Understanding the CG 1340 Bill of Sale

Anytime you buy or sell a boat that is registered with the United States Coast Guard, you must have a bill of sale document that transfers ownership. Called the CG 1340, this form can be found and submitted online. Filing the paperwork promptly can save you hassle, as well as fines and penalties. Understanding the form ensures that you don’t make any errors and that the ownership transfers efficiently. Use this guide to help you get the form taken care of so the boat is in the correct name.

Don’t Miss Any Details

The CG 1340 form is a bill of sale, which is a legal document that proves that one person or entity has sold the boat and another has purchased it. For that reason, it’s necessary to get all of the details included and correct, on the paperwork. This includes information about the parties involved, data about the boat (HIN, origin, etc.), as well as details about the transaction (price, date, location of sale, etc.). Errors or omissions on the form can lead to fees and penalties, so check and double-check the form to be sure you have all of the pertinent information correct.

Put Data in the Correct Order

Just as important as including all of the necessary information is placing it on the bill of sale in the correct order. The parties involved in the sale should be listed first, followed by the date and location of the purchase, then contact information if a salesperson is involved in the transaction. Below this data should be the terms and conditions of the sale, which include disclosures, warranties, title history, survey results, etc. Details should be listed from the newest to the oldest. Ensuring that everything is in its place helps reduce the risk of misunderstandings or missing records.

CG 1340

Consider Having the Boat Inspected

If you are the buyer, it’s a good idea to have a trained boat mechanic have a look at the vessel. This way you are aware of any current or potential problems that will become your responsibility once you sign the bill of sale. This is especially encouraged if you are buying a second-hand boat from a private seller. You might even want to take the boat out on the water to get a feel for it before you decide to buy. 

Issues can help you negotiate a lower price or warn you away from buying a boat that you aren’t ready to repair. You might also take photos so you have records of what the boat looks like when you agree to the sale. That way if something is altered down the road, you have a legal standing. If you’re unsure or feel like you need backup, you’re always welcome to have an attorney present when you go over the terms of the sale and sign the bill of sale. 

Buying a boat is exciting, but it’s best not to let excitement lure you into a bad deal. Whether you’re buying or selling a boat, the CG 1340 must be filed. If you need help finding the form or submitting it properly, we’re here to help. Contact the Vessel Registrar Center today and we’ll assist you from start to finish.