Steve Behnke


I just went through the ordeal of working with the WI DNR. While
I have owned my Amphi for many years I finally sent in the forms
to have the boat tags renewed now that the restoration is complete.

The last registered owner of the boat half of my Amphi died 20 years
ago. The auto registration was no problem.... his stepson, whom I
purchased it from, had changed the auto title to his own name some
years back.

First the DNR refused to change the boat registration to me until
I had the dead man's signature. After 20 minutes on the phone
with them they finally realized that he wouldn't be signing anything
for me. After several hours and a number of phone calls to and from
the DNR they offered to send me an 'official' form on which I could
explain how I came to own this 'boat', sign it and then have it notarized.
The fact I had a current car title for it, in my name, really didn't
matter to them.

Next they informed me it was listed as 18 feet long. Not really a problem,
except that since 1978 (when it was last registered with the DNR) the
state has changed it's policy on vessels over 16 feet. Vessels 16 feet
and over are now issued titles just like cars. Less than 16 feet have
no title, just a registration card. Apparently with that title comes a whole
number of other concerns and of course additional fees.

They refused to believe me that it was 14 feet 2 inches (from the original
sales brochures) and said if I wanted to change the length listed in their
system I needed to have the US Coast Guard come out and measure it,
fill out a form and have them file it w/the DNR. I humored them and
called the US Coast Guard.... when the guy stopped laughing at the DNR
request he said they do nothing of the sort.

I finally just filled out the 'official' form and had it notarized.
Sent it in along with a copy of my auto title, a copy of the
original Amphicar literature with the length highlighted and
the fee for a 14 foot boat registration. I received my registration
sticker 3 days ago in the mail.

Best of luck... maybe mine will still be fresh in their minds and you
will have less hassles.

By the way... the WI DNR told me they have an 11 week backlog
on boat registration processing.

Steve Behnke
1964 Red..... WS 1258 EE!


Regarding registration as a boat. I had a similar chain of
events in Texas as although the registration chain was
complete and current for the auto portion, but the boat
registration had a 24 year missing gap. I had to sign
notarized forms explaining why it hadn't been "properly"
registered as a boat during all the previous transfers, and
previous owners were long gone, etc.... Also, at one point
they wanted the motor serial number, so had to get a pencil
tracing of that. And then at the last end, they wanted to
charge me sales tax again as the sales tax I just paid to the
DMV was for the boat "trailer". Taking the lady out to the
parking lot for a look clarified the situation and got the
entire office talking. Since my initial visit with the "14
foot, twin screw, steel hull, inboard", a few more Amphicars
have registered their "boats" in that office with no problems.
Back the other side of town at the car office, the DMV lady
keeps a picture in her "interesting and unusual vehicle" photo
album on her desk.

Al Heath