Don't get caught unprepared at start of boating season

Staff reports

With boating season rapidly approaching, the Missouri State Water Patrol and the Camden County Assessor’s Office are reminding all vessel owners of two important obligations ­– to register their vessel with the state of Missouri and to make sure they’ve taken care of any personal property taxes with the appropriate county.

If not, boat owners could find themselves with a ticket for non-compliance.

The water patrol and the assessor’s office are tackling the problem together. It is a unique approach to what has become an ongoing issue.

“We are just trying to make sure everyone is in compliance and treated equally,” said Camden County Assessor Eddie Whitworth.

Deadline for personal property tax lists was March 1.

“We don’t want to write tickets on this,” said Col. Rad Talburt of the water patrol. Bringing vessel owners into compliance voluntarily is the water patrol’s preference. 

Talburt said the initial project focused on one section of Lake of the Ozarks in Camden County, but will expand in the future to other parts of Camden, Miller and Morgan counties. 

“The goal of this joint effort is to educate vessel owners who are not aware of their registration obligations and to bring them into compliance with the state and the appropriate county,” Talburt said. “Notification letters will be mailed to those vessel owners found to be non-compliant. While bringing vessel owners into compliance voluntarily is preferred, enforcement of the law will be the next step.” 

Missouri law requires non-residents to apply for a vessel certificate of registration if the boat is kept in Missouri for more than 60 consecutive days. 

The law also applies to vessels documented through the United States Coast Guard that are kept in Missouri in excess of 60 days. 

A paid personal property tax receipt (or a statement certified by the appropriate county that no personal property tax is owed) is required at the time the application for vessel registration is made to the Missouri Department of Revenue (Motor Vehicle Bureau).

How to get answers

For questions regarding vessel registration, please contact the Motor Vehicle Bureau at 573-751-4509 or visit

Contact the Missouri State Water Patrol by phone at 573-751-3333 or visit

Lake Sun Leader