Document a Vessel and More in Alaska

These are the forms necessary to document a vessel, maintain that registration, and much more in the state of Alaska. Beyond that, these forms are valid in the state of Alaska as well as anywhere else in the United States. No matter where a vessel is in America, these forms can be utilized. 

Shipping and maritime transportation are some of the biggest industries in the state. Any vessel that measures five net tons and is entirely owned by a citizen of the United States can be documented. 

However, any vessel that meets those requirements and will also be utilized in coastwise trade or fishing activities in Alaskan navigable waters (or any other navigable waters in the United States) or in the EEZ (“Exclusive Economic Zone”) has to be registered with the USCG. “Coastwise trade” is defined here as essentially “transporting merchandise or passengers between points in the United States or the EEZ.” There are some exceptions to this. Users with further questions about vessel documentation can reach us at 

Document a Vessel in Alaska 

The “Initial” form is for those vessels which have never been documented in Alaska or anywhere else in the United States. Do not use this form for renewing that registration, re-registering, or anything else. 

Documentation Renewal 

Vessel registration is valid in Alaska or anywhere else in the United States for one year. Use this form to renew your vessel registration. Through our site, vessel owners can renew their registration for more than one year, up to five years at once. If it has been 30 days or more since your registration expired, you cannot use this form to renew your registration. Rather, you must “reinstate” your vessel registration. 

Replacement (COD) 

Should your Certificate of Registration have been lost or mutilated, then your registration is not valid. You must have a physical certificate. A copy, a picture, and so forth are not valid. This form makes it possible to receive a replacement Certificate of Documentation. 

Registration Reinstatement 

When a Certificate of Documentation has expired for 30 or more days, your registration cannot be renewed. Vessel documentation reinstatement can be applied for with this particular form. 

Certified Copy (COD) 

A certified copy of your USCG Certificate of Documentation can be obtained here. 

Deletion (COD) 

With this form, it is possible to delete a vessel from the Coast Guard Registry. Should your vessel have become lost, is no longer usable, or you’re selling it to a foreign citizen, complete this form. 

Abstract of Title 

Often utilized by those seeking more information about a vessel before a purchase, this Abstract may contain when a vessel was built, the complete chain of ownership, any past or present liens and mortgages against the vessel, whether they have been satisfied, and more. 

Change of Endorsement/Trade Indicator 

“Recreation,” “Fishery,” “Registry,” and “Coastwise” are the most commonly utilized registered vessels’ endorsements. With this form, you can change your vessel’s endorsement from what is currently on your registration. 

Change of Address 

Utilize this form to update the USCG if your address has changed from what is currently on your vessel’s Certificate of Registry. 

Change/Transfer of Vessel Documentation 

Make changes/transfers to your vessel’s ownership through the completion of this form. This form can be used to change the name of the managing owner, transfer the vessel to a different individual, company, trust, and so forth, sell the vessel, or even add or remove a spouse.  

Foreign Vessel Title Search Request/Transcript of Registry 

For more information about vessels in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the UK, and Canada, complete this form. 

Preferred Ship Mortgage 

To apply for a mortgage against a registered vessel, use this form. This type of mortgage enjoys a certain priority in the event of default, as it is given status as a maritime lien. Keep in mind: if a vessel does not have a Certificate of Registration or an application on COD with the USCG, then a mortgage cannot be recorded against it. 

Satisfaction/Release of Mortgage/Lien 

After a mortgage and/or liens have been paid, complete this vessel documentation form. Many do this as one of the final steps before selling a documented vessel. 

Change of Vessel Name or Hailing Port 

Changing a vessel’s name and/or hailing port from what is currently on its Certificate of Registration is possible with this form. Rules about names: the name cannot be the same, either phonetically or in actuality, to words that are used to solicit assistance on the water or words that are obscene. The name can only be composed of letters or the Latin alphabet as well as Arabic or Roman numerals. The name cannot exceed 33 characters either. 

MARAD Small Vessel Waiver 

If you have a vessel that was built in a foreign country, this form can be utilized to apply for a waiver to the “American-built” requirement, allowing you to perform limited commercial passenger operations in America legally. 

Eligibility: the vessel must be owned wholly by an American citizen, the vessel in question must be at least three years old, and it cannot be used for anything other than to carry passengers. Moreover: the vessel cannot carry more than twelve passengers while in service. 

Notice of Claim of Lien (NCL) 

Apply for the recording of a claim of lien against a registered vessel with this form. Keep in mind: filing this notice through our site makes no guarantee as to whether or not the NCL is enforceable or valid. Users are encouraged to obtain private legal counsel as to a maritime lien’s validity and similar matters. 

Document Upload 

Upload pertinent boat documentation forms here. Some examples: bills of sale, last wills, a vessel’s past Certificate of Documentation, and so forth. 

Vessel Documentation Search 

Perform a documented vessel search with just a vessel’s official number and/or HIN (Hull Identification Number). 

A Better Way to Document a Vessel in Alaska 

These forms can be utilized for vessels in Alaska as well as throughout the rest of the United States. As this site has been optimized for mobile devices, these forms can be filled out from practically anywhere on any kind of internet-connected device. Rush processing/priority request is an option for those to wish to receive their documentation that much faster. Fair winds and following skies.