USCG Vessel Documentation Search

What’s The Purpose of USCG Vessel Documentation Search?

USCG vessel documentation search is vital if you wish to access a copy of the USCG database and obtain documentation and ownership data. The database is updated monthly. However, the service can only provide information about vessels that are five net tons or larger. Plus, the boat has to be vessel documented. If the boat isn’t federally documented, then you can’t perform a vessel documentation search as you won’t find any results. The result may provide vessel title and any lien information.

USCG Vessel Documentation Search

How to perform the search?

When performing a USCG vessel documentation search, you must enter the ship’s name. From there, our system will retrieve the vessel data. The ship’s name can be entered either in upper or lower case. It won’t matter. However, make sure that the name is identical to the name in our database. Thus, make sure that you enter the right name. Keep in mind that “Ship Name III” and “Ship Name 3” are different.

The retrieval program will give you documentation and other details on the vessel. If you enter a portion of the vessel name, the system will give you up to 20 possible matches. If there are more than 20 vessels that match the text you enter, you’ll be given an abbreviated listing. That is, you’ll be supplied information about the vessel’s names, year built, hailing port and documentation number. Thus, you must have the exact or complete vessel name so you can have an accurate result. If not, you couldn’t get any data if you entered part of the vessel name that has more than 9,000 possible results.

What if the documentation has expired? Will it yield results?

It may yield results because the vessel’s documentation will remain with the boat forever. From there, you can request an abstract of title to investigate a chain of ownership. That is, from the first owner to the last. Regardless of who’s the owner of the vessel, the ship will have the same official number as the original.It means that if John Doe has documented the vessel for the first time, the official number of the boat will be the same even if he’d sell the boat to John Smith.

If you’re purchasing a boat with expired documentation, you can still process the documentation transfer. However, you must submit the right documents for the documentation to be transferred. These documents would include a deed of sale. To start performing USCG vessel documentation search, please visit You can also call (866) 981-8783 or write an email to to let them know any questions you may have.