Demystifying the Documented Vessel Number

Something that is universal among all boat owners in the United States is that when you go through the process of registering your vessel with the US Coast Guard, you will receive an official serial number that confirms and establishes that your boat is now fully documented. 

This is a number that will belong to your boat for the rest of its lifetime, and it will need to be displayed at all times in order for it to be found easily by the Coast Guard and other authorities who might need it. 

Of course, like anything related to your specific boat ownership, it is always good to know as much about each component as possible. With this in mind, here is more of what we think you should know about your documented vessel number.

What To Do With Documentation Number

Your number is issued with a certificate of documentation – essentially the form with which you register your vessel with the US Coast Guard. Once you have received your documentation number, it then becomes your responsibility to permanently affix it to your vessel in a way that means it will always be visible to any authorities who might need to identify you and your boat. There are a few set rules about where and how your number needs to be displayed.

How Do You Display It?

Your documentation number needs to be displayed on the exterior of your vessel, in a forward-facing position, and it must be printed in capital letters and Arabic numbers that are a minimum of three inches in total height. It is very simple to select a spot for this number to be printed, and you will need to do it as soon as possible upon the arrival of your officially confirmed documents of certification.

Documented Vessel Number

How To Conduct A Search

If you are ever in the position of wanting to check out all of the possible information about a vessel before you commit to buying it, then all you need to do is conduct a database search online. This can be done using the registration number. 

Remember that the serial number given is attached to a boat for the duration of its life, so you will be able to dig up old information not only about the current ownership but also about previous ownership and whether or not there were any financial mortgages taken out on the vessel that you did not know about. Information like this is vital to know if you are considering whether or not to apply for a preferred ship mortgage as part of your ownership, as well as a variety of other valid reasons.

If you should ever find yourself in need of help and assistance with your documented vessel number or any other type of relevant vessel documentation, then don’t hesitate to utilize the services of Vessel Documentation Online to ensure that everything goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. We specialize in providing all the relevant forms you might need and error and omission checking to guarantee that any applications you choose to process through us are confirmed and accepted. We look forward to being able to help.