A Tennessee boat bill of sale form is used by the buyer and private seller of a boat to act as proof of the vessel’s purchase and sale. The completed form must include the date of sale, price, year, make, model, and hull identification number (HIN) of the boat, as well as the contact information and signatures of the buyer and the seller. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) requires that all mechanically powered vessels and sailboats be registered before they can be operated in state waterways. The buyer will be required to use the bill of sale when registering their boat as it proves their ownership and is used to calculate the sales tax. Boats are not required to be titled in Tennessee.
Tennessee Boat Registration
After a boat has been transferred in a private sale from the seller to the buyer, the buyer will need to register the vessel in their name by completing the steps below.
- Obtain a completed Boat Bill of Sale from the seller.
- Go to the county clerk where the buyer is a resident and submit the following:
- Boat Bill of Sale
- Tennessee driver’s license and voter registration card or utility bill
- Request a Tennessee Application for Boat Certificate of Number from the clerk.
- Complete and sign the application in front of the county clerk.
- Pay state and county sales tax on the boat by purchasing documentary stamps from the clerk equal to the amount of taxes owed. The clerk will affix the stamps to the application as proof that taxes were paid.
- Make out a check or money order payable to “Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency” as payment for registration fees.
- Mail the completed application to the address found on the form.
Registration can also be completed online (applicants will first need to create an account).