A Boat Bill of Sale

What is a Boat Bill of Sale?

Buying a new boat is an exciting event. So it can be easy to forget your new vessel comes with a ton of work. One of the first things you will need to handle when purchasing a boat is the processing of the boat bill of sale, an important document that will help establish proper registration with the U.S. Coast Guard. One of the most important documents to new boat owners and boat sellers. People have to complete and process the boat bill of sale in order for the new owner to legally use and operate the vessel. Here are more details on how a boat bill of sale is processed, why you need one, and what can happen if you neglect to complete the proper forms: 

The Boat Bill of Sale Explained

When a boat is sold, the seller must complete a boat bill of sale to be exchanged upon the time of the sale. The seller exchanges it for a check, signifying the sale of the vessel has been made. The document includes detailed information pertaining to both buyer and seller, the vessel and its history, and information pertaining to the sale itself. Though it is not a receipt, the boat bill of sale acts as a kind of confirmation that a sale has been completed. 

Though it is the responsibility of the seller to draw up and provide the boat bill of sale to the buyer, the buyer is then responsible for properly processing this important document. You must process the document in order to notify the U.S. Coast Guard that ownership of the vessel has changed, thereby making the sale official. Should the buyer neglect to submit it for processing, they may face prosecution should they try to use the vessel.

The new buyer will not officially be the owner of the boat, until they process and submit the boat bill of sale to the U.S. Coast Guard. Also any use of it would be considered illegal. As for the original owner and seller of the vessel, any damages, accidents, or mishaps involving the vessel will continue to be their responsibility. Neglecting to process and submit it can cause a serious headache for both buyer and seller. It can cause serious legal troubles if not resolved. 

A Boat Bill of Sale

Submitting a Boat Bill of Sale

Traditionally, vessel owners have had to go through the National Vessel Documentation Center or the U.S. Coast Guard in order to have their paperwork properly processed. Now, Vessel Documentation Online is providing an easier, more secure option for boat owners. Vessel Documentation Online is a third party private agency that handles the processing of USCG documents and forms. 

The NVDC and USCG often require boat owners to submit documentation through the mail. This can cause delays and frequent loss of important documents. Vessel Documentation Online offers all the forms you need to properly register your vessel online, without any of the hassles of traditional USCG documentation processing. With Vessel Documentation Online, you can fill out and submit all USCG documents quickly and securely. 

Our entirely online platform is the safest way to file important vessel documentation forms, far safer than sending sensitive personal information through the mail. Vessel Documentation Online features an amazing team of processors. They will examine your forms. Thus, making sure that you filled them out perfectly the first time in order to avoid delays. Vessel Documentation Online makes it fast, easy, and safe to process USCG documentation. This way you can focus on the important things in life. 

USCG Documentation

Besides a boat bill of sale, boat owners are required to complete other important documents in order to legitimately travel through U.S. and international waters. Vessel Documentation Online has all the forms you need, all in one easy-to-find place. Here are some of the important USCG documents you can process using Vessel Documentation Online: 

  • Initial Vessel Documentation: This form is for vessels that have not yet been documented/registered. Initial documentation establishes the vessel’s Certificate of Documentation (CoD.)
  • USCG Renewal: The renewal form allows a vessel owner to request the renewal of their CoD. Use this form only if the CoD is less than 30 days past expiration. 
  • Reinstatement: The reinstatement form allows a vessel owner to request the reinstatement of their CoD. Use this form if the CoD is more than 30 days past expiration. 
  • Transfer: A transfer happens when the ownership of the vessel is changed, but haven’t completed the sale. Required form in instances of marriage, divorce, company changes, etc. 
  • Change Name or Port: Should you need/want to change the name or hailing port of your vessel, you will need to complete this form. 

Learn more about U.S. Coast Guard documentation requirements, and complete your important documents safely and easily with Vessel Documentation Online.