Why You Must Have A Coast Guard Documented Vessel Bill Of Sale

A Coast Guard Documented Vessel Bill Of Sale

You have decided to buy a second-hand boat that is on the US Coast Guard registry, and know that in order to successfully complete the purchase and record that the seller is no longer the owner of the boat, you will have to obtain a coast guard documented vessel bill of sale. This is essential in states that don’t require a titling, or sales tax, as it is the only evidence that you have purchased the vessel from the legitimate seller. Understanding what this documentation is, and how it can help you is essential to ensuring that you get a legitimate purchase.

What Is The Coast Guard Documented Vessel Bill Of Sale?

When a vessel is not documented with the state but is registered with the US Coast Guard, the seller must obtain and complete a form that will contain all the details of the vessel’s title and registration. The seller will hand over the bill of sale to the buyer in exchange for a check. As far as the US Coast Guard is concerned, the owner of the boat remains as the seller until that bill of sale is recorded in the registry as part of a transfer of ownership. Without submitting this documentation, you will not be recorded as the owner of your new boat, and this can lead to you being prosecuted for operating a vessel that is not in your name, or operating an unlicensed vessel. The bill of sale also provides you with the information you need to cross-check your documentation against the written numbers on the side and hull of the boat. You need to complete the crosschecking in order to establish that you are buying the boat which is documented in the paperwork.

A Coast Guard Documented Vessel Bill Of Sale

Completing The Sale For Sellers

If you are trying to sell your boat, then the bill of sale is equally important for you. You need to hand this completed form over to your buyer when the sale is made, and your buyer will then need to submit this as evidence of purchase to the Coast Guard. If the buyer does not submit the form, then your first warning might be when you receive renewal forms from the Coast Guard. You have to ensure that the buyer submits this record because you could be liable- as the named person on the title- if there were any accidents. In some circumstances, where the sale document has not been submitted by the buyer, sellers may need to attempt to resubmit the paperwork on their own. Sellers may also choose to hire a broker or attorney in order to locate the buyer, and ensure that the bill of sale is handed over to the necessary Coast Guard department. This can be expensive, but being sued for personal damages because the vessel is still in your name can be even more expensive.

Evidence Included In The Bill Of Sale

When you come to fill in the bill of sale, either as a buyer or a seller, you must complete the document according to the Documentation of Vessels regulations in 67.220 including:

  • signed by both the seller and the buyer
  • reciting both the names and addresses of the sellers and their shared interest in the vessel
  • the names and addresses of the buyers and the share interest held by each buyer.

Without the evidence provided by this documentation, the US Coast Guard will not realize that a sale has taken place, and the vessel may still be regarded as belonging to the seller. This can lead to serious headaches down the line when you attempt to renew your documentation and receive a certificate that will allow you to operate commercially in US waters. It is important that you don’t overlook this documentation, as it is an important part of the transfer of ownership.

Getting Help With The Forms

There is a great deal of work involved with submitting a Coast Guard documented vessel bill of sale form, complete with evidence, and having it accepted by the USCG. In some cases, the buyer may not have completed the bill of sale submission because it has been rejected by the Coastguard, and this means that the paperwork is left in limbo. In order to overcome this problem, we recommend that you seek the help and advice of professionals like the US Vessel Documentation service. Our teams, a third party being used to communicate between yourself and the Coast Guard, can assist you in completing the forms and having them accepted on the first attempt. If you are keen to complete the bill of sale documentation and have decided that you would welcome our help, then you can start the process by emailing our teams at info@nvdcrenewal.us, or call us at (866) 981-8783 now.