Vessel Registration

Selling / Buying a Used Boat: What Documents Do I Give the Buyer / Receive from the Seller?

The documents that will later be used to transfer or register a boat in Georgia from a private sale may vary, depending if the boat is already registered in Georgia, and if the seller is the owner of record on the Georgia registration. There are many possible scenarios, but these below are the most common.

Owners of Georgia registered boats must notify the Department, in writing, of sale or transfer, theft or recovery, or destruction or abandonment of a boat within 15 days. Additional information.

A Bill of Sale (BOS) for a boat must have adequate information to positively link the BOS to the boat, similar to the example WRD BOS posted here.

  • Boat is registered in Georgia:
    Seller should give the buyer a signed and detailed bill of sale and the Georgia boat registration card. The bill of sale must contain sufficient information to identify the boat, such as hull identification number, year, make, model, Georgia boat registration number, etc. Buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale and the seller’s registration card. If the seller is not the owner of record on the Georgia registration, the seller should also give the buyer copies of bills of sale that form a chain back to the owner of record to show the boat was legally transferred by the owner of record to each subsequent owner if these bills of sale are available. Buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale from the seller and copies of bills of sale going back to the owner of record (if available), and the original registration card (if available). The previous owner’s registration card should be retained by the buyer until their registration card is received – after their registration card is received we suggest the previous owner’s registration card be destroyed.
     
  • Boat is registered in another state:
    Seller should give the buyer a signed, detailed and witnessed bill of sale, AND the original title if the boat is coming from a state that titles boats or the current registration card if the boat is coming from a state that does not title boats. The bill of sale must contain sufficient information to identify the boat, such as hull identification number, year, make, model, boat registration number, etc. Buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale from the seller and the original title or original state issued registration card. If the boat is coming from a non-title state and the seller is not the owner of record on the registration, the seller should also give the buyer copies of bills of sale that form a chain back to the owner of record to show the boat was legally transferred by the owner of record to each subsequent owner, if available. Buyer should obtain the detailed bill of sale from the seller and copies of bills of sale going back to the owner of record and the original state issued registration card if the boat is registered in a non-title state, or the title if registered in a title state. A list of title and non-title states can be found below.

Title States and Territories (often there are length or model year exceptions):
California
District of Columbia
Florida
Guam
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
N. Mariana Islands
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Optional Title State:
Louisiana
Mississippi

Non-Title States and Territories (Registration Only):
Alabama
Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Georgia
Hawaii
Kansas
Maine
New Hampshire
North Dakota
Puerto Rico
Tennessee
U.S. Virgin Islands
 






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