Notarized bill of sale ?'s - SailNet Community

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Old 05-25-2010
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Notarized bill of sale ?'s

When you purchase a boat, some states want a bill of sale to accompany a title for the sale of a boat.
I am specifically interested in MD. I looked at the registration website and I noticed a statement regarding a "certified/notarized bill of sale".

I understand the concept of this and what needs to be included in the bill of sale, but is there a difference between certified and notarized? If you get the bill notarized, do both the seller and buyer need to be present at the notary, or just the buyer claiming the sale is accurate? What is a certified bill of sale?

In the case of no title a bill of sale is essential in MD.
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Old 05-25-2010
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I dunno. I had a handwritten BOS for Oh Joy but the only document I needed was the original USCG documentation signed off by the PO. The USCG doc supersedes a title with a documented boat IIRC.
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Old 05-25-2010
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MD DMV is still one of the most annoying hells on this planet.

Yes they prefer a notarized bill of sale, which does require both parties to be present. Many banks will do this gratis... They also want all the $$ values to agree. Depending on who you get at the counter, a handwritten note will work, others want only the MD form, others the notarized BOS, unaltered original title and such. I have even had them make me go out to the parking lot (on a car) and do a pencil scrape of the VIN. And if you have a lien, I have had to call the bank and get someone on the phone for them to "verify" the lien release, as there is no standard way of showing release....

For sure a bill of sale for a "no title sale"..there are too many cars trucks, boats stolen even with this "system"....

all the best
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Old 05-25-2010
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The seller had my bill of sale notarized as he signed it a thousand miles away from me. I can't imagine any reason for the buyer to be present as they do not have a signature for the notary to witness.
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Old 05-25-2010
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We had a notarized bill of sale for a 1978 Catalina 22, provided it to the county assessor, who sent it to the state for creation of a title.
The state wrote us and wanted a bill of sale (they sent a form) and an odometer reading ... I kid you not!
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Old 05-26-2010
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Seller signs the bill of sale in front of a notary and has his signature notarized.

Buyer signs bill of sale in front of a different notary and has his signature notarized.

Bill of sale now has 2 notary stamps.

The reason for the notarization is to prove the identities of the signatories. No need for both to appear before the same notary.
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Old 05-26-2010
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If there is no title, it my be wise to confirm current owner is the owner and has a right to sell without outstanding leins.

Was the boat previously registered? Does the current owner have a bill of sale from a previous owner?
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Old 05-26-2010
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Ours was sold by the owner, who had a berth at the marina 15-16 years. Marina operator verified his identity, and we have notarized BOS. I think - the state office was confused that a 1978 Catalina isn't a Pontiac ....
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Last edited by MikeAR; 05-26-2010 at 12:35 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-26-2010
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okay for maryland you need a notarized BOS. if not they will max out the excise tax, on a 10k boat that might only be 500, but on a 80 k boat it could be many thousands.

as for who, the seller needs to be notarized, a simple " i joe smith sell my 1882 puddle pirate sailboat hull number 6969 to jane doe for 6,000,000 " then they sign it in front of a notary for the stamp

as for title if the boat is coming from a state with no title for the boat a the bill of sale should also include other info like the boat is free and clear of leins, etc and full name and addy of the seller. then maryland should except that. but make a good computer scan AND a xerox copy of it and save them ( why both, computer scan is in color but can be photo shopped and the xerox proves it wasn,t ) to cover your but if someone comes after you later

edit two things certified and notary basicly the same here

and why the heck would you want to use a title company as it takes 10 mins to register a boat here, and there are offices every where to do it


Maryland DNR Service Center Locations

Last edited by scottyt; 05-26-2010 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 05-27-2010
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In some states it is hard to find a notary or find oen willing to work. In others, you find them at banks (who won't always let them notarize non-bank business) pharmacies, real estate brokerages, and the Fedex/UPS shipping and packing stores, oddly enough. Fees often run from "free for customers" (bank accounts) to $10/20 per document.

So if there's a notary convenient to your seller, and you can both sign at once and get it notarized just once--that might save you $10-20. If he's going to deposit the money at his bank--offer to take him there, call ahead and see if their notary is in that day and you might get it free.
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