A boat bill of sale in Massachusetts acts as legal proof of watercraft purchase. It also indicates a transfer of ownership from the previous owner to the new one. It is necessary if the buyer wants to register the vehicle at an RMV (also known as the “Registry of Motor Vehicles”) in Massachusetts. To properly sign the document, the party who sold the boat and the one who bought it must sign the boat bill of sale.
Massachusetts Boat Bill of Sale Requirements
A boat bill of sale is required to sell, purchase, or register a vessel, and an official form is provided on the state of Massachusetts website. Make sure your boat bill of sale includes the following information:
- The names, contact information, and signatures of the buyer and seller
- The make, model, and year the vessel was built
- The company letterhead, if the vessel was purchased from a business
- The hull identification number (HIN)
- The length of the vessel
- Whether or not the vessel includes a trailer or motor
Some RMV forms in Massachusetts feature a penalty of perjury printed upon them, though the bill of sale does not. If you are hand-drafting a bill of sale, you may choose whether or not you would like to include one. However, the state considers any perjury a felony and allows it to be litigated in the District Court with potential punishments ranging from a $1000 maximum fine and/or up to two and 1/2 years in jail.
After Purchasing a Vessel
- You will need a bill of sale from the dealership, a manufacturer’s certificate of origin, and the documents below to register your vessel in Massachusetts. The dealer cannot register and title your vessel for you.
- If you are selling a vessel that originated from a non-title state, the current registration can be used instead of a title to prove ownership for selling purposes. However, if the vessel originates from Rhode Island, you must have your signature on the title notarized to transfer ownership.
- You may pay your vessel sales tax online and print out a receipt.
- If your date of manufacture is before 1972, or your HIN does not have proper U.S. Coast Guard formatting, you may need an inspection before registration.
- You must visit one of the five Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau offices to register your vessel. You must bring with you a bill of sale, a completed Registration, and Titling Application, or Form ELE #1, the certificate of title signed over by the seller (for boats 14 feet long or over), a pencil tracing of your HIN, Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) Form ST-6 or Form ST-6E, indicating that your sales tax was paid or you are exempt, and a check or money order for applicable fees.
- Sales tax in Massachusetts is set at 6.25% of the total purchase price of the vessel. It is due on the 20th day of the month following the purchase date. If payment is late, there will be penalties and interest. Registration is for two years, and the fees are as follows:
- Boats under 16 feet $44
- Boat length 16 feet to less than 26 feet $66
- Boat length 26 feet to less than 40 feet $88
- Boat length 40 feet and greater than $110
- Boat Title $27.50
- Duplicate Title $16.50
- If your vessel requires a HIN, then HIN placement must be proven before receiving your new registration and decal.
Massachusetts Boat Bill of Sale Template
Below, you can download a Massachusetts boat bill of sale in PDF or Word format:
Does a Boat Bill of Sale Have to be Notarized in Massachusetts?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not require boat owners to notarize a bill of sale for boats in MA to validate it. A witness is also unnecessary.