New Hampshire Boat Bill of Sale Form


A New Hampshire boat bill of sale form serves as a reference source in the exchange of watercraft. It verifies that both parties consented to the terms of the agreement and the change in ownership. The buyer utilizes the document to prove their possession, while the seller uses it to show they do not have responsibility for the boat. If the new owner wishes to sell the vessel, they should have the bill of sale for authentication purposes.

  • Statutes: Chapter 27-E
  • Signing Requirements: All parties who took part in the deal must sign.

What is a New Hampshire Vessel Bill of Sale?

A New Hampshire vessel bill of sale summarizes the specifics about a buyer and seller and the boat, motor, and/or trailer they transferred. Each person must complete each line of the document, or else the state will not accept it. However, this rule does not apply to the sections titled “Motor” and “Trailer” if these transactions did not happen. The form must also explain the payment details of the transaction, such as if it occurred through cash, card, trade, or gift. Providing more information makes the bill of sale more authentic, particularly in the eyes of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Did You Know?

Individuals sixteen (16) years or older must have a boating education certificate if driving a boat with over twenty-five (25) horsepower. Teens and children under sixteen (16) years of age can operate a vessel over twenty-five (25) horsepower if someone eighteen (18) years or older with a boating certificate accompanies them.

State agencies (NASBLA approved), the US Power Squadron, and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary can issue boating certificates. Similarly, the US Coast Guard and the State of New Hampshire can initiate commercial boating licenses, allowing residents to use the vessel legally.

The interested party must take an authorized classroom education course and pass the proctored exam. They must have the unexpired certificate when using the boat. Otherwise, law enforcement can fine or ticket them for not having this information readily accessible.

How to Register a Boat in New Hampshire (5 Steps)

New Hampshire boats require an annual registration but do not need a title. The owner must display the registration decal and bow number on the vessel so that others can see it from a distance.

Boat registration can occur any time of the year; however, all documentation expires on December 31st, regardless of the start date. Out-of-state residents can register their boat in New Hampshire if they use it 51% or more of the time in the state.

Step 1 – Qualifications

Motorized boats of all sizes used in public waterways need registration. This requirement also includes twelve (12) feet or longer sailboats and watercraft owned by the United States government.

Non-motorized boats, such as canoes, kayaks, and sailboats less than twelve (12) feet long, do not need registration. Out-of-state residents can use their registered vessel in New Hampshire for up to thirty (30) consecutive days before requiring an in-state registration.

Step 2 – Registration

New Hampshire registrations can occur using the Drop Box Services, by visiting an authorized boat agent, or through the mail. The registrar must provide the required paperwork and payment for approval.

The person listed on the registration can add another owner to the documentation. They must submit a letter of request that includes the individual’s personal information (i.e., full name, address, and date of birth), both owners’ signatures, and a summary of the boat with the bow number.

In addition, the owner must provide the current boat registration, a photocopy of the additional person’s identification (e.g., driver’s license, state ID, birth certificate), a completed Application for a Copy of a Registration (RDMV 110), and a $15 payment.

Step 3 – Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Decal

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) collects money from out-of-state boaters to prevent and manage AIS growth in the state’s waterways. Anyone with a vessel registered in a location other than New Hampshire must pay the $20 annual fee. This requirement includes watercraft of all size that has “propelling machinery.”

Boaters can purchase the AIS decal online. It expires on December 31st each year, requiring annual renewal. After receiving the sticker, the owner must attach it to the vessel’s port side within three (3) inches of the registration decal.

Step 4 – Decals + Number

New Hampshire assigns boat owners with a bow number during registration, which remains with it for as long as it stays registered in the state. The sequence begins with “NH” with four (4) numbers and one (1) or two (2) letters following it. The state uses an automated system that generates it in the order received. In other words, they cannot provide a specific or requested bow number.

Owners who lose their decal can apply for a new one by completing an Application for Replacement Boat Decals and paying $3. They can submit the form using the Drop Box Service or mail it with the current boat registration.

Per state law, residents must display their bow number and registration decal on their boats. They must attach the number as a decal, paint it on the ship, or affix it to the vessel’s front half. Sailboats more than twelve (12) feet long, but less than twenty (20) feet, only need a decal placed on the bow. However, they do not need a displayed registration number.

The font must be 1) easy to read, 2) in a block-style format, and 3) in a color that stands out against the watercraft’s paint. Individuals applying the information must place a space or hyphen amid the letters and numbers. The decals also belong on both sides of the bow. Owners must ensure they appear to the right of the registration number within six (6) inches of it.

Step 5 – Renew

Boat registrations expire on December 31st, requiring owners to renew by the deadline to avoid penalties. Individuals can submit their documents using Drop Box Services, an authorized boat agent (or certified marina), or mail.

Owners can have an authorized person complete the boat registration renewal for them. The principal must sign the renewal notification notice and give it to the authorized individual. If the paperwork is unavailable, the state allows a completed and signed application instead.

Mailing Address:
NH Dept. of Safety
DMV – Boat Registrations
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305