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Old 19-11-2010, 21:02   #1
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No Boat Title to Sell Boat in Canada?

I'm looking to buy a boat in Vancouver Canada and after long discussions with the boat owner I learn he only got a "bill of sale" when he bought it a couple years ago and never registered the boat in his name. Is this normal in Canada not to get the boat titled in your name when you register the boat? If I go there to get the boat how sure can I be this guy actually owns this boat and because I don't want to import a boat from Canada into the USA illegally. What should I do? Thanks!


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Old 19-11-2010, 22:06   #2
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I recently purchased a Canadian boat, and found out some things that might prove useful. Not the exact situation, but hopefully I can help a bit. The boat I purchased was located in Alaska, and the owner had it registered in Canada. My bank wouldn't give me a loan for an international purchase, so the owner registered the boat in Alaska (for about $26). The state of Alaska doesn't title boats, so I don't know if he showed his Canadian registry or his bill of sale. Probably either would have worked. The bill of sale satisfied my bank, but only because there were no titles available in this state. Once he registered it in the state, there were no hangups. I had a bill of sale from him, and possession of the boat. I just needed the bill of sale to register it in my name. Of course, not knowing which state you reside in, the laws may differ. Check with the DMV (check out Boat Registration Procedure, Forms, & Information - DMV Guide for your state's regulations). Good luck!


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Old 19-11-2010, 22:11   #3
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A bill of sale is all that is required to license a vessel in Canada, along with a HIN (unless your vessel doesn't have one), IIRC. You should be able to have a lien search done on the HIN if you're concerned. We just sold our 24' sailboat to a Canadian who would be keeping her in the states. He crossed the border with no apparent troubles with only our bill of sale as evidence of right ownership. Then again, she was a little sailboat with no HIN, and no license as her size and horsepower didn't require it. Our 32' sailboat was licensed here (granted, no borders to cross) with just a bill of sale.
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Old 20-11-2010, 19:36   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I live in Ketchikan AK and need to get the boat from Vancouver to Ketchikan but I guess all I'll need is the "bill of sale" from the owner to registar it in Alaska. Ok, I feel better with both of your replies because this seems legit now. Thanks again!
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Old 20-11-2010, 19:51   #5
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I'm in Vancouver and did the deal on my boat with a hand written bill of sale too..
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Old 20-11-2010, 19:58   #6
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Its pretty much the same in the UK too.... registration is purely voluntary... and when the boat is sold to you... if its registered... the former owner is supposed to send the regitration back to the MCA... you may be shown it but thats as far as it goes... then its down to you to register or not.
As long as you've a Bill of Sale thats all that matters.....
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Old 20-11-2010, 22:45   #7
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Thanks everyone for all the priceless information!


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