Arizona Boat Bill of Sale Form


An Arizona boat bill of sale form reallocates ownership of a water vessel from a seller to a purchaser. It requires both parties to enter their names, and the boat’s manufacturer, hull identification number (HIN), purchase price, and sales tax paid. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) uses this information to approve or deny watercraft applications.

What is an Arizona Vessel Bill of Sale?

An Arizona vessel bill of sale nominates an individual as the new owner of motorized watercraft. They can acquire the vessel through cash, trade, or gift and then use the form to verify the transfer.

The AZGFD requires residents to complete their official watercraft bill of sale form and present it upon registration. A watercraft letter of gift must also accompany the paperwork if the previous owner gave away the boat as a present.

Only permanent dwellers can register their boat in Arizona, meaning the state does not allow dual registration. For example, a person working full-time in Arizona but living in New Mexico cannot register their watercraft in both states. Instead, they would need to choose one (1) jurisdiction. Military personnel can, however, claim residency in multiple states.

Arizona residents do not need a boater education card to operate a vessel in the state. Only individuals twelve (12) years and older can drive a boat with a motor of more than eight (8) horsepower.

How to Register a Boat in Arizona (4 Steps)

Before using them in Arizona waters, owners of gas or electric boats must register them with the AZGFD. Non-residents can use their boats in the state for up to ninety (90) consecutive days before registering. They must, however, have valid registration from their state of residence.

After the sale, the seller is responsible for completing a sold notice. This form removes their liability and notifies the state that the boat has a new owner (§ 5.321).

Step 1 – Check Requirements

Most boats in Arizona require a standard registration. Without this documentation, law enforcement can impose fines upon the owner.

The AZGFD does not require the owner to obtain registration if the boat:

  • Is used for rescue purposes;
  • Is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard;
  • Does not have a power source; and/or
  • Has been in the state for less than ninety (90) days (§ 5-321).

Step 2 – Register the Boat

Individuals must register their boat at an AZGFD office or by mail. They must provide the necessary forms and paperwork, fill out each document honestly, and sign or notarize it as needed.

Bring the Following:

*Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) for new boats or previous registration for used boats.

Step 3 – Adhere Decals + Arizona Number

The AZGFD can take up to thirty (30) days to respond to applicants via mail. If they approve the application, the state sends a certificate of number, an Arizona (AZ) number, and two (2) decals to the resident. This information must be on board and/or permanently affixed to the vessel.

An AZ number has the following format: AZ-8593-PR. When attaching it to the boat, the owner must ensure it:

  • Is permanently printed on the left and right front sides of the vessel in three (3) inch tall block letters;
  • Stands out against the boat’s color so that it is easy to read from one hundred (100) feet away; and
  • Has a hyphen or space between each section of letters and numbers.

Residents must also stick the decals to the vessel, which they must place three (3) inches in front of the registration. The decal and number must stand alone without other numbers, letters, or stickers nearby.

Step 4 – Renew

Initially, watercraft registration lasts for twelve (12) months. After the owner renews the registration for the first time, they become a part of the staggered system. This process assigns a renewal date based on the AZ number’s last two (2) digits. The owner can find the expiration date on the AZ certificate of number, which lasts anywhere from seven (7) to eighteen (18) months.

Boat registration renewals can occur online. The owner must have their authorization number, an account password, and documentation proving their birth date to renew remotely. Individuals who cannot (or do not want to) complete the online application can drop off the forms and fees at an AZGFD office. They can also provide the documents by mail.

If the owner loses or damages the registration or decal(s), they must apply for new ones by completing an application (Form 1503) and sending in the associated fees.

AZGFD Mailing Address:
Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Hwy
Phoenix, AZ 85086