Is a Documented Vessel Bill of Sale Required to Apply for Documentation Renewal?

If you wish to invest in a sailing vessel, you may consider just buying a second-hand boat. It is considered the most cost-effective way to save money. Before you actually close the deal and pay the price of the boat, you must ensure that the seller will hand you the documented vessel bill of sale. In that way, you can register your boat in your own name. 

What is the Purpose of a Documented Vessel Bill of Sale

It is a legal document that serves as evidence of the transfer of ownership for a documented vessel. It is a written agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. It includes details about the buyer, seller, vessel, and the transaction itself. Indeed, it is a valuable document as it records the sale of a vessel. However, its necessity for documentation renewal varies on a lot of factors. 

Ownership Transfer 

The main purpose of a bill of sale is to officially transfer ownership from the seller to the buyer. It establishes a clear record of the transaction, including the date, parties involved, and the terms of the sale. 

Documentation Requirements 

When a vessel is initially documented with the Coast Guard, a bill of sale is often required as part of the documentation package. This document helps verify the legitimacy of the ownership transfer. It also provides the necessary information for the initial documentation process. 

Verification of Title 

It also serves as proof of title. It demonstrates that the seller had legal ownership of the boat and had the authority to transfer that ownership to the buyer. This verification is vital for maintaining the accuracy of boat documentation records. 

No Change in Ownership 

If there has been no change in ownership since the last documentation renewal, and the current owner remains the same, a new documented vessel bill may not be necessary. Renewal applications focus on updating information such as vessel modifications, contact details, and insurance. 

Change in Ownership 

If there is a change in ownership through a sale, transfer, or other means, a new document is likely necessary. The reason for this is that this document will serve as proof of the recent ownership transfer and must be submitted with the documentation renewal application. 

How to Obtain a Bill of Sale? 

The first step is to draft a legal agreement. You should create a detailed legal agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the boat sale. Make sure that the information about the buyer, seller, vessel identification, and any relevant conditions or warranties are included. 

It is also advisable that you have this document notarized to add an extra layer of authenticity and legal validity. Notarization involves a notary public verifying the identities of the parties involved and confirming their willingness to sign the document. 

Submit the Renewal Application 

Once the bill of sale document is complete and notarized, it can be submitted along with the documentation renewal application to the USCG. Ensure that all required documents are accurate and up-to-date. 

documented vessel bill of sale

Renewing Boat Documentation 

The necessity of having this documented bill of sale for renewal of your boat documentation will depend on whether or not there has been a change in ownership. Now, if you are ready to document your boat, then make sure to use our tools to help you do so. Our website offers tons of forms that facilitate boat documentation renewal or initial documentation with the USCG. Call us if you need further help.