About the US Coast Guard Bill of Sale

If you’ve been reading these blogs for any length of time, then you know that we take great pride in offering all of the vessel documentation services that you might need. That means that we have all of the Transfer/ Exchange, the Preferred Ship Mortgages, the Change of Address forms and everything else. When you come to our site, you can find everything you need. Except, some of you may have noticed, we don’t have the US Coast Guard Bill of Sale form. We field a lot of questions about that. In this blog, we’ll lay out why we don’t have that form on our site, how you can make one as well as how it relates to other forms of documentation.

US Coast Guard Bill of Sale

The reason we don’t have an official bill of sale form on our website is that it will be provided to vessel owners by their processor as needed with the applicable applications. That being said, these forms are still important. In fact, they’re critically important when it comes to selling your vessel. Doing so without having one of these forms can open up a host of problems for both you and the other party. Both the buyer and the seller should want there to be a bill of sale. The seller wants a bill of sale because it can prove that if there are problems that arise with a vessel after the sale, they weren’t the seller’s fault. The buyer wants one of these as they can be protected from fraud accusations. Once we receive your application your assigned processor will provide you the bill of sale if deemed required.

Why a Bill of Sale

The main reason to get a bill of sale is that it shows the legality of the boat’s transaction. It’s a legal form that states definitively “yes, this party has sold this boat to this other party.” These files say that one party has transferred ownership to another. The bill of sale can also be an asset if you’re going to document your vessel in the USCG registry and if you’re going to register it in your state. You may be reading this so far and thinking: “OK, that’s all well and good, but what’s in a bill of sale form?”

Bill of Sale Boat Information

The most important information to include in a bill of sale is the boat’s information and condition. The information is the easily noticed info: that’s the year of the boat, its make, the title number, and hull ID. Additionally, you’re going to want to include the odometer there. That relates to the “condition,” as it shows how far the boat has gone. Think about it: if you were buying a car, you would want to know how many miles it had. This is also the area where you’ll include anything else that’s being sold in the transaction. Typically, this includes boat trailers, motors, and that kind of thing. Of course, be sure to list their make, model, year and condition, too.

Additional Bill of Sale Info

The above paragraph isn’t all of the information that you’re going to want to include in a boat bill of sale. You’ll also need both the buying party and the selling party’s names and signatures. The purchase price has to be prominently displayed. The location is also important, too. By “location,” we mean the county and state within which this transaction is taking place. When you write all this up, you don’t just want to type it out on your computer and send it in. It’s important to, when possible, get this form notarized as well. It’s a legal document and should be treated as such.

If you’re the proud new owner of a vessel, congratulations! The bill of sale is just the beginning of the documentation that you may be interested in for your vessel. Getting an initial Certificate of Documentation is typically one of the first things that new vessel owners do. If applicable, you may consider renewing your vessel’s documentation as well. Both of those actions are easy to do at our site. In fact, you can renew simply at our site. Instead of having to go year by year, you can renew for years in advance at the Maritime Documentation Center. It’s just one more way that we can help our customers.

When you change your address, need to show the satisfaction of your lien, or any other document, come to our site. We understand that, if you’ve just bought your first vessel, this can all be a bit confusing. It can also be confusing if this vessel is just another in your fleet. For more information, give us a call at (800) 535-8570 or head to our documentation site.