boat bill of sale

When Do You Need a Boat Bill of Sale to Register Your Vessel?

When it comes to getting your vessel registration in order, there are going to be a lot of documents that you will have to gather as part of your application, especially if you are just now getting your initial documentation for your vessel. You have to prove ownership over the vessel, as well as your own standing as a United States citizen. In this process, a lot of people wonder if they need to submit their boat bill of sale as part of the application and the answer is, well, sometimes. The process has a lot of nooks and crevices in regards to what you need and in what cases you need them. Let’s go over the requirements.

Requirements For Initial Vessel Registration

First of all, what documents are necessary in order to apply for initial vessel registration? You’ve probably heard that you don’t necessarily need a boat bill of sale as part of this process, which is only somewhat accurate. These are the requirements to apply:

  • Application for initial registration – This will be the main component of your application for registration because it is, after all, the application itself. The new owner, or someone legally acting on their behalf, will need to submit this with their contact information and data about the vessel.
  • Builder’s certification and first transfer of title – When submitting initial documentation, you will need to submit the builder’s certification completed by the builder of the vessel themselves. Please note that evidence of US build is required for all vessels seeking a fishery or coastwise endorsement.
  • Application for simplified measurement – This will be needed to establish tonnage calculations when the builder’s certification is not provided.

Boat Bill of Sale

Now, if you have all these documents as part of your application, you won’t need to provide them with a boat bill of sale. However, if the builder’s certification and the first transfer of title forms are not submitted with the applicant shown as the party for whom the vessel was built, then you will most certainly need to provide the bill of sale as part of the process. For this, you can submit either an original bill of sale or a copy that’s been signed by everyone transferring interest in the vessel or someone legally acting as their representative. If you have questions regarding your specific circumstances, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for help.

Submitting Your Initial Registration

Once you have your initial form, your boat bill of sale, and your application for simplified measurement, or your initial form, your builder’s certification, and your first transfer of title, you will be ready to submit your application for vessel documentation. In the process, whether you need help gathering the right documents or submitting the forms themselves, you can find all the necessary forms and information here on our page. Should you need assistance filling out any forms you might need, you can reach out to us. Give us a call at 1-866-981-8783 or email us at info@vesseldocumentation.us with your questions.