A Tennessee Boat Bill of Sale form provides evidence of the purchase and sale of a motorized boat/vessel between two or more parties.
The boat bill of sale provides legitimacy of the transaction and details the vessel’s condition and the agreed-upon purchase price. Once the vessel is registered under the buyer’s name, they must present the bill of sale to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to prove ownership.
Tennessee Boat Bill of Sale Requirements
A boat bill of sale is required for all vessel transfers between private parties in Tennessee. Your boat bill of sale must include the following criteria:
- A full description of the vessel, including colors and the hull material
- The buyer’s and seller’s names, contact information, and signatures
- The purchase date
- The sales price
- The make, make, and year built
- The hull identification number (HIN)
- Motor and trailer information (if applicable)
Some forms provided by the Tennessee Department of Revenue contain a penalty of perjury; however, since there is no official vehicle bill of sale form, you can choose whether or not you would like to include one on your form at your discretion. However, the state takes perjury on DOR forms seriously, as indicated by Tennessee Code 55-12-135, when it states, “Any person who knowingly submits a false statement under oath to the commissioner commits perjury and shall be subject to the penalties therefor.
Upon determining from the records that a person has knowingly made a false statement, the commissioner may suspend the person’s driver’s license for a period not to exceed six (6) months.”
After Purchasing a Vessel
- If you buy your vessel from a dealership, they will likely complete most of the registration process.
- If you do have to complete the registration process by yourself, you will need a registration application provided by the dealership, and they will have to stamp your application to prove that your sales tax was paid.
- You must pay the applicable registration fees and submit all paperwork as detailed below.
- Since Tennessee vessels do not require titling, you must pass another document to the buyer to prove ownership, such as a bill of sale, a previous registration, or an out-of-state title.
- All mechanically or electrically propelled vessels and all sailboats operating on Tennessee waters for more than 60 days must be registered with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Registration may be completed in person at your local county clerk’s office, by mail, or online. Vessels do not require titling.
- The exceptions to vessel registration include boats propelled by oars or paddles, boats registered in other states and countries that operate on state waters for less than 60 days, and sailboats from states that do not require numbering that are not operating on Tennessee waters for their principal use.
- To register your vessel, you will need a certified Application for Boat Certificate of Number (issued once the sales tax is paid and not available online), a bill of sale, or other proof of ownership, such as an invoice, certificate of origin, sales receipt, or a previous registration or previous out-of-state title, photos of vessels built after 1972 where the HIN is no longer affixed or not in proper US Coast Guard format, and payment for all applicable fees and taxes. You will be given a temporary yellow registration valid for 60 days while your paperwork is processed.
- The amount paid for taxes varies depending on the county that you live in. There may also be a certification fee. Tax is usually determined as a percentage (the state average is 7%) of the boat’s fair market value on the date it was moved to Tennessee. The local county clerk will stamp your application as proof of payment. If your vessel has never been registered in Tennessee, you must provide documentation that sales tax was paid in the state where it was formerly registered, or you must pay Tennessee sales tax.
- Registration fees are as follows for vessels in Tennessee:
- 16 feet or less
- One year: $13, 2 years: $24, 3 years: $35
- 16 feet to 26 feet
- One year: $25, 2 years: $48, 3 years: $71
- 26 feet to 40 feet
- One year: $38, 2 years: $72, 3 years: $107
- 40 feet or more
- One year: $51, 2 years: $97, 3 years: $142
- Duplicate registration card or decals: $6
Tennessee Boat Bill of Sale Template
Below, you can download a TN boat bill of sale in PDF or Word format:
Does a Boat Bill of Sale Have to be Notarized in Tennessee?
While both the signatures of the buyer and seller are required on the Tennessee Boat Bill of Sale form, a notary is not required.