Don’t Panic if Your US Coast Guard Vessel Documentation Has Expired

Your US Coast Guard vessel documentation is important because it identifies your boat. It’s necessary to renew it on a consistent basis, according to the guidelines set forth by the Coast Guard. Typically, you will receive notice that you need to renew about 45 days prior to the expiration date. But what if you forget or don’t get it done in time? Don’t panic. Read this guide to help you determine what to do next. 

Common Reasons for Expiration

There are a few reasons why you may be dealing with expired documentation. One of the most common is human error. Maybe you misplaced the renewal notice and forgot to get it done on time. Or it simply slipped your mind. Another reason why expiration may have occurred is that you didn’t submit your annual vessel inspection in a timely manner. Whatever the reason, there are steps you can take to remedy the issue and keep your documentation legal and current. 

Vessel Document Reinstatement

If your paperwork has expired, you will need to go through the reinstatement process. You have a 90-day grace period to renew your vessel’s paperwork, but it’s advised to do so as soon as possible after it has expired. This process isn’t complicated and can be done online. You can expedite the process, if necessary. Keep in mind that failure to reinstate your documents could result in the United States Coast Guard revoking your Certificate of Paperwork. 

Fill Out and Submit the Vessel General Permit Application

Without current and accurate documentation, you run the risk of fines and legal action as the owner of a boat. If your registration has expired and has been expired for at least seven days, you need to complete the vessel general permit application. Not only does this get you on track with updating your documentation, but it can also help you avoid paying fines or facing penalties due to expired paperwork. This application can be done online and should be checked for accurate information before submission. Errors can prolong the process and increase the chances of financial repercussions. 

US Coast Guard Vessel Documentation

Be Sure Your Contact Information is Up to Date

When you complete renewal paperwork, whether it’s expired or not, it’s important to make sure the United States Coast Guard has the most up-to-date contact information for you. This is important for many reasons, but one reason is so that you receive a notification when it’s time to renew. This can save you the trouble of dealing with expired documentation. It’s also important if the Coast Guard needs to contact you for any other reason. Double-check your contact information before you submit any paperwork to be sure it’s recorded correctly. 

Expired US Coast Guard vessel documentation can be stressful. Perhaps you’re worried about fines and penalties. The best thing to do is to take care of it as soon as possible. This will give you peace of mind and has the best results for avoiding repercussions that go with expired paperwork. If you need help with this process, you’ll find the advice you need at Vessel Documentation Online and we’re happy to answer questions for guidance.