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Marion Clerk of Courts offering watercraft registration for the first time in 16 years

The Marion Star logo The Marion Star 2/27/2021 Mitch Hooper, Marion Star
a small boat in a body of water: Alum Creek has Ohio's largest inland beach, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. © Ohio Department of Natural Resources Alum Creek has Ohio's largest inland beach, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

For the first time in 16 years, Marion boat owners will be able to get registered without having to leave the county.

The Marion Clerk of Courts announced its Title Division will officially be a watercraft registration agent starting March 1, marking the first time since 2005 for Marion to offer this service. Now, boat owners, kayakers and anyone else looking to get out on the water will be able to visit the County Building, located on 222 W. Center St., to obtain a new watercraft license, or renew a previously owned one.

a close up of a woman: Jessica Wallace is the Marion County Clerk of Courts. © SUBMITTED Jessica Wallace is the Marion County Clerk of Courts.

Marion Clerk of Courts Jessica Wallace said this new installment is something she's excited about. In the past, many of these boat owners would have to travel to communities outside of Marion including Bucyrus, who only has one registration agent location, or Delaware, who has three registration agents. Wallace said often times this could eat up many hours in someone's day just to get registered or renewed.

"I know, personally, that my husband would have to take a day off to make it out of town," Wallace said. "The amount of time it took to drive an hour, the limited office hours with these other registration agents; I knew it could be an inconvenience for Marion County residents."

This has been something on Wallace's radar since she took office in 2018. And she said they wanted to get it implemented as early as last year, but due to the pandemic, that was pushed back until now. It worked out for the best, Wallace said, as they were able to complete the required courses without rushing to ensure their agents were knowledgeable and ready for the new task at hand.

The pandemic also played a role in boat owners getting these titles, too. Last year, many registration agents were battling with the beginning stages of COVID-19 right when boating season came around. Additionally, COVID-19 caused delays in boat owners being able to get the required stickers and identification tags for their boats. This year, Wallace is confident that won't be the case in Marion.

"We have a good stock in, we have a good communication with the representative from the state level, the ODNR, so I feel really confident in us and this year offering this service," Wallace said.

These titles, Wallace said, last three years for boat owners. This also includes if someone were to sell their boat; these titles can be transferred through the Clerk of Courts to the purchaser which would continue to be valid until its expiration date.

To schedule a time to register your boat, or to find out more information about registration, click here for the ODNR's online registrar of agents and search "Marion" in the search bar. Additionally, you can call (740)-396-5553 for the Marion Clerk of Courts Title Division.

Story by Mitch Hooper

(740)-244-9935 | bhooper@gannett.com

This article originally appeared on Marion Star: Marion Clerk of Courts offering watercraft registration for the first time in 16 years

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