Vessel documentation is a type of regulation that serves as a standard to prove the boat’s nationality. It is vital if you sail in international waters. This is a form of endorsement by the USCG. The USCG vessel registry can tell whether or not the endorsement is for recreational purposes or international trade purposes.
The USCG Vessel Registry as a Vital Resource for Boat Owners
The Registry maintains comprehensive records of documented vessels in the US. One common question that arises is whether the registry can store titled boats. Unfortunately, it does not store information about titled vessels. The reason for this is that boat titling is a state-level process. It is handled by individual states within the US. It applies to a broader range of vessels, like recreational boats, smaller commercial vessels, and personal watercraft. Boat titling primarily deals with issues related to ownership and state-level regulations.
Boats with Certificates of Documentation (CODs)
The registry primarily deals with documented vessels, not titled boats. Documented vessels are subject to federal regulations and are primarily used for commercial and international purposes. These vessels receive CODs from the USCG.
If you are looking up for titled boats, you may consider going to the state where the boat is registered. As mentioned, boat titling is a state-level process. The records of titled boats are maintained by individual states. Each state has its own procedures and requirements for boat titling and registration. Titled boats are typically recreational vessels and smaller commercial craft that do not require federal documentation.
Use USCG Vessel Lookup
This is a tool that lets you look up to verify the owner of a documented vessel. It is vital when you are buying or selling a boat. This will ensure that the person claiming ownership is the legitimate owner. Keep in mind that it is easier to steal a boat than to steal a car. They can be dismantled, stripped and sold. That’s why you need to be careful when researching for information.
You can also use this tool to check the documentation status of a vessel. If the seller said that the boat’s COD is active but you want to be sure you may check this registry. It can tell you whether or not the status is active, expired, or terminated. This is to ensure that you are in compliance with federal regulations before you sail.
What If the Boat’s Documentation is Expired?
It is crucial that you communicate it with the seller and confirm his/her willingness to renew the documentation before the sale. Ensure that the documentation renewal process is completed correctly and that you receive a valid COD in your name as the new owner. You may also negotiate with the seller to lower the price a bit so you can document the boat yourself. The price will offset the amount you pay for the documentation. But before you choose this route, make sure to consult with an expert.
How to Use the Lookup Service?
You can use the USCG vessel registry lookup by simply clicking the Vessel Documentation Search link found on the left side of this page. If you are not sure what to do, just give us a call.