Boat documentation

What to Know About Boat Documentation and Your Vessel

The thrill of owning a boat is indescribable to many people. You love the days that you can spend out on the open water, traveling for hours or even days on end to islands or different countries. Purchasing a new or used boat is a big transaction for you, and if you have never gone through the process before, you will find out that there are many nuances to the process that you may want to follow. One thing you may hear about often is the notion of documentation. You want to make yourself familiar with boat documentation so you can see if it is something that you want to do with your boat.

Different than Registration

Documentation is a different process than boat registration. Registration is a process that each state in the United States is responsible for. You will need to register your vessel with your state according to their laws and regulations. Different states have different rules governing registration, different agencies that handle it and the registration can be good for different terms of years. You want to check with your individual state to see what is required of you as a boat owner. Documentation is a federal listing of your boat that is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Boat documentation

Requirements of the Process

Not every vessel needs to go through boat documentation. If you have a recreational vessel that measures five tons or more, you may document it with the Coast Guard. Generally, boats that are greater than twenty-five feet in length have a cargo volume over five tons, which is the measure you need to reach. Commercial vessels must be documented in the United States, and you can only document a vessel if it is owned wholly by someone who is a U.S. citizen. If you meet the criteria, you can go through the documentation process and receive a documentation number for your vessel.

How to Get Documentation

To get boat documentation, you need to file an application and paperwork with the U.S. Coast Guard. The process can be confusing, and here at U.S. Vessel Documentation, Inc., we can provide you with the assistance you may need to make sure the paperwork is filled out and filed properly with the Coast Guard.  We can work with you to make sure the documentation process goes smoothly for you.