In South Carolina, a boat bill of sale is required before any boat can be transferred from one person to another.
It’s an important document that features not only relevant details about the buyer and seller but also a description of the boat and the circumstances of the transaction.
This article outlines the sales price, the date ownership was transferred, and more.
South Carolina Boat Bill of Sale Requirements
South Carolina requires a boat bill of sale for not only registration but for other state-specific applications that you may need as well. It’s important to note that the buyer and seller must sign the bill of sale.
Registering a Boat (After Purchasing)
To legally operate your boat in South Carolina after purchasing, it must be appropriately registered with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. If you’ve purchased a ship directly from a dealership, they may file all necessary paperwork on your behalf.
If the sale occurs between two private parties, the buyer must go through the registration process no later than 60 days after completing the transaction. During this time, the registration decals of the previous owner can be used.
However, the buyer only has 30 days to at least begin the registration process to avoid potential late fees.
Where to Register
Registration of a boat in South Carolina can be completed at any convenient Department of Natural Resources location.
Documents Needed to Obtain Title Registration
Several documents are required to register a boat in South Carolina, including successfully
- an adequately completed registration application for watercraft and outboard motors.
- A South Carolina boat bill of sale.
- The original title that has been signed by the buyer (if the boat was purchased from a private seller).
- The boat manufacturer’s statement of origin (if the boat was purchased new from a dealer in South Carolina).
- A photograph of the hull identification number and the motor’s serial number (if the boat was previously titled in another state).
- Proof of payment for all fees.
- A copy of the buyer’s driver’s license or other state identification.
- A property tax receipt from the buyer’s home county (if the boat has an existing South Carolina title).
It is important to provide copies of all documents above, as nothing will be returned to you after submission.
- The cost of registration and titling for a boat that has never been registered or titled in South Carolina is $20.00.
- The annual registration renewal fee is $10.00.
- A late fee of $15.00 will be assessed for all new and used boats if registration is not begun within 30 days of the original purchase date.
Exemptions (If Applicable)
- Any watercraft (like a canoe or kayak) powered only with oars or paddles.
- Documented vessels, including those belonging to the United States Coast Guard.
- All of the above registration exemptions also apply to South Carolina titling.
Does a Boat Bill of Sale Have to Be Notarized in South Carolina?
The state of South Carolina does require that a boat bill of sale be notarized.
South Carolina Boat Bill of Sale Sample
Below, you can download our free South Carolina boat bill of sale template in PDF or Word format: