When you decide to buy a boat, you will need to supply the proper paperwork. In order to register with the U.S. Coast Guard. One such document is a boat bill of sale, which legitimizes the seller and proves that they made the purchase. Completing this essential piece of paperwork is important for both buyer and seller, as a sale made without a proper boat bill of sale will leave both parties vulnerable in the future.
Why You Need a Boat Bill of Sale
The boat bill of sale includes important details regarding the boat in question as well as the parties involved in its sale. The document includes the vessel’s title, registration, signatures from both buyer and seller, and information pertaining to the sale. The boat bill of sale may just sound like a simple receipt, yes. But it plays a much more important role for boat owners.
When a vessel is sold, the seller will exchange the boat bill of sale for a check. The buyer must then submit this as a record of the change of ownership. Thereby making the sale official and notifying the U.S. Coast Guard of new ownership. Neglecting to submit the bill of sale may leave buyers vulnerable to prosecution. This can happen if they find them operating the vessel prior to submitting the necessary paperwork. In essence, submission of the document to the U.S. Coast Guard grants the buyer permission to use the vessel, establishes new ownership, and legitimizes its registration.
Buyers are not alone in needing the boat bill of sale submitted, sellers are subject to similar conditions and rules pertaining to the use of their former vessel. Sellers must complete it prior to when they make the sale. Then hand over this document at the time of the purchase. Once the bill of sale has been turned over to the buyer, it is up to them to submit the form. However, if the buyer neglects to submit this form it can cause trouble for themselves and the seller.
Until the document has been submitted, the original owner (the seller) is considered liable for accidents. Also damages, or unlawful use of the vessel. This can result in sellers being sued for personal damages caused by the vessel, even after the sale has been made; this is because the original owner will still appear on the papers as the official owner, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Easily Process a Boat Bill of Sale
The easiest way to ensure your boat bill of sale is properly processed is to work with a professional. Vessel Documentation Online can assist you in completing your boat bill of sale, and help you submit it, all online. Vessel Documentation Online is a private third-party agency. It specializes in helping our clients complete and submit necessary vessel documentation without any hassle. The portal helps you fill out a boat bill of sale quickly, accurately, and with all the necessary evidence to ensure it will be accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard. With us, there is no need to worry that paperwork won’t be submitted or that details will have been missed, we make sure everything is in order so you can focus on what matters: your boat.
Once you have processed your new boat bill of sale with us, Vessel Documentation Online can help you complete any future necessary USCG paperwork. We offer all the necessary forms online and make the process of submitting them. Easy as can be with the help of our online system and our amazing team of processors. Vessel Documentation Online will help you stay up to date with all your documentation, renew when necessary, and keep all your information safe and secure.
In addition to the boat bill of sale, vessels over 5 net tons are required to complete and keep a variety of other documents up to date. Here are some important U.S. Coast Guard documents you can complete and process using Vessel Documentation Online:
- Initial documentation: Vessels that have never been registered with the U.S. Coast Guard must complete the initial documentation form in order to begin the process of completing their certificate of documentation.
- USCG Renewal: This form may be the first warning you receive if the buyer of your boat has not processed the boat bill of sale. The renewal form allows for vessel owners to renew their boat’s certificate of documentation. This form is only for vessels whose CoD is not more than 30 days expired.
- Reinstatement: Vessels whose CoD has passed 30 days of expiration must file for reinstatement of their certificate of documentation.
- Abstract of title: The abstract of title form allows the submitter to receive the title abstract which details the chain of ownership, history, liens placed against the vessel, and more.
Visit Vessel Documentation Online to learn more about U.S. Coast Guard vessel documentation requirements, and to process your boat bill of sale.