There is plenty of boat documentation that is important during a vessel’s lifetime – some of it all the time and others required at specific times or for incidents in a boat’s history. One document of import that is only needed for specific undertakings is a US Coast Guard bill of sale. This is one of the most important documents both for somebody who is buying a boat and for somebody who is selling a boat. It is a form that is used to officially transfer ownership of a water vessel from one party to another, and it is needed for vessels with an engine and vessels without.
A bill of sale for a boat, like a bill of sale for any major purchase, needs to be accurate in the information it presents. Here is what you need to know about the document, how to fill out a US Coast Guard bill of sale, and where exactly to do so.
There Is No ‘Official’ Form
It might surprise you to learn that there isn’t a singular type of official bill of sale form that is used universally across the USA. It is rather a document that is drawn up between the relative parties and then made official through signing. For this reason, it is common for bills of sale to look different from owner to owner, but the main thing is that all of the vital information remains the same.
When it comes to knowing the information that needs to be included in the bill of sale, the rules are very clear. You will need to include details of the hull identification number, the name of the vessel being transferred, the names and addresses of both the buyer and the seller, and of course, the amount that the boat is being sold for along with any other specific conditions that have been agreed upon between the two parties.
Signatures Are Essential
In order to make the bill of sale legally binding, the signatures of both the seller and the buyer are absolutely required.
Vessel Specifics Should Be Included
Make sure that you leave room on the bill of sale for information about the manufacturer of the vessel, along with other details like its dimensions including length, depth, and overall layout. You should also include any former names of the boat, as well as warranties, exceptions, and limitations.
To help you get a good sense of what needs to be included and in what fashion, there are plenty of great online resources that can be used to provide a template for how to put together a good US Coast Guard bill of sale.
If you feel that you are going to require assistance at any stage and any type of documentation relating to a transfer of vessel ownership, then don’t hesitate to explore the service options that are offered on the US Vessel Registrar website. We handle the processing and submitting of the vast majority of boat-related documentation, with the aim of making your part of the overall task a much easier and less painstaking one. We look forward to being able to help.