Introduction

If you need to transfer a vessel registration to another person because the vessel owner is deceased, you can do this at a service centre.

What you'll need

  • your proof of identity
  • the PDF form – 'Application for Transfer of Vessel Registration'
  • ONE of the following pieces of documentation confirming the deceased's status:
    • the death certificate (original or copy)
    • a newspaper death notice
    • a letter from a solicitor or the NSW Trustee & Guardian advising that the person is deceased
    • a completed Advice of Death form together with a proof of identity document of the deceased
    • in the case of a missing person presumed deceased, a 'Presumption of Death Order' issued by the Supreme Court (original or copy).

In addition:

If there is a Will, and

  •  the vessel is being transferred to a beneficiary or executor:
    • a copy of the relevant section of the will or probate document naming the new operator as the beneficiary or executor, or
    • signed, written advice from a solicitor.
  • the vessel is being transferred to the surviving joint registered operator (if previously registered in two names):
    • a copy of the relevant section of the will or probate document and a letter, signed by both parties, outlining the agreement between the beneficiary/executor and the surviving joint registered operator, or
    • signed, written advice from a solicitor including details of the agreement.

If there is not a Will, and

  • the vessel is being transferred to the administrator of the estate:
    • a copy of the Letter of Administration, issued by the Supreme Court (if available), or
    • a Statutory Declaration completed by the administrator stating that they are the appointed administrator of the estate.
  • the vessel is being transferred to the surviving joint registered operator or the next of kin:
    • a Statutory Declaration completed by the surviving joint operator stating:
      • their relationship with the deceased (eg husband or wife of deceased)
      • that to their knowledge there is no administrator for the estate
      • that to their knowledge there is no will
      • the reason they are entitled to transfer the registration into their name
      • that there is no other closer relative who would be given preference or is entitled to the registration (if transferring to next of kin).

How to transfer

  1. Download and complete the Application for Transfer of Vessel Registration – PDF.
  2. Download and complete the Advice of Death – PDF (if applicable).
  3. Gather all supporting documents.
  4. Visit a service centre and submit your application.

Things to keep in mind...

  • Stamp duty and transfer fees don't apply if the vessel is transferred into the name of one of the following:
    • a beneficiary or executor nominated in a will
    • the administrator of the estate
    • the surviving joint registered operator
    • the next of kin
    • a different proven beneficiary in a subsequent transfer. (For example, if the registration is transferred into the name of a person listed above, and then subsequently transferred to a different proven beneficiary.)
  • If the vessel is disposed of/sold without being transferred to a person named in a will or other acceptable document, the new operator must meet the normal requirements to transfer the registration.
  • Roads and Maritime Services has strict requirements for transfers in order to protect:
    • the deceased person’s estate from fraudulent or malicious dealings
    • all registered operators from unauthorised transfers on the basis that they’re deceased when they’re not.