Understanding Form 6 Bill of Sale: What Do You Need It For?

form 6 bill of sale

Owning a boat is the culmination of a lifelong dream for many. It’s understandable–the freedom one can enjoy with your own vessel is nearly unparalleled. Before you take it to the seas with your friends and family, however, there is a bit of paperwork that you will need to get acquainted with. If you are interested in purchasing a boat, you will want to familiarize yourself with the Form 6 Bill of Sale especially.

What is the Form 6 Bill of Sale?

Canada is, in many ways, a boater’s paradise. With an ample supply of freshwater lakes and waterways, coupled with nearly endless coastlines, the recreational opportunities for boaters are plentiful. If you want to make the most of what Canada’s waters have to offer, purchasing a boat is a no-brainer. 

So, you have done your due diligence. After months or even years of planning, you have allocated the necessary funds to buy your own vessel. Now, you and the seller, be they a private individual or a broker, need to complete the transaction. Before the keys to your new boat are in your hands, however, you will want to complete a bill of sale. 

A bill of sale, also known as a Form 6, is a document that must be submitted to Transport Canada when a registered vessel is bought or sold. Because registered vessels are closely tracked by this government agency, they prefer to stay current on the ownership particulars of the vessels within their database. 

To complete this document, you will need to assemble some basic information. First, you will need the vessel’s name, official number, and port of registry. You will also need the names and signatures of the buyers and sellers involved in the transaction. If the vessel is owned by a corporate entity, there is a field within the document to account for this.

Should I Register My Vessel?

While every boat transaction will include some sort of bill of sale, Form 6 is really only necessary for registered vessels. You might be wondering what exactly a “registered vessel” is, since nearly all motorized boats have registrations, right? Well, do not let the terminology confuse you. 

A registered vessel is a boat that has been entered into the Canadian Vessel Registry. This means that the boat is documented with Transport Canada. There are a handful of situations that require a boat owner to apply for registration. If a vessel is used for commercial purposes, such as industrial fishing or sightseeing charters, it must be registered. So too must a boat that is carrying a marine mortgage. Lastly, if you are going to be taking your boat onto international waters while flying the Canadian flag, you will need to have it registered.

If you do not meet the aforementioned criteria, but would still like to register your vessel, you do have that option. Even if registration is not compulsory for your own needs and goals, it does come with certain benefits that all boat owners can enjoy. For one, when a boat is registered, it is given a completely unique name. For this reason, when you apply, you need to provide three possible options. Having an individual name for your boat not only allows you to stand out from your peers, but it can make it easier to locate your vessel in the event that it is lost.

When your vessel is registered, you also earn the privilege of flying Canada’s flag when traveling to other countries. What greater way to demonstrate your patriotic pride than hoisting the flag proudly upon your boat?

An Easier Way to Obtain a Bill of Sale or Initial Registration

So, now that you know a little bit about what a bill of sale is, as well as some background on vessel registration, you may be wondering how you can complete these documents. The Form 6 and registration applications can be sourced from Transport Canada. If you visit their website, you can do some digging and locate the forms you need. Once you find what you are looking for, you can then print, fill out and sign, and mail your documents to Transport Canada’s offices in Ottawa.

Let’s face it, though: you’re a busy person. Perhaps one of the reasons you bought a boat was to get away from the daily rat race in the first place. You probably didn’t imagine boat ownership would entail so many documents and trips to the post office. Fortunately, however, there is an easier way, and the National Vessel Registry Center can help.

Take a moment and explore the menus on our website. You will find that we offer streamlined, easy-to-fill online forms for bills of sale, initial registrations, and much more. By using our secure, SSL-encrypted web portal, processes that used to take hours can now be completed in a matter of minutes. To learn more about how we can help you with your vessel documentation needs, contact one of our helpful customer service representatives today.