A new law will roll out a certificate of title program for boat owners.

Governor David Ige signed HB 2596 (Act 48) into law, which requires certain vessel owners to apply for certificates of title within 20 days of becoming an owner, or establishing Hawaii as the state of principal use for the vessel.

The system will operate the same way that automobiles are issued certificates of title. This law will help the state quickly verify ownership and therefore reduce the number of stolen vessels being fraudulently registered with the state.

“I think it will help us keep track of stolen vessels,” said Governor Ige. “It definitely will provide a higher level of scrutiny to consumers and provide some level of consumer protection because we’ll be able to determine whether someone is legally entitled to a vessel.”

Act 48 takes effect on July 1, 2018.