Minnesota Boat Bill of Sale Form


A Minnesota boat bill of sale form represents the agreement between two (2) private parties or dealers and their customers. The buyer, or client, completes the document and enters their personal information, which binds them to the arrangement. Similarly, the owner fills out their section of the form and signs it to show they agreed to the deal. If the exchange happens by gift or trade, the buyer and seller must provide the terms of the deal, the watercraft’s value, and the transfer date.

What is a Minnesota Vessel Bill of Sale?

A Minnesota vessel bill of sale affirms the boundaries of a watercraft deal. It removes the seller’s responsibility and bestows power to the buyer. Furthermore, the previous owner does not have legal accountability for boating accidents or damages caused by the new owner. For example, if the buyer crashes it on the same day they purchased it, they must pay for damages, injuries, or any other associated costs or repairs.

Did You Know?

Children and teenagers between twelve (12) and seventeen (17) must obtain a Minnesota water operator’s permit to use a boat. They must take the state-certified online or classroom course. Although not required, anyone can sign up for the class to learn about boating and receive an insurance discount. Individuals may also have to obtain a permit to operate their vessel in Canada and, therefore, must research the requirements beforehand.

How to Register a Boat in Minnesota (6 Steps)

Minnesota boat registration (also known as a “license”) and titling must occur at a Driver & Vehicle Service (DVS) office or through a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) License Center. Residents can book online or send the documents by mail. The transfer or application for registration and title must occur within ten (10) days of moving to the state or obtaining ownership.

Per state law, individuals cannot operate a boat without registration cards or decals. If they apply by mail, it takes longer for the information to come through, whereas in-person visits provide an immediate license. As an exception to this rule, owners can use their boat if they purchased it new from a dealership, and the dealer gave them a temporary permit.

Step 1 – Restrictions

Most boats need a registration in Minnesota. Nonetheless, the state exempts any boat ten (10) feet or less without a motor. This regulation includes kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, sailboats, and other watercraft that fit the criteria.

Out-of-state visitors can use their boat in Minnesota for up to ninety (90) consecutive days before obtaining an in-state registration. To qualify, they must have a registration and/or title from their home state and sign an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) affirmation.

Step 2 – Title

When making a dealership purchase, the salesperson sends the title documents if it has a length greater than sixteen (16) feet. Kayaks and canoes do not qualify for titling. Owners who have to register themselves must provide the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) to receive a new title.

Titling homemade boats requires the owner to submit copies of the materials used, receipts containing the supplies, four (4) photos of the finished vessel, and a signed Statement of Facts.

When transferring the title after a private seller, the new owner must ensure the seller signs the front of the title before giving it to them. Then, the buyer must fill out and sign the backside of the document. It costs $17 to transfer the title from one resident to another. If the boat does not have a title, the owner must provide a bill of sale with the year, make, hull identification number (VIN), and the seller’s printed name and signature. They must also complete and submit a universal registration document (Form LB-001-06).

Out-of-state transfers require the owner to provide the original, signed certificate of title, if possible. If the person came from a non-title state, they must provide a registration card and bill of sale instead.

A lien release must accompany the title application if the seller had a loan on the vessel. The lienholder must provide a statement on company letterhead or a notice from the department. Per state regulations, the document must include the lienholder’s name and signature, the boat owner’s name, and the HIN. To release, add, or reassign a lien, the resident must complete a Notification of Assignment, Release, or Grant of Security Interest (Form LB-063).

Relevant Forms & Information:

Step 3 – Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Minnesota law requires boaters to pay $10.60 for the AIS surcharge during each registration period and have a signed affirmation on board. This document verifies they took the safety training course. After passing, the individual should know how to use and clean their vessel to prevent AIS contamination properly. They must read and sign a new affirmation during the initial registration and subsequent renewals.

According to local regulations, owners must clean plants or invasive species from their boats, drain the water from the equipment, remove drain plugs (during transport), and throw away unwanted bait in the garbage, not the water.

Individuals violating AIS laws must take a “Clean In, Clean Out” course. It provides education on the state’s regulations so the person will follow proper protocol in the future. The state offers the class for free online and by paper home study. Anyone can take the course, even when not required. Residents can also pledge to join the cause and protect Minnesota waterways.

Step 4 – Register

Like the titling protocol, the dealership registers boats over sixteen (16) feet with a motor. It includes non-motorized vessels, like kayaks, canoes, sailboats, and similar watercraft.

Owners that have to register the boat themselves must make an appointment or send the information by mail. They must provide the vessel’s length, model, year, manufacturer, type of hull material (i.e., plastic, metal, or wood), the type of propulsion, and serial or HIN. In addition, the state requests a sales tax receipt indicating the individual paid their yearly taxes on the property.

Provide the Following:

Step 5 – Number + Decal

Boat owners who apply for registration at a local office receive their license and decals immediately. If they send in their information by mail, it takes a few weeks for the recipient to receive their certification. Therefore, if a resident wants to use their vessel immediately, they should visit a physical location.

Once the owner receives their registration card and decals, they must apply them to the vessel. The number is unique to the individual and must appear as written on the card. It always begins with “MN” with four (4) digits and two (2) letters following it.

The person applying the number and decals must abide by state regulations to ensure law enforcement does not stop them. To begin, they must paint or attach the number on the vessel’s left and right front sides. Each section of block-style letters and numbers must have three (3) inches of space between them with a height of three (3) inches or greater. The color cannot blend with the boat’s paint, meaning it needs to have a color that sharply contrasts it. After affixing the number, the owner must attach the decal, ensuring it stands within four (4) inches of the registration number towards the stern.

Residents do not need to place a registration number on watercraft without a motor, such as kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, paddle boats, rowing shells, sailboats, or sailboards. However, they must attach a decal on each forward side of it. If the vessel does not allow for this set-up, then the owner can affix it to the stern alternatively.

Step 6 – Renew

Minnesota boat registrations last for three (3) years. It begins on January 1st of the starting year and ends on December 31st of the expiration year. Upon expiration, the owner must take off the decal and throw it away, along with the expired license certificate. Once they receive the new information, they must safely store the certificate and attach the new decal.

Renewals can occur at a Deputy Registrar’s office or the St. Paul DNR License Bureau. Applicants can also submit their information online or through the mail. Owners who cannot renew themselves must appoint another person to handle the matter. They can accomplish this task by giving their agent a completed and signed Consent to Renew Registration or Power of Attorney. The representative must have the renewal notice from the DNR to successfully carry out the transaction.

Mailing Address:
Minnesota DNR Box 26 – Watercraft
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4026