Documentation Reinstatement: How to Renew Revoked or Lapsed Documentation to Sail Back

Boat ownership can offer you great experiences and memories, not just for yourself, but also for your family. You get the opportunity to see wild and open spaces and visit places that are impossible to get to by car. Indeed, exploring the open water is exciting. But you might find one day that your boat documentation has lapsed. Don’t worry. It is not the end of your voyage. This is probably the time to know about the USCG vessel documentation reinstatement process so you can get back on course. 

Understanding USCG Vessel Documentation Reinstatement 

Many documented boat owners thought that vessel documentation was just a one-time process. That is, after documenting their vessels, they do not have to do it again. However, vessel documentation requires periodic renewal to remain valid. If your documentation lapses or is revoked for some reason, you will need to go through the reinstatement process. Here is how to navigate it. 

Know the Reason for Lapse or Revocation 

The first step is to understand why your documentation lapsed or was revoked. It could be that you did not renew on time. Or you have unresolved liens or debts, or non-compliance with USCG regulations. 

Address Outstanding Liens 

If your documentation lapses because of unresolved issues, such as outstanding debts or liens, it is essential to address them first. Satisfying liens or paying debts is crucial before proceeding with reinstatement. 

Gather Necessary Documentation 

Before you even start the restatement process, you need to ensure that you have the required details for documentation. These would include details about your vessel’s official number, previous documentation information, and copies of your expired Certificate of Documentation (COD). You should also submit proof of ownership, citizenship or eligibility documentation, and other supporting materials. 

Access the Reinstatement Form 

You may access this form on the left side of this page. Simply fill out the necessary fields before submitting it to us. 

Complete the Form 

Make sure that you fill out the form accurately, You must provide all required information, like ownership information, vessel details, previous documentation history, and the reason for reinstatement. Before you submit it, you must sign and date the form to certify its accuracy. 


Pay the required reinstatement fee associated with your application. Ensure that the payment is included or submitted. Otherwise, your application will be denied. 

How Long Will It Take for the Documentation to be Reinstated? 

The timeline will depend on various factors. The USCG strives to process every application as efficiently as possible, there are elements that can influence the timeline. 

For instance, the completeness of your application can play a huge role in processing time. If all required documents and information are provided accurately and upfront, it can expedite the process. 

However, you should also consider the volume of applications as it can also affect the timeline. High volumes may lead to longer processing times. Furthermore, the USCG may require additional information to complete your reinstatement. This, too, can take longer if there are delays in obtaining these requested materials. 

USCG Vessel Documentation Reinstatement

Reinstate Your Boat Now 

The process is simple. Just fill out the USCG vessel documentation reinstatement form found on the left side of this page. If you have trouble filling it out, make sure to give us a call.