Chapter 1. General Provisions And Definitions of California Vehicle Code >> Division 3.5. >> Chapter 1.
As used in this division, unless the context clearly requires
a different meaning:
(a) "Vessel" includes every description of watercraft used or
capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, except
(1) A seaplane on the water.
(2) A watercraft specifically designed to operate on a permanently
fixed course, the movement of which is restricted to or guided on
such permanently fixed course by means of a mechanical device on a
fixed track or arm to which the watercraft is attached or by which
the watercraft is controlled, or by means of a mechanical device
attached to the watercraft itself.
(3) A floating structure which is designed and built to be used as
a stationary waterborne residential dwelling, which (A) does not
have and is not designed to have a mode of power of its own, (B) is
dependent for utilities upon a continuous utility linkage to a source
originating on shore, and (C) has a permanent, continuous hookup to
a shoreside sewage system.
(b) "Owner" is a person having all the incidents of ownership,
including the legal title, of a vessel whether or not such person
lends, rents, or pledges such vessel; the person entitled to the
possession of a vessel as the purchaser under a conditional sale
contract; or the mortgagor of a vessel. "Owner" does not include a
person holding legal title to a vessel under a conditional sales
contract, the mortgagee of a vessel, or the renter or lessor of a
vessel to the state or to any county, city, district, or political
subdivision of the state under a lease, lease-sale, or
rental-purchase agreement which grants possession of the vessel to
the lessee for a period of 30 consecutive days or more.
(c) "Legal owner" is a person holding the legal title to a vessel
under a conditional sale contract, the mortgagee of a vessel, or the
renter or lessor of a vessel to the state, or to any county, city,
district or political subdivision of the state, under a lease,
lease-sale, or rental-purchase agreement which grants possession of
the vessel to the lessee for a period of 30 consecutive days or more.
(d) "Registered owner" is the person registered by the department
as the owner of the vessel.
(e) "Waters of this state" means any waters within the territorial
limits of this state.
(f) "State of principal use" means the state on which waters a
vessel is used or intended to be used most during a calendar year.
(g) "Undocumented vessel" means any vessel which is not required
to have and does not have a valid marine document issued by the
Bureau of Customs of the United States or any federal agency
(h) "Use" means operate, navigate, or employ.
The director, deputy director, registrar, deputy registrar,
investigators of the department, and peace officers, as defined in
Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of the Penal Code, may
inspect the hull identification number, certificate of number, and
certificate of ownership of any vessel, as defined in Section 9840,
when transported on a highway, or in any public garage, repair shop,
public or private marina, dry storage facility, new or used vessel
sales lot or boat yard, or other similar establishment for the
purpose of investigating the ownership and registration of vessels,
locating stolen vessels, and for inspection of wrecked, dismantled,
or abandoned vessels. The authority to inspect pursuant to this
section does not extend to any enclosed living area aboard a vessel.