A Boat Registration Overview – Things to Know Before Shipping

If you own a boat and reside in the United States, you must be familiar with the boat registration and titling procedures mandated by the state where you live. Ensure to acquaint yourself with the rules that regulate these things in your region since each state has its own set of laws that govern these things. In this article, we will briefly explain boat registration and titling in the United States and some things to keep in mind before shipping your boat. In addition, we will discuss some things to keep in mind before sending your boat. The following is information you should know before registering your boat with the United States Coast Guard.

Boat Registration Is Required For All Recreational Boats in the US, With Some Exceptions

When individuals are preparing for boating trips, they often ask about boat registration. To add to the stress of getting ready for a day on the water, boat registration in the United States may be lengthy and confusing. Except in a few cases, all recreational boats in the United States must be registered (for example, boats used solely for racing are exempt). When a ship is registered with the U.S. Coast Guard, it is assigned a unique identification number that must be displayed prominently—usually on the side of the boat. 

To identify ships, if the Coast Guard needs to perform a rescue or get in touch with the owner, they will use this number. You may register your boat in various methods, including by mail, online, regionally, or nationally. You may also register with the Maritime Documentation Center, which will issue your registration and inform you of any further documentation requirements from other organizations.

There are Different Types of Vessel Registrations, Depending On How You Use Your Boat

You should know the many boat registration options available to bring a boat into the United States from abroad. The first is the registration required by your state’s rules, which is necessary for registering your yacht with the United States Coast Guard. Some jurisdictions demand a marine inspector’s certification for any boat above a particular size before it can leave port; others may mandate that you carry emergency communication devices for every person on board. 

The United States Coast Guard also issues its kind of vessel registration, called a Certificate of Documentation (or COD), which must be renewed every two years. Having a Certificate of Documentation (COD) lets the Coast Guard know that you have the proper documentation to operate your vessel and may prevent the U.S. Navy from seizing it in case of conflict. Also, in many parts of the nation, you may avoid paying navigation fees or complying with fishery limits thanks to this registration. It may make it easier to get insurance.

The Process of Registering a Boat Can Vary Depending on Which State You Reside In

The United States Coast Guard mandates that all boats be registered with them before they may be used on the water; however, the boat registration procedure might be different depending on where in the country you reside. The process of registering a boat with the United States Coast Guard is already a laborious one. Still, in certain states, such as New Jersey, you must first register your boat with the Maritime Documentation Center before registering your boat with the Coast Guard. If you are not registered in a state that does not require registration before a federal one (like Maryland), it is a good idea to make sure that you can register your boat with the U.S. Coast Guard before registering it with your local government. This is because Maryland is one of the states that does not require registration before a federal one.

Boat Registration

Boat Registration Requires Confirmation Of Ownership And Liability Insurance.

When registering your boat with the United States Coast Guard, you’ll need to provide evidence of ownership, liability insurance, and the boat’s previous registration number, if any was issued. It’s important to remember that each state has its unique boat registration procedures and that you may need to submit a separate application to the state. To begin, boat registration and titling requirements vary from one state to the next. Second, registering the boat with the state is an option if the U.S. Coast Guard is not a priority. 

Instead of a title, the United States Coast Guard will provide you with a Certificate of Documentation upon registration. You’ll need either evidence of ownership or a bill of sale for the registration process. Documenting your request for the vessel using this form is easy. Unless your state explicitly exempts particular boats, liability insurance is also needed by law when filing for registration.

When you’ve finally decided to ship your boat, the first thing you need to do is contact the Maritime Documentation Center at 800-535-8570. The good news is that we can help you with everything from creating a shipping plan to completing a bill of lading.