Updated on February 7th, 2021
The California boat bill of sale is completed by the buyer and seller involved in a boat sale to properly record the transaction. Information on both parties will be included in the document as well as a description of the vessel and the final purchase price. A boat bill of sale should be used during any private transaction involving boats with a motor or sailboats over eight (8) feet long. After a successful transaction, the seller will maintain a copy of the bill of sale for their records, and the buyer will use it to register the vessel.
California Boat Registration
To operate a boat on any public waters, the buyer will have to register it with the DMV after successfully transferring the title to their name. The new owner must complete the following steps to register their vessel:
- Complete an Application for Vessel Certificate of Number (BOAT 101).
- Visit any DMV office* and submit the following forms and documentation:
- Completed application form
- Proof of ownership (title)
- Bill of sale or Statement of Facts (REG 256)
- Pay all applicable fees.
*Registrants may choose to submit all forms and fees by mail (instead of in person) to the following address:
Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001