Rhode Island Boat Bill of Sale Form

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Updated June 23, 2022

A Rhode Island boat bill of sale is a legal document that demonstrates the transfer of ownership of a vessel in the State of Rhode Island. The form will identify the buyer and the seller, describe the vehicle changing hands, and name the terms of the transfer of ownership. A bill of sale is typically required for registration, and may be useful for tax purposes. This document will require notarization.

Table of Contents

Registering a Boat

Almost all boats operating on Rhode Island waters must be registered with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM). (Visitors from outside the state may operate a vessel for up to sixty (60) consecutive days without Rhode Island registration; non-motorized boats vessels under twelve (12) feet in length and houseboats do not need to be registered.) A buyer must register the boat with the DEM within fifteen (15) days of purchase. Boat registrations last two (2) years, and may be renewed online.

Where to Register

Boat registration will be processed by the Department of Environmental Management’s Providence office. Materials may be mailed to the address on the registration application.

Required Documents

  • A Boat Registration Application
  • An Outboard Motor Registration Application
  • A Bill of Sale (Note: If boat is purchased from a dealer, the buyer must use the form provided by the dealer)
  • A pencil tracing of the Hull Identification Number (HIN) conforming with U.S. Coat Guard guidelines
  • If the boat was purchased from a dealer, a manufacturer’s statement of origin, and an Application for Initial Vessel Certificate of Title
  • If the boat was purchased with existing title, the most recent title certificate signed over to the buyer, and if previously titled in a different state, the most recent registration statement from that state
  • Proof of payment of all registration fees per the schedule found here. There is no sales tax due on boats in Rhode Island purchased after 1993