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How to Sell a Boat in Maryland

How to Sell a Boat in Maryland: A Comprehensive Guide

Selling a boat can be an overwhelming process, especially if you are unfamiliar with the necessary steps. However, with proper knowledge and guidance, you can successfully sell your boat in Maryland. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to sell a boat in Maryland, including important considerations, required documentation, and the necessary steps to ensure a smooth and successful boat sale. Additionally, a FAQs section will address common queries boat sellers may have. So, let’s dive in!

Important Considerations:

1. Determine the Market Value: Before listing your boat for sale, it is crucial to determine its market value. Factors such as the boat’s age, condition, make, model, and optional features can impact its price. Conduct thorough research to understand the current market trends and price your boat competitively.

2. Prepare the Boat: Ensure your boat is in good condition and presentable to potential buyers. Clean the interior and exterior, repair any visible damages, and address any mechanical or electrical issues. A well-maintained boat is more likely to attract buyers and command a higher price.

3. Gather Documentation: Collect all necessary paperwork, including the boat’s title, registration, and any maintenance records. Ensure that your documentation is up-to-date and in order before proceeding with the sale.

Steps to Sell a Boat in Maryland:

Step 1: Advertise your Boat:
– Take high-quality photos of your boat from various angles to create an appealing listing.
– Write an accurate and detailed description highlighting its features, condition, and any extras.
– Utilize online platforms such as boating forums, classified ads, social media, and specialized boat selling websites to reach a wider audience.

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Step 2: Negotiate the Sale:
– Respond promptly to inquiries and set up appointments for interested buyers to view the boat.
– Be prepared to answer questions about the boat’s history, performance, and maintenance.
– Negotiate the sale price, keeping in mind your minimum acceptable amount.

Step 3: Complete a Bill of Sale:
– Once you have found a buyer, you will need to complete a bill of sale to legally transfer ownership.
– Include details such as the buyer and seller’s information, boat description, sale price, and date of sale.
– Both parties should sign the bill of sale, and it is advisable to have it notarized to ensure its legality.

Step 4: Transfer Title and Registration:
– Provide the buyer with the boat’s title and registration documents.
– The buyer must complete the necessary forms and submit them, along with the required fees, to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
– It is essential to notify the DNR of the sale within 15 days to avoid any potential liabilities.

Step 5: Cancel Insurance and Remove Boat from Documentation:
– Contact your insurance provider to cancel the boat’s insurance coverage once the sale is complete.
– If the boat is documented with the U.S. Coast Guard, you must file an application for cancellation or transfer of documentation.


1. Do I need a license to sell my boat in Maryland?
No, you do not need a specific license to sell your boat in Maryland. However, you must have a valid title to transfer ownership legally.

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2. Can I sell a boat without a title?
No, a title is necessary to prove ownership and legally transfer the boat to the buyer. If you do not have a title, you must apply for a duplicate before selling the boat.

3. Can I sell a boat that is still financed?
Yes, you can sell a boat that is still financed. However, you must pay off the remaining balance to obtain a clear title before transferring ownership to the buyer.

4. What taxes or fees are involved in selling a boat in Maryland?
Maryland imposes a 5% sales tax on the purchase price of the boat, which is typically paid by the buyer. Additionally, there may be fees associated with transferring the title and registration.

In conclusion, selling a boat in Maryland involves several important considerations, steps, and documentation. By following this comprehensive guide, you can navigate the selling process smoothly and ensure a successful boat sale. Good luck!

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