A Hawaii boat bill of sale acts as a receipt for the purchase/sale of a water vessel and a document that proves the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. While it is not mandatory by law to complete a bill of sale when selling a boat privately*, the document can be a used by the buyer to prove ownership of the vessel when they register it under their name. The seller may wish to maintain a copy of the bill of sale for their records and/or tax purposes. All information regarding the vessel being sold must be included on the form, such as the make, model, HIN, length, year, and price of the boat. The signature of the seller must be notarized if the buyer intends on using the bill of sale to register the boat.
*A bill of sale is not required, but a Vessel Notice of Transfer must be completed and submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation within seven (7) days of a vessel transfer.
Hawaii Boat Registration
After a successful boat transaction between a seller and a buyer, the new owner must register the boat, or, if the boat is already registered, transfer the registration in their name. The buyer will have to complete the following guide to register or transfer registration of their new vessel:
- First-time registrations or registration transfers must be completed in person, not by mail, at the nearest Department of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) office.
- Registrants must bring proof of ownership (bill of sale (notarized), Notice of Transfer (notarized), Manufacturer’s Certification of Origin (MCO), etc.).
- Registrants must complete the Application for Vessel Certificate of Title and/or Certificate of Number form.
- The department will charge a registration fee, which varies depending on the length of the vessel.