Consumer Protection and Licensing Programs
The Division of Boating and Waterways licenses and regulates yacht brokers and salespersons in California, reports broker violations to the public. We also provide you with the tools to inform you about buying a used boat, registering your boat, learning about how to boat safety and reporting a boating accident.
Broker Act Violations
Yatch and ship broker act violation news.
For-Hire Vessel Operator
Power vessel operators carrying four or more passengers for-hire (any type of compensation) on non-navigable waters (waters which cannot be navigated to the sea or to another state) are required to obtain and maintain a valid For-Hire Vessel Operator's License.
For-Hire Vessel Carrier
Perform passenger transportation services (for any type of compensation) other than point-to-point service are subject to the For-Hire Vessel Carrier regulation.
Yatch & Ship Broker Licensing
DBW licenses and regulates yacht brokers and salespersons in California. Those selling used vessels 16’ or longer and less than 300 gross tons, for others, are required to be licensed. DBW enforces the Harbors & Navigation Code to regulate the activities of licensees to ensure compliance and provide consumer protection.
How to Buy a Used Boat
To make sure you get years of pleasure and adventure out of your used boat, buy smart. This special booklet will help you. It's a service of the California Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA). Read it before you buy!
Register Your Boat (DMV)
Application to register a vessel may be made at any office of the Department of Moter Vehicles (DMV). Upon recipt of the required information and fees DMV will issue you a Certificate of Number and Certification Ownership.
Frequently Asked Questions
An open listing is a written agreement between the owner of a vessel and a broker which authorizes the broker to negotiate the sale, trade, or exchange of the vessel, but reserves to the owner the right, without incurring a liability for the payment of a commission to said broker, to negotiate the sale, trade, or exchange of said vessel himself, or to enter into open listing agreements with other brokers respecting said vessel. Make sure you do not have any exclusive listing agreements at the time you sign an open listing agreement.