Bill of Sale for a Boat: What it Should Have and Why

Bill of Sale for a Boat

Are you in the process of selling a boat and want to know if you need a bill of sale? Do you know what goes into a bill of a sale for a boat when you write one? Not every vessel sale requires a bill of sale and indeed, some sales cannot include them. Here at the National Documentation Portal, we have forms for the transfer of documented vessels, yes. But, we can also walk you through what’s in a bill of sale. 

So, What is in a Bill of Sale for a Boat? 

One of the most common questions we get is: “Where can I find an official bill of sale document?” Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a universally “official” bill of sale stamped by the Coast Guard. There are certain pieces of information it must include. 

First and foremost, it should encompass the names of all parties involved. Beyond mere names, details such as license numbers and complete addresses are integral. Equally crucial is detailed information about the vessel in question: its make, model, and identification number. 

Even seemingly minor alterations made after the purchase, if any, should be a mentioned. A cardinal rule in this process is to document the sale comprehensively. The agreed-upon price should be explicitly stated in writing within the document. This serves not only as a testament to the financial agreement but also as a preventive measure against potential disputes that might arise later.

The Significance of a USCG Boat Bill of Sale

At first glance, a bill of sale might seem like a mere formality in a boat transaction. However, its importance cannot be overstated. Beyond being a testament to the transfer of ownership, it plays a pivotal role in proving your ownership rights. 

While it may not be definitive legal proof, it serves as a tangible record of the transaction, a document that can bolster your claim in case of disputes. 

Post-Sale Protocols

A successful sale doesn’t conclude with a mere handshake. The signatures of all parties involved are vital, providing tangible proof of the agreement. It’s advisable to maintain written records of the agreement, which can be appended to the bill of sale. Furthermore, making multiple copies of the document is prudent. While digital copies stored securely on your devices offer convenience, having physical copies ensures redundancy, safeguarding your interests against unexpected events.

Bill of Sale for a Boat
How to Sell a Documented Vessel 

If your vessel has been documented with the USCG, you can’t sell it with a bill of sale. Instead, you have to use the “Transfer of Ownership” form at our site. We offer that form, yes. But, we also offer a comprehensive repository of all the forms essential for every stage of vessel ownership. 

Whether you require initial documentation, renewal, replacement, reinstatement, deletion, or any other form, our catalog is replete with the documents that ensure your compliance with legal requirements. Our online repository provides a user-friendly interface so that you can complete these forms from anywhere. 

To see how we can help, click here.