File a Boat Survey Record
What is this service?
All boats and watercraft are subject to local property tax, unless they are specifically exempt by law. A Boat Survey Record form is mailed when there is a change of ownership, boat location, or the Assessor is notified by another County that the boat is now in San Luis Obispo County. When this form is not filed, the Assessor is required to estimate the value for the boat assessment.
Who can use this service?
Boat owners may use this service.
Is there a charge for this service?
This service is provided free of charge.
When and where is this service offered?
This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.
Location, directions and hours of operation
Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information
1055 Monterey Street Suite D360 San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
Tel: (805) 781-5643
Main Office Fax: (805)-781-5641
Real and Business Property Fax: (805)-788-2042
Public Service/Front Counter Fax: (805)-788-2041
Mapping and Transfers Fax: (805)-781-4034
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to fill out the Vessel/Watercraft Owners' Report the Assessor sent me if I sold my boat?
Yes, the Assessor needs to know the following:
- The date the boat was sold
- Who purchased the boat
This is to ensure the correct owner is assessed for the correct year.
Do I have to pay the full tax if I sell my boat after the January 1 lien date
Yes, the taxes cannot be pro-rated by either the Assessor or the Tax Collector's Office. Any activity occurring after the lien date only affects the following year.
How is the assessed value of my vessel/watercraft determined?
The Assessor uses various approaches to arrive at the value of your vessel/watercraft. These include the purchase price of the vessel/watercraft, improvements or upgrades that have been made to the property and recent sales of comparable vessels in the open market.
I sold my boat on April 1st. Am I responsible for the tax bill?
Yes, the lien on ownership and the responsibility for the taxes are established on January 1st for the following tax year beginning July 1st.
If my boat/watercraft is for sale and is consigned to a broker, will it be assessed for property taxes?
Yes, only boats and airplanes owned and held in inventory for sale by a licensed dealer are exempt from property taxes.
My boat is outside the (County/State/Country). Why is it being assessed?
California registration indicates the boat is kept in California. If it is in the County more than six (6) months, it is taxable here.
Should I notify the Assessor if I sell my boat?
Yes, this information will help to prevent you from receiving a tax bill on property you no longer own during the next roll year. However, you should fill out a Release of Liability form with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Why did I receive a tax bill for a boat I sold months ago?
Liability for vessel property taxes attaches to its owner as of 12:01 a.m. on January 1st each year (lien date). The bill for the coming tax year is then issued to the owner of record at that time, and that individual is liable for the taxes even if the boat was sold soon after that date. The Assessor cannot pro-rate the assessments.