Navigating the intricacies of buying or selling a vessel can be a complex and challenging process for maritime professionals. With numerous legal requirements and detailed documentation, it’s essential to ensure accuracy and compliance. 

One critical aspect of these transactions is the notarization of vessel sales documents, providing an added layer of security and authenticity. This comprehensive guide will outline the importance of notarizing vessel sales, the step-by-step process, and the value of working with an experienced notary.

The Role of a Notary in Vessel Sales

1. Ensuring Accurate and Authentic Documentation

The accuracy and authenticity of vessel sale documents are crucial to the success of the transaction. A notary verifies the identities of the buyer and seller, reviews the documents for accuracy, and ensures that all parties understand and voluntarily agree to the terms of the sale. 

By notarizing these documents, a notary serves as an impartial witness, guaranteeing that the transaction complies with legal requirements and ensuring a higher degree of security.

2. Reducing the Risk of Fraud

Vessel transactions involve significant financial investments and can be vulnerable to fraud if not properly executed. 

A notary helps reduce the risk of potential fraud by verifying the identities of both parties, ensuring that they are who they claim to be. 

As an added protection, the notary also checks for any signs of forgery within the documents and examines each party’s ability to enter into the agreement voluntarily.

3. Facilitating a Smooth Transaction

A notary’s expertise and experience in maritime transactions can help facilitate a smooth vessel sale. By reviewing and notarizing the necessary documents, a notary minimizes the risk of errors or disputes that could arise due to incomplete or improperly executed paperwork. 

Moreover, a notary can provide guidance on additional paperwork and legal requirements, streamlining the overall transaction process and reducing potential complications.

The Step-by-Step Process of Notarizing Vessel Sales

1. Preparing the Documents

To notarize a vessel sale, several documents need to be prepared, including the Vessel Bill of Sale, which outlines the terms of the transaction, and any additional supporting documents required by the governing authorities. 

An experienced notary can advise you on the documents necessary for your transaction to ensure all legal requirements are met.

2. Identification of Parties Involved

To perform the notarization, the buyer and seller must provide proof of identity, such as a government-issued photo ID. 

The notary will verify the identity of each party, comparing them to the people described in the vessel sale documents. This step ensures that both parties are genuine and helps thwart potential fraud.

3. Reviewing the Documents

The notary will then review the Vessel Bill of Sale and other necessary documents for accuracy and completeness. This process ensures that all legal requirements have been met and that the parties understand their obligations and responsibilities.

4. Signing and Notarizing

Once the notary has verified the parties’ identities and reviewed the documents, the buyer and seller must sign the Vessel Bill of Sale in the presence of the notary. 

The notary will affix their seal and signature to the document, notarizing the transaction and confirming the authenticity of the documents and the parties involved.


For maritime professionals, the notarization of vessel sales is a crucial component of the transaction process. Notarizing these documents ensures accuracy, reduces the risk of fraud, and facilitates a smoother sale with fewer complications.

By working with an experienced notary, you can ensure that your vessel transactions are executed seamlessly and securely.

At Angels Notary & Public Tag Service, we specialize in providing notary services tailored to the unique needs of maritime professionals. 

With our extensive expertise in maritime notarizations, we’re here to ensure that your vessel sale transactions are handled with care, precision, and professionalism. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you in your maritime endeavors.