North Dakota Boat Bill of Sale Form


A North Dakota boat bill of sale form proves a person legally purchased a vessel from the previous owner. The document often accompanies other transaction-related paperwork and verifies the transfer of ownership. By signing, both parties officially confirm the deal and the accuracy of the information provided. Notarization further authenticates the bill of sale, making it a viable option for buyers and sellers. Each person should store a copy for their records to verify the sale and use it as a reference when necessary.

  • Statutes: Chapter 20.1-13
  • Signing Requirements: All parties participating in the transaction must sign the bill of sale.

What is a North Dakota Vessel Bill of Sale?

A North Dakota vessel bill of sale allows buyers to show they righteously purchased a vessel. It contains verification from the seller that they released ownership and transferred it to the purchaser. The form provides sufficient documentation for the transfer, including details about the buyer and seller, the vessel, and the payment. It highlights the boat’s make, model, year, length, title number, and hull identification number (HIN). The document must also provide information about the items if the deal involves a motor or trailer.

Did You Know?

Anyone between the ages of twelve (12) and fifteen (15) driving a boat with ten (10) horsepower or more must have a boating license to operate a vessel by themselves. They do not need a boating safety card if an adult eighteen (18) years or older is also aboard. Nobody under twelve (12) can operate a boat in the state, and those under the age of eleven and a half (11 1/2) may not take the licensing course. Interested parties may pay for an online course or take a free home study course. For more information on the home study class, individuals can email or call 701-328-6300.

How to Register a Boat in North Dakota (5 Steps)

Motor-propelled watercraft require registration with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The state does not mandate vessel titling, meaning residents do not need this type of documentation.

Step 1 – Exemptions

North Dakota does not require registration for non-motorized vessels, such as kayaks and canoes, or boats documented by the United States Coast Guard. Individuals living in another state can use their watercraft in North Dakota for ninety (90) consecutive days or less.

Step 2 – Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Sticker

North Dakota residents must obtain an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) sticker with their registration every three (3) years. Out-of-state owners using their boats in North Dakota must purchase an annual sticker for $15. Individuals acquire register using the state’s online services. They must keep a copy of the receipt as proof of purchase until the sticker arrives by mail. Owners have ten (10) days to affix the sticker onto their vessel. It belongs on the starboard (left) side of the boat, within six (6) inches of the registration number.

Step 3 – Registration

Owners who purchase boats from dealers or private parties must register them online with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The registration process requires the buyer to provide their personal information, such as their name, date of birth, address, phone number, and email, as well as details about the vessel, including its make, year, HIN, length, type, fuel type, horsepower, hull material, and payment specifics. Registration fees vary according to the vessel’s length.

Additionally, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department require buyers to apply for a ten (10) Day Temporary Watercraft Permit online, which allows the boat owner to operate the vessel until they receive their Certificate of Number. The buyer and seller cannot transfer the Certificate of Number among themselves. Instead, each new owner must report the possession of the vessel, even if the seller has already registered it.

Step 4 – Numbers + Decal

All registered vessels must have their unique number from the state displayed on them. Owners can find the number on the registration certificate and validation number. It begins with ‘ND’ with three (3) digits and two (2) letters following it (e.g., ND-485-OG).

The owner must paint or permanently attach the number to the front half of the boat near the bow, ensuring it is visible in a color that stands out from the vessel’s paint. It must appear in plain vertical block letters that measure at least three inches tall, read left to right, and with spaces or hyphens between each set of numbers and letters. The width of each space must be the same as that of the letter ‘M.’

Residents must maintain the number so that it always remains easy to see. Additionally, they must place the validation sticker within six (6) inches of the number and toward the back of the boat. No other information belongs near the number or decal except for the ANS sticker.

Step 5 – Renew

In North Dakota, boat registration is valid for three years, and the owner can renew it online by following the provided instructions. The department recommends that residents create a ten (10) day permit online, which allows them to operate the boat until the official registration information arrives by mail.

Residents must notify the North Dakota Game and Fish Department within fifteen (15) days if they experience any changes involving their watercraft, such as a change in address, change of ownership, destruction or abandonment of the vessel, or if the boat is stolen or recovered.

Mailing Address:
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
Watercraft Registration
100 N. Bismarck Expressway
Bismarck, ND 58501