Just like any other type of vehicle, boats also need a document that proves the ownership and is used to register it. A boat bill of sale is written when someone sells their boat or gives it as a gift to someone else.

It contains all the identifying information of the vessel and mentions the way ownership is transferred from one party to another. Authorities demand that you present a bill of sale for boats when you try to get the watercraft registered.

The history of the vehicle, previous owners, is mentioned in the form, as well as the price used in the transaction.

How to Register a Vehicle in Colorado?

Many states require that you register a boat within 30 days from the moment you buy it. Until those 30 days pass, you are allowed to use the watercraft on water, but once that term has passed, it’s illegal to operate it without registration.

To register the boat, you will need a bill of sale to prove who sold it to you. It must contain all the information on the boat, the seller and the buyer, and it must be signed in front of a notary public.

These are the items you need to have to register a boat:

  • A boat registration form.
  • The boat bill of sale.
  • The registration fees must be paid.

You will have to pay an annual registration fee for each boat; they will be calculated depending on the length of the boat. These are the fees, so you can know what to expect once you buy a watercraft:

  • $35.25 if the boat is less than 20 feet long.
  • $45.25 if the boat is 20 to 30 feet long.
  • $75.25 if the boat is 30 feet or longer.

Each annual registration is from January 1st to December 31st every year. Once you have all the necessary documents, go to the local Parks and Wildlife Office.

When the registration process is over, you get a registration number that you have to paint on the boat; you also have to make sure to place your decals properly.

Who Should Use a Boat Bill of Sale?

People use a bill of sale for a boat when there is a transfer in ownership. It is the document that proves that the seller transfers the right of ownership to the buyer, in exchange for the price that they have previously agreed upon.

The boat bill of sale needs to be completed even for sailboats, regardless of whether they are new or used. You may find it under different names, but a bill of sale for boat and trailer is crucial to every owner.

It shows the buyer all the warranty issues and history of the watercraft they are buying. Therefore, anyone who plans to buy a boat will have to fill in a boat bill of sale, no matter which of the following situations they find themselves in:

  • They are looking for a boat on a website.
  • They are in the business of trading boats and accessories.
  • They are selling or buying a used boat and the accessories that go with it.
  • They want to buy or sell a boat through a commercial outlet.

What Are the Components of a Boat Bill of Sale?

Any transaction of a watercraft has to meet specific requirements, and issuing a boat bill of sale is one of the essential ones. It’s not only about complying with the law, but this document is also beneficial for both parties involved.

The buyer has the proof that they have paid for that particular boat, and they can register it on their name. The seller, on the other hand, has the evidence that they delivered the boat and have given the buyer all the necessary information for them to make an informed decision.

Since there is a lot of information that needs to be entered into the document, it’s best to create it using a simple boat bill of sale template. This is what the document must contain:

  • Name and address of the buyer.
  • Name and address of the seller.
  • The date of the transaction.
  • The price of the boat and the accessories, if there are any.
  • Details on the boat: make, model, year of construction.
  • The Hull identification number.
  • If possible, the former registration number and title number.
  • Mention if the boat has an outboard motor (and its identifying information).
  • If it includes a trailer, mention its identifying information.
  • The boat’s primary color and any secondary colors.
  • A lien release.
  • The title certificate.
  • The name and signature of all the parties involved, including the notary public.
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Selling or buying a boat is not that different from the transactions of other vehicles. All the essential aspects of the sale must be written in a formal document, at a notary public.

The best way to create a boat bill of sale, to make sure it has all the necessary sections, is to start from a template. You can try the boat bill of sale template created by CocoSign and get a wide variety of templates for free you may need.


CocoSign represents a wide collection of legal templates covering all types of leases, contracts and agreements for personal and commercial use. All legal templates available on CocoSign shall not be considered as attorney-client advice. Meanwhile, CocoSign shall not be responsible for the examination or evaluation of reviews, recommendations, services, etc. posted by parties other than CocoSign itself on its platform.