It's the Law

Buying or Selling a Vessel


If a vessel is purchased from a marine dealer, it may be registered and titled through the dealer. You pay the registration and title fees to the dealer, and the dealer issues a temporary registration valid for 30 days. You receive your permanent registration and title from the DMV by mail.

If you sell a vessel, you must:

  • Give the new owner a bill of sale, including the HIN.
  • Transfer registration (see below) within 15 days of the sale if it is a registered vessel.
  • Notify the DMV within 30 days if your vessel has, or should have had, validation stickers.
  • Have each owner shown on the title properly sign the back of the title, selling it to the new owner.

To transfer vessel registration to a new owner:

  • The former owner completes the reverse side of the current registration certificate and sends it to the DMV, along with the other items listed. Date of sale and the name and address of the new owner must be completed on the back of the registration certificate.
  • If the new owner wishes to retain the registration number on the purchased vessel, the new owner must complete a new registration and title application and Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return and send both, with the correct fees, to the DMV (see address on the Registering Your Vessel page).
  • In Vermont, you may transfer your registration if you purchase a new vessel. When transferring the registration, the new vessel may be registered for the remainder of the current registration year. File the new application and Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return, and pay the transfer fee plus any additional fee for the change in length. The validation stickers are not transferable to the new vessel. The owner must apply for new validation stickers.

What You Need to Register and Title a Vessel

Obtain New Registration and/or Title

  • Registration and title application
  • If a previously owned vessel, Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return, proof that Vermont Sales & Use Tax has been paid, or proof of tax paid in another state
  • Title if a previously owned vessel or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) for a new vessel
  • Proper fees

Transfer Registration and Title

  • Registration and title application
  • Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return, proof that Vermont Sales & Use Tax has been paid, or proof of tax paid in another state
  • Previous registration certificate showing to whom your old vessel was sold or assigned
  • Title, properly assigned
  • Visual verification of the HIN by a certified law enforcement officer
  • Proper fees

Obtain Validation Stickers

  • Application for vessel validation
  • Proof of valid registration or documentation from another state or province
  • Vermont Sales & Use Tax Return, proof that Vermont Sales & Use Tax has been paid, or proof of tax paid in another state
  • Proper fees

Obtain Title for a Homemade Vessel

  • Registration and title application
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin to a Homemade Vessel (available from DMV)
  • Application for assignment of Vermont HIN to a vessel
  • Proper fees