Maine Revised Statutes

§13051. Commissioner's authority to regulate watercraft

It is the Legislature's intent that any rule adopted under this section be in accord with federal regulations that are promulgated under the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, Public Law 92-75, as amended. The commissioner, acting jointly with the Commissioner of Marine Resources, may adopt and amend rules under the procedure provided in the Maine Administrative Procedure Act that are not inconsistent with this chapter: [2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF).]

1. Administrative procedure.  To further establish administrative procedure under this chapter;
[ 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF) .]
2. Appointment of watercraft registration agents; fees.  Authorizing the commissioner to delegate the authority to issue watercraft registrations, subject to this subsection.
A. The commissioner may appoint municipal clerks or other persons who a municipality may designate as municipal agents to issue watercraft registrations. The commissioner may appoint other agents as necessary to issue watercraft registrations. The commissioner shall determine the period when the agents are authorized to act. [2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF).]
B. Agents may charge a service fee of $1 for each renewal registration issued and $2 for each registration covered by sections 13002 to 13005. This service fee is retained by the agent. The commissioner shall charge a $1 service fee for each registration issued by department employees. [2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF).]
C. An agent is delinquent if that agent fails to forward to the commissioner funds collected by that agent by the date established in rules adopted under this subsection. Failure to remit the funds as provided in this subsection results in the following sanctions, in addition to any other provided by law.
(3) If an agent is delinquent for more than 150 days or is delinquent 3 or more times in one year, the commissioner shall:
(a) Terminate the agency for the balance of the year; and
(b) Order that the agency not be renewed for the next year; [2015, c. 301, §43 (AMD).]
[ 2015, c. 301, §43 (AMD) .]
3. Safe use and operation of watercraft.  Governing the use and operation of watercraft upon the waters of the State to insure safety of persons and property;
[ 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF) .]
4. Safety equipment.  Further governing safety equipment for watercraft, including the type, quality and quantity of that equipment;
[ 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF) .]
5. Horsepower.  Governing the horsepower of motors used to propel watercraft on all internal waters of this State. In adopting these rules, the commissioner shall take into consideration the area of the internal waters, the use to which the internal waters are put, the depth of the water and the amount of water-borne traffic upon the waters and determine whether or not the rule is necessary to ensure the safety of persons and property. The adoption of rules under this subsection is governed by the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, except that such rules may be only adopted as a result of a petition from the municipal officers of the municipality or municipalities in which the waters exist or from 25 citizens of the municipalities in which the waters exist, by county commissioners of the county in which the waters exist if they are located in unorganized territory or 25 citizens of the unorganized territory in which the waters exist, requesting the issuance of such a rule for a particular body of internal water and stating the proposed horsepower limitation;
[ 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF) .]
6. Restrictions for airmobiles. 
[ 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §356 (RP) .]
7. Areas off limits to watercraft.  To define areas off limits to all watercraft during time periods critical for wildlife protection.
[ 2003, c. 414, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF) .]

Rules adopted pursuant to this section must be written in a clear and easy-to-understand format for educational purposes. A summary of rules adopted under subsections 3, 4, 5 and 7 must be distributed with each watercraft registration form together with information on how to prevent water contamination and minimize wildlife disturbance. [2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §357 (AMD); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]

2003, c. 414, §A2 (NEW). 2003, c. 414, §D7 (AFF). 2003, c. 614, §9 (AFF). 2003, c. 655, §§B356,357 (AMD). 2003, c. 655, §B422 (AFF). 2011, c. 533, §7 (AMD). 2015, c. 301, §43 (AMD).