Georgia Boat Bill of Sale Form


A Georgia boat bill of sale form represents the mentioned watercraft by identifying information. The document has the vessel’s in- or out-of-state registration number, make, model, year, hull identification number (HIN), length, and hull material. It also provides fillable fields for outboard motors and lienholders, if applicable.

  • Statutes: §§ 52-7-1 to 52-7-77
  • Signing Requirements: The person buying the vessel and the person selling it must sign.

What is a Georgia Vessel Bill of Sale?

A Georgia vessel bill of sale guides the purchaser and merchant through the selling process of a boat. It declares that both parties provided truthful answers and rightfully carried out the deal. The Department of Revenue (DOR) requires residents to use a vessel bill of sale and keep a copy after signing. Buyers must present the completed document to the DOR when registering.

The buyer and seller have to enter their full name, address, signature, and the sale date. The seller must also disclose the boat’s damage history. If it experienced hull damage in the past, the individual checks “Yes.” Otherwise, they select “No.” Buyers can hold sellers lawfully accountable if they provide false information.

Did You Know?

Individuals born on or after January 1, 1998, must have a boater education card to operate a vessel legally (§ 52-7-22). They can also choose to have their driver’s license endorsed with the boating certification so that they do not need to carry multiple cards.

The resident obtains the certification by taking and passing a certified boating safety course. Anyone (within the age restraints) using a boat in Georgia must have their stamped driver’s license or boater education card with them.

How to Register a Boat in Georgia (4 Steps)

Motorized vessels and sailboats over twelve (12) feet long require a Georgia registration when used on public waterways (i.e., lakes and oceans). They do not need registration if the owner only operates them on private lakes and ponds.

The state gives residents fifteen (15) days to notify them of boat sales and/or address changes (§ 52-7-5). Out-of-state boaters can use their vessel for sixty (60) continuous days before needing to register in Georgia.

Step 1 – Appointment

First-time boat registration can happen online, by phone (1-800-366-2661), or via mail. The applicant must gather essential documentation and payment beforehand.

If they submit the incorrect forms or the information has errors, the FLHSMV can reject the application, resulting in delays. The owner cannot operate the vessel without an active registration; therefore, they could temporarily lose their ability to drive the boat.

Step 2 – Registration

Applicants must send the general forms for boat registration in Georgia. Boat trailers also require registration before use. If the buyer purchased the trailer with the boat (from the same seller), they could include it in the vessel bill of sale. However, they can also use a separate trailer bill of sale document, as well.

The state requires boats with a marine toilet to have a Marine Toilet Certification. Previously registered vessels generally have the certification already. However, if it does not, the current owner needs to apply.

Each provided document must contain the boat’s registration number, hull identification number (HIN), length, make, year, and construction material(s) used. The office can refuse forms without this information.

Bring the Following:

Step 3 – Decals + Georgia Number

Within two (2) weeks of applying, the owner receives their registration number and decals. The certification card must remain on the boat when in use (§ 52-7-4).

After receiving the information, the owner needs to immediately display the registration number on the boat’s left and right front sides. The number must have spaces or hyphens to appear in the following fashion: “GA-8574-HF” or “GA 4859 OD.” It has to stand three (3) inches tall in block-style letters distinctive from the vessel’s color.

The decals go to the left of the registration number on both sides. Other information, like labels and text, does not belong in this area because it impacts the visibility of the number and stickers.

Step 4 – Renew

Boat registrations in Georgia last for three (3) years and expire on the last day of the owner’s birthday month. The state provides an alert to residents sixty (60) days before the due date. They can reapply online, by phone (1-800-366-2661), or through the mail starting on October 1st of the year before expiration.

Individuals who purchase boats must re-register them in their name even if the current registration (from the previous owner) has not expired. They provide the required documentation, personal information, and payment. If the state approves the tags, then the buyer officially becomes the new owner for three (3) years until they must renew.

Mailing Address:
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 934943
Atlanta, GA 31193-4943