Coast Guard Documentation in the State of Virginia

Below you can find many different Coast Guard documentation forms you may need for your vessel in the state of Virginia. These forms are valid not just in the state of Virginia or coastal cities such as Virginia Beach, but all throughout the United States. These federal documentation forms can be used for vessels all across America. 

Vessels that measure five net tons and are wholly owned by United States citizens can be documented. 

Vessels that meet those requirements and will be used in fishing activities or coastwise trade on the navigable waters of the United States or in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) must be documented. In this context, “coastwise trade” is defined as “transporting passengers or merchandise between points in the EEZ or the US.” There are certain exceptions. 

Initial Coast Guard Documentation in Virginia 

Use this form if you are to register a boat for the first time. This is not the form for Coast Guard renewal. 


Renew boat registration with this form. With our ship documentation renewal forms, you can renew your registration for multiple years and up to five years. If your registration has expired for 30 or more days, your registration cannot be “renewed” and must be reinstated. 

Replacement (COD) 

This form is for a replacement of a USCG Certificate of Documentation. If your Certificate of Registry is lost, mutilated, and so forth, you are not in compliance. 


If your Certificate of Documentation expired thirty days ago or more, then you cannot renew your vessel documentation. Instead, use this form to reinstate your vessel documentation. 

Certified Copy (COD) 

Complete this form for a USCG Certified Copy of your Certificate of Documentation. 

Deletion (COD) 

Complete this form to delete your vessel from the Coast Guard Registry. Utilize this form when selling it to a foreign citizen, or it has become lost or no longer usable. 

Change of Address 

If your address has changed from the one that is on your Certificate of Registration, use this form to update the authorities. 

Abstract of Title 

With this form, you can receive information on registered vessels. An Abstract of Title may include any liens against the vessel (past or present), when the vessel was built, the vessel’s chain of ownership, and other information. 

Foreign Vessel Title Search Request/Transcript of Registry 

This boat documentation form can provide information about vessels in the United Kingdom, Canada, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands as well as the British Virgin Islands. 

Change of Endorsement/Trade Indicator 

Complete this vessel documentation form to change your vessel’s trade indicator/endorsement. The most common endorsements for registered vessels include “Recreation,” “Fishery,” “Coastwise,” and “Registry.” 

Change of Vessel Name or Hailing Port 

Complete this vessel documentation to change your vessel’s name and/or hailing port. Note: a vessel name cannot exceed 33 characters. It can only be composed of letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic as well as Roman numerals. Additionally, the name cannot be identical, either actually or phonetically, to any obscene words or ones that are used to solicit assistance on the water. 

Transfer/Exchange of USCG Documentation

Complete this vessel documentation form to make a change/transfer in the ownership of the vessel. Examples: when the vessel is sold, transferred to a new individual/company/trust/etc., a managing owner’s name has been changed, or a spouse has been added/removed. 

Preferred Ship Mortgage 

Complete this form to apply for a mortgage against a registered vessel. Note: a mortgage cannot be recorded against a vessel that does not have a Certificate of Registration or an application on COD at the NVDC. This particular mortgage is given status as a maritime lien and thus enjoys a certain priority in the event of default.

Satisfaction/Release of Mortgage/Lien 

Use this form to inform the authorities that you have satisfied any and all liens and/or mortgages against your vessel. 

Notice of Claim of Lien (NCL) 

Complete this form to apply for the recording of a claim of lien against a vessel that has United States Coast Guard documentation. Note: neither filing this notice nor its acceptance by the NVDC guarantees that the claim is valid or enforceable. Guidance on a maritime lien’s validity, elements, and the like should be obtained through private legal counsel. 

MARAD Small Vessel Waiver 

Complete this form to allow for your foreign-built vessel (or vessel with no documentation) to gain a waiver of the American-built requirement to conduct limited commercial passenger operations in the United States. 

Note: to be eligible for this waiver, a vessel must be at least three years old, owned wholly by a United States citizen, and, while in service, cannot carry more than twelve passengers. Moreover, this vessel must only be used to carry passengers. 

Document Upload 

Upload relevant documentation here, such as previous Certificates of Documentation, a Bill of Sale, Last Will and Testament, and so forth. 

Vessel Documentation Search 

Perform a vessel documentation search here. With this, information can be gleaned about documented vessels. 

Coast Guard Documentation in the State of Virginia and Beyond 

The above forms are valid for the state of Virginia as well as anywhere else in the United States. Each of these forms can be completed on any phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, or practically any other kind of electronic device with internet connectivity. To expedite the ship documentation process further, with many of these forms, you can opt for rush processing/priority request. With that service, we push your forms to the top of our queue. Safe travels on the water.