Buy, sell or transfer a vessel

If you’re buying, selling or transferring a vessel (boat or personal water craft) that uses (or may use) an engine for propulsion in Victorian waters, you’ll need to provide the required paperwork, documentation and fees to VicRoads.

To register a vessel in your name, you must be at least 14 years old. There is no registration check service available to verify vessel details, registration status, and other applicable information in Australia.

If you intend to buy, sell or transfer a vessel trailer along with a vessel, the trailer will need to be separately transferred. Refer to our vehicle transfers page for instructions. 

A personal water craft (PWC, also known as a powerski) is any recreational vessel that:

  • has a propulsion engine
  • has a fully enclosed hull
  • does not retain water if it capsizes
  • is designed to be operated by a person standing, sitting astride or kneeling on the vessel.

Examples of PWCs include jet skis, aquascooters, jet bikes, wave runner, ski free, motorised surfboards.

 

When you sell (or give as a gift) a Victorian registered vessel, the buyer must notify VicRoads of the transfer within 14 days of taking possession.

If you’re selling a vessel to a dealer, the dealer is responsible for sending all paperwork to VicRoads.

The steps below will assist you when selling a registered vessel:

Step 1: Download a copy of the transfer form

The vessel transfer form [PDF 190 Kb] has been created as a guide to assist you through your vessel sale.

We recommend that you refer to the pre-transfer checklist on the form and complete all the steps to ensure your transfer goes smoothly.

Step 2: Proof of your right to transfer

You’ll need to provide the buyer with photo identification and evidence you are the registered operator of the vessel to prove you have the right to transfer it.

Ensure you’ve got a copy of the vessel’s certificate of registration/renewal, or if you have a myVicRoads account, you can show that the vessel is recorded within your account.

Step 3: Sell the vessel and write a receipt

Before you complete the sale, it is recommended that you:

  1. Check the buyer’s identity and confirm they have a Victorian licence/customer number (this will ensure the transfer can be completed)
  2. If the buyer is going to keep the vessel registered in Victoria and doesn’t have a VicRoads customer number, they will need to visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre  with evidence of identity documents to get a new customer number.
  3. Show the buyer some photo identification and proof of your right to transfer (as per Step 2).

Write a receipt for the buyer, and keep a copy for yourself as proof of transfer. Make sure your receipt includes:

  • date and time of sale
  • your name and address
  • the buyer’s name, address and signature
  • the vessel’s details, including HIN (if available), engine numbers, make and model.

Step 4: Complete the transfer form

Complete and sign the vessel transfer form [PDF 190 Kb] with the buyer:

  • Complete the ‘seller details’ section, including your VicRoads licence/customer number
  • Check that the buyer has completed the ‘buyer details’ section correctly
  • Ensure both you and the buyer sign the completed transfer form
  • Take a photo or photocopy of the form once completed to make sure you have proof of transfer.

Make sure that all the details on the transfer form are complete and correct, otherwise the transfer may not be processed.

Step 5: Complete the steps to sell your vessel trailer (if applicable)

Refer to sell and transfer a registered vehicle for instructions on how to sell a vessel trailer.

 

When you buy (or receive as a gift) a Victorian registered vessel, you must notify VicRoads of the transfer within 14 days of taking possession.

If you’re buying a vessel from a dealer, the dealer is responsible for sending all paperwork to VicRoads.

The steps below will assist you when buying a registered vessel:

Step 1: Download a copy of the transfer form

The vessel transfer form [PDF 190 Kb] has been created as a guide to assist you through your vessel purchase.

We recommend that you refer to the pre-transfer checklist on the form and complete all the steps to ensure your transfer goes smoothly.

Step 2: Ensure you’ve got a boat licence or VicRoads customer number

A VicRoads customer number is a unique number issued by VicRoads to individuals or companies. This is your Victorian driver licence, boat licence or learner permit number.

An individual without a licence, but with a vehicle registered in their name, can find their customer number on their registration renewal notice.

If the vessel is registered in a company name, the company’s VicRoads customer number is on any registration renewal notice issued for vehicles or vessels registered in the company’s name.

If you or your company are going to keep the vessel registered in Victoria and you don’t have a VicRoads customer number, you will need to visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre with evidence of identity documents to get a new customer number.

Step 3: Get proof of purchase from the seller 

You’ll need to check that the person selling the vessel is the registered operator and has the right to transfer the vessel.  Ask for photo identification and the vessel’s certificate of registration/renewal or confirm that the vessel is recorded in the seller’s myVicRoads account.

Write a receipt with the seller and keep this as proof of purchase and ownership. Make sure your receipt includes:

  • date and time of sale
  • your name and address
  • the seller’s name, address and signature 
  • the vessel’s details, including HIN (if available), engine numbers, make and model.

Step 4: Complete the transfer form

Complete and sign the vessel transfer form [PDF 190 Kb] with the seller:

  • Check that the seller has completed the ‘seller details’ section correctly
  • Complete the ‘buyer details’ section, including your VicRoads licence/customer number
  • Ensure both you and the seller sign the completed transfer form
  • Take a photo or photocopy of the form once completed to make sure you have proof of transfer.

Make sure that all the details on the transfer form are complete and correct. Otherwise the transfer may not be processed when you lodge it.

Step 5: Complete the steps to buy the vessel trailer (if applicable)

Refer to buy and transfer a registered vehicle for instructions to buy a vessel trailer.

Step 6: Lodge the transfer

Within 14 days of transfer, submit the completed paperwork and fee payment (including those for your vessel trailer if applicable) by:

VicRoads
GPO Box 1644
Melbourne VIC 3001.

Type Category Description Fee  
Transfer fee Vessel or
yacht powered by an engine
Transfer
of a registered second-hand powered recreational vessel
 $19.00

VicRoads is not required to be informed of the sale of an unregistered vessel.

All you need to do to complete the sale is check the buyer’s photo identification and write a receipt for the buyer, and keep a copy for yourself as proof of transfer. 

Make sure your receipt includes:

  • date and time of sale
  • your name and address
  • the buyer’s name, address and signature
  • the vessel’s details, including HIN (if available), engine numbers, make and model.

Write an additional receipt for your vessel trailer (if applicable).

You can purchase an unregistered vessel in Victoria, and VicRoads is not required to be informed, however, before you can use the vessel, you must register it at VicRoads.

Before you complete the vessel purchase, it is recommended that you:

  1. Check the seller’s identity and confirm their proof of right to sell the vessel.
  2. Write a receipt with the seller, and keep this as proof of purchase and ownership. Make sure your receipt includes:
  • date and time of sale
  • your name and address
  • the seller’s name, address and signature 
  • the vessel’s details, including HIN (if available), engine numbers, make and model.

Before you can use the vessel, it must be registered.

Refer to the register a vessel page for information on registering your vessel.

Type Category Description Fees 
Boating Facilities and Safety Education fee (first issue or
renewal)
Vessel or yacht powered by an engine Up to 4 metres in length (includes all canoes regardless of length)  $42.90
Boating Facilities and Safety Education fee (first issue or
renewal)
Vessel or yacht powered by an engine Over 4 metres in length  $89.60
Type Category Description  Fee 
First issue Dealer plate Dealer Trade plate  $19.00

* A card payment fee applies when using VISA or MasterCard

Other types of transfers

For vessel trailer transfers, visit:

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