a pair of skis in Mississippi one time, and hauled them back here. I found out the hard way they don't use titles in that state for vessels. As a result, getting them registered in Florida was a real pain in the azz. I'll never make that mistake again.

  3. #3
    Q in Arizona's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Phoenix, Az
    I guess you would have to have Game and Fish do a check on it by running the hull id number. They will know.
    Last edited by K447; 05-22-2014 at 11:05 AM.

  4. #4
    RobZ71LM7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Louisville, KY
    KY has titles so you will see the lien holder on the title.

  5. #5
    @JC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    The Peoples Republic of Minnesota
    If the buyer used factory financing there probably won't be a lien even if it's not paid off as the manufacturers use credit card based lines of credit for their financing on new skis.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Austin, Texas
    Yeah not sure about civilians but when we run license plates we get the registered owner and lien holder information, at least in Texas.

  7. #7
    DrivingZiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Lafayette, LA
    Quote Originally Posted by @JC View Post
    If the buyer used factory financing there probably won't be a lien even if it's not paid off as the manufacturers use credit card based lines of credit for their financing on new skis.
    You know, I used Yamaha's financing on one of my skis and Louisiana sent them the title. I still haven't received it, so it appears that they do hold onto it. I paid for the other ski and I have its title.

  8. #8
    83Gator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    St. Amant, LA
    Just about all states in the union (if not all) are now perfecting liens as per the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Regardless of whether you live in a "title" state or not, the only way a "movable" (car, truck, boat, PWC, RV, TT...) can be used as true collateral on a debt is by perfecting a lien. I'm not big on Wiki, but this seems to be valid: (I spent just over 30 years in finance which included daily work via the UCC).

    So, how do you know if there is a lien on a movable and there's no title? Contact your local county Clerk of Court and ask them what information is needed to do a "UCC look-up" to verify if a lien exist on a vehicle/vessel. This isn't a guarantee, but a really good starting point. To do a state-wide search, contact your state's Secretary of State office, contact the appropriate department for "UCC look-ups". The secretary of state can do a state-wide search for any liens outstanding.

    Keep in mind, in order to do a look-up, it's usually the owner information that is needed, not the vessel: Name, address, and possibly a SSN. Your state may vary in how a look-up is done or the exact procedure in place. Before buying used, do your homework. Good luck.

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