The Relevance of a Coast Guard Bill of Sale

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely because you are looking for information about a Coast Guard Bill of sale. Anytime you buy or sell a boat, it’s important that both parties fill out and submit the appropriate documentation. Not only is this required by law, but it provides the United States Coast Guard with correct information about ownership, which is vital in case of emergencies on the water. Use this guide to help you understand the bill of sale.

What is a Bill of Sale?

The bill of sale is the Paperwork that is used to transfer ownership of a boat and you will need it, both if you are buying a boat and if you are selling a boat. It’s used for any kind of watercraft, both motorized and non-motorized. If anything is being sold with the boat, such as a trailer, it must also be included in the bill of sale.

The bill of sale must include details about the boat, in addition to data regarding the buyer and seller, including signatures. However, if you are the seller, it’s recommended to refrain from signing the bill of sale until you receive the funds. If you are the buyer, it’s recommended to wait to sign the bill of sale until the boat is in your possession. 

What Information Goes on a Bill of Sale?

It’s important to have all relevant information on the bill of sale, which protects both parties and ensures that the United States Coast Guard has access to complete and accurate information regarding the owner of the vessel. Some specifications about the boat that should be included on the bill of sale include the following:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Odometer reading
  • Year of manufacturer
  • Title number
  • Hull identification number (HIN)
  • Details about the condition of the boat

This information should also be included for any engine or trailer that is part of the sale. The documentation must also include buyer and seller data. That includes contact information, at the very least. Your bill of sale should also contain documentation of the county and state where the sale is taking place in, as well as the price of the boat.

Coast Guard Bill of sale

Necessary Documents

Documents that are required to go along with the bill of sale vary from state to state, so make sure you understand which additional paperwork you need to submit with the bill of sale. Check with your local agent to find out what else you should have on hand. In some cases, you won’t need anything, but it’s best to know ahead of time so you can be prepared. 

If you are buying a boat, it’s also suggested that you use the boat’s hull identification number to do an online search in the Coast Guard database so you are aware of information regarding the vessel before you decide to move ahead with a bill of sale.

Do you have questions about the Coast Guard bill of sale? Do you need help filling out the paperwork? You are in the right place. Contact the Vessel Registrar Center today and we will help you get through each step in the process.