TN County Court Clerk Requirements for New or Used Vessels:
Complete Bill of Sale that includes:
- Date of sale
- Full description of vessel including year, make, and HIN (unless built prior to 1973).
- Name, address, phone number and signature of both buyer and seller.
If built after 1972 and the HIN is no longer affixed to the vessel or not in the proper Coast Guard format, photos will be required. Please see below for details.
TN County Court Clerk Requirements for Out of State Transfers:
- Documents to prove the vessel was registered to the customer in another state.
- Proof that they paid the sales tax in another state in order to receive credit for taxes paid.
- Taxable basis is fair market of the boat as of the date it was moved to TN.
For questions regarding TN County Clerk requirements, please contact us at
What is a Hull Identification Number (HIN)?
An HIN is a 12-character serial number that uniquely identifies a boat and is formatted according to the US Coast Guard standards. The HIN is similar to a VIN on a car. Vessels manufactured or imported before 1973 are EXEMPT because they often do not have a HIN. All imported after 1972, must have a HIN, and this HIN must be identified during the boat registration process.
HIN numbers are typically located:
- On sport and fishing boats, they can be found on the back right outside corner.
- On pontoons, they can be found on the right side of the frame above the pontoon, but below the deck.
- On personal watercrafts, they can be found under the seat as well as on the lip of the foot rest.
If you are unable to locate the HIN number in any of these locations, photos of these areas of the vessel will be required.