If you’re planning to buy a boat, it’s a good idea to have some familiarity with the documentation process. The bill of sale for a boat is one such piece of paperwork that you need to be aware of. You must have all of your documentation in order before you can legally operate your boat. If you buy a vessel, you must record the purchase with the United States Coast Guard immediately. Without documentation, you could face fines, penalties, or docking of your boat until the matter is resolved. Here’s what you need to do before you sign off on your bill of sale.
The registration for your boat is vital for being allowed to operate it. Before being allowed on the water, you must have your vessel properly registered, both at the state and federal level. There are exceptions to this, but for the most part, it’s required for any and all boats. Registration gives you a number for your boat, which is used for identification purposes. You will need some data regarding your boat as you go through the process, so having it all collected at the time you submit documentation is very helpful.
Hull Identification Number
Much like your car, truck or SUV has a vehicle identification number, your boat has a hull identification number. This is unique to the vessel and doesn’t change, even if the boat is sold. All federally registered boats must have the hull identification number (HIN) displayed on the vessel, according to guidelines. This number will be vitally important any time you fill out paperwork relevant to your boat, so it’s important to know what it is and keep it somewhere you can access it when needed.
The length of your boat is also a factor in your bill of sale documentation. Boats that are 26 feet or longer must be registered with the United States Coast Guard. However, you may still need to register them at the state level. You could also be required to register them at the federal level if you are using the boat for commercial fishing purposes. States differ in their requirements so be sure you are aware of the guidelines where you live.
Your Boat’s Title
The title of your boat proves ownership and is vitally important when you prepare a bill of sale. It must be updated with the new information if you are buying a boat or selling a boat. All of the boat registration information is needed for the boat title, as well as any information on liens associated with the vessel. The title should also contain the length of time the previous owner had the boat, as well as the last tax data.
Preparing the bill of sale for your boat is an important step when you buy a vessel. If you need help facilitating the process, contact the Commercial Fishing Permits Center today with all of your questions. We’re here for you and can provide all of the assistance you need to get the document completed correctly.