Idaho Boat Bill of Sale Form


An Idaho boat bill of sale form grants a buyer ownership of a vessel. The seller surrenders their possession and responsibility in exchange for cash or trade. Both parties complete the Idaho Transportation Department’s state document to transfer the title officially. The bill of sale must include the boat’s hull identification number (HIN), title number, weight, length and width, year, make, model, and description. The buyer and seller must disclose the odometer reading, sale date, their personal information, and the lienholder’s credentials (if relevant).

What is an Idaho Vessel Bill of Sale?

An Idaho vessel bill of sale symbolizes a compromise between two (2) parties. It establishes the boundaries and rules associated with the deal. Each person must uphold their part of the agreement. If either individual fails to carry out their task(s), the opposing entity can use the signed bill of sale to back up their argument. Notarization gives the document greater authenticity, especially if a legal case ensues.

Did You Know?

Idaho residents do not need to take an education course or exam to operate a boat, nor do they need to have a certification card. The state does not have a general law stating the minimum age to drive a vessel. However, the following four (4) areas have special mandates to protect individuals: Adams, Benewah, Bonner, and Kootenai counties. People who reside in these counties should defer to local law to ensure they follow the rules.

How to Register a Boat in Idaho (5 Steps)

Buyers must register their motorized vessels with an Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) office no more than fifteen (15) days after obtaining ownership. Out-of-state visitors can use their boat for up to sixty (60) consecutive days before needing an Idaho registration.

Unlike other states, Idaho does not require boat insurance or licensing. In addition, the state does not have a mandate or minimum age requirement for operators. However, counties have unique boating laws; therefore, residents should research local regulations before driving the vessel.

Step 1 – Register Boat Trailer

Owners can only tow their boats if they have a registered trailer. They also need a title if the trailer weighs over 2,000 pounds (gross weight). Residents and eligible non-residents must obtain a trailer registration and/or title before registering and titling their boats.

Trailer registration occurs at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office rather than an IDPR location. Therefore, the registrar needs to make two (2) separate appointments: one (1) at the DMV and one (1) at the IDPR.

The trailer owner must provide the title application, original and signed title, and a form of accepted payment. Upon submitting the documents, they receive a forty-five (45) day temporary registration until the DMV mails them the official record.

Non-residents can apply for boat trailer registration, even if they do not have an Idaho title. The individual must present the original, signed title (from their home state) and fees to the DMV. Their trailer also needs to undergo regular inspections to verify ownership. If the office accepts the documents and the tow-behind passes inspection, the applicant receives a North America Permanent Trailer Plate, which they must affix to the trailer.

Step 2 – Register Boat

Motorized vessels in Idaho need registration. The state does not require manually propelled watercraft (i.e., kayaks and canoes), inflatable tubes, windboards (or sailboards), or vessels the U.S. Coast Guard owns to have a registration.

First-time registrations can happen online, by phone (1-888-922-6743), or in person (interactive map). The registering office mails the official registration to the boater, taking up to two (2) weeks. However, the state provides the applicant with a receipt and/or temporary registration to use in the meantime.

Bring the Following:

Step 3 – Purchase Invasive Species Fund Sticker

Invasive species impose great danger to lakes, rivers, and ponds. When creatures, like quagga mussels, enter water systems, they quickly populate and attach to the bottom of boats. The organisms rapidly eat away vessels and their parts, especially motors. They also cause harm to aquatic life by ruining ecosystems. Therefore, the state has systems in place to protect boaters and wildlife from invasive species.

Residents and non-residents must have an Invasive Species Fund (ISF) Sticker to operate their vessel(s) in Idaho waterways legally. The state requires a paid sticker for motorized and non-motorized watercraft. Proceeds go to the organization that keeps water systems clean and free of unwanted creatures.

Boaters can obtain a sticker for $10 online or by visiting a state park or vendor. Law enforcement can stop and ticket individuals who do not pay or display their ISF sticker.

Step 4 – Apply Numbers + Stickers

The IDPR provides applicants with a temporary registration until they receive official documentation by mail. The owner must always have the receipt and/or tags while operating the vessel. Failure to do so can result in fines and penalties.

Registration packets include a certificate of number and decals, which the owner must display on their vessel. This information allows others to identify the boat if someone steals it, the owner gets in an accident, or boat patrol stops them.

Idaho vessel registration numbers have eight (8) characters, appearing as ID-5389-DH. The following rules apply when affixing the number to the boat:

  • Each set of letters and numbers needs separation by a space or hyphen;
  • It must appear on the port and starboard sides towards the bow;
  • Owners must use a block-style font and ensure each letter or number stands at least three (3) inches tall;
  • The boat’s color cannot blend with the number, meaning it must appear in a shade that others can easily depict from a distance; and
  • Other information, stickers, or designs cannot reside in this area to make the number highly visible.

Decals must appear on the number’s left or right side. Owners must align the decal with the number, ensuring they sit less than six (6) inches away from each other. They also need to remove the previous sticker before affixing a new one.

Step 5 – Renew

Idaho boat registrations last for one (1) calendar year and expire on December 31st. Owners must renew online, by phone (1-888-922-6743), or in person before the expiration date.