To register most boats in Illinois, you need a bill of sale, among other documents. Illinois has different rules for buying and registering boats by dealers, retailers, and individuals. The bill of sale describes the boat and includes the hull identification number and price. Illinois separates the boat, motor, and trailer prices—those amounts are entered separately on the bill of sale.
Illinois Boat Bill of Sale Requirements
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources handles boat registrations. You can register and renew the boat online. All powered boats must be registered with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The Illinois boat bill of sale requires several pieces of information, including:
- Year and make of the boat
- Title number, if it had a previous title
- Hull number, if the boat has a hull number
- Registration number if the boat was previously registered
- Buyer’s name and mailing address
- Seller’s name and mailing address
- Motor year, make, and horsepower
- Sales price for the boat and motor
- Price for the trailer, if the boat includes a trailer
- Whether taxes are included in the sale
Registering a Boat
After purchasing a boat, you must register the boat. All classes of boats must be registered, though not all need to be titled in your name; however, we recommend titling a boat regardless.
If you purchased a boat with no hull number, you must go through the extra step of inspecting the boat before you title and register it.
Where to Register Your Boat in Illinois
The easiest way to register your boat is to register online with the Department of Natural Resources. You can also send all the required documentation and a check to:
IDNR – Watercraft
PO Box 19226
Springfield, IL 62794-9226
Documents Needed to Obtain Title and Registration
When registering the boat, you will need the following documents:
- Certificate of Documentation, a copy issued in your name. You usually need a title. However, if you are an Illinois resident who purchased the boat from an Illinois resident, you can submit a Power of Attorney instead.
- RUT-75, if you purchased the boat from an individual
- RUT-25, if you purchased the boat from an out-of-state dealer
- ST 556, if you purchased the boat from an Illinois dealer
- Two copies of the Illinois boat bill of sale
- Tax Fee – Make your check payable to the Illinois Department of Revenue, but send it to the Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois has several fees for boat registration. The fees are higher for larger boats.
- Class 1 Boats (all powered watercraft that are less than 16 feet in length, plus all motorized kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats, regardless of length): $28.00
- Class 2 Boats (16 feet to less than 26 feet): $60.00 (USCG New/Transfer/Renewal $50.00)
- Class 3 Boats (26 feet to less than 40 feet): $160.00 (USCG New/Transfer/Renewal $150.00)
- Class 4 Boats (any boat 40 feet and over): 210.00 (USCG New/Transfer/Renewal $200.00)
All boats that are powered must be registered in Illinois. Even if the boat, kayak, canoe, or another type of vessel has a trolling motor, you must register it. However, if a registered watercraft is under 21 feet, it does not have to be titled. We recommend titling boats of all sizes.
Illinois Boat Bill of Sale Template
Below, you can download an Illinois boat bill of sale in PDF or Word format:
Does a Boat Bill of Sale Have to be Notarized in Illinois?
The Illinois boat bill of sales does not have to be notarized.