A California boat bill of sale is a necessary document that formalizes a legal transfer of ownership. It includes essential information about the buyer, seller, and transaction details.
A bill of sale for a boat in California also provides information about the vessel that helps the buyer register it with the state.
California Boat Bill of Sale Requirements
A template with all the legally necessary information helps protect against errors and omissions. Oversights often cause the California DMV to reject initial registrations. The parties are then tasked with redoing the paperwork to complete the process.
These key points appear on a boat bill of sale in California used by dealers and private sellers:
- Parties involved: The full names and addresses of the buyer and seller are necessary.
- Boat description: The boat is described in terms of make, model, year, color, and registration number.
- Specifications: The vessel type, hull ID number, and hull material are listed on the boat bill of sale California residents use.
- Boat condition: If applicable, a rating from fair to new is recorded in addition to any critical notes.
- Motor: Sellers of vessels with gas-powered motors must indicate whether they are inboard or outboard engines.
- Purchase price: The total purchase price is listed, and the document indicates if tax has been included in the sale of a new vessel.
- Payment method: A seller can indicate the payment method to supply further details regarding the transfer.
- Warranty: A box can be checked regarding warranties if any apply.
- Date of sale: The calendar date of the transaction appears on this document.
The owner can also note that the transferred vessel is a gift. If so, registration fees and taxes are typically based on fair market value.
Registering a Boat
Sailboats over eight feet and all motorized boats must be registered with the DMV in California.
Where to Register
Visit the nearest California Department of Motor Vehicles location.
Documents Needed to Obtain Title and Registration
One of the best reasons to use a California boat bill of sale PDF is that it eliminates common oversights. These are other documents needed to register a boat in California:
- Application for Vessel Certificate of Number Form
- Hull Identification Number
- California Certificate of Ownership or an Out-of-State Title
- Statement of Facts Form
Unless exempt, boat owners who operate in freshwater at any time must purchase a $16 Quagga Sticker, also known as a Mussel Fee Sticker. It must be displayed at all times. The state charges boat registration, transfers, renewals, and use fees. Qualifying vessels can be renewed at the DMV portal.
Rowboats, sailboards, parasails, canoes, and any boats powered by oars or paddles are exempt from registration. Sailboats measuring less than eight feet long are also exempt.
Does a Boat Bill of Sale Have to be Notarized in California?
A California boat bill of sale must not be notarized or witnessed.
California Boat Bill of Sale Sample
Below, you can download our free California boat bill of sale template in PDF or Word format: