Boat Registration Texas Renewal: Best Practices

Vessel Registrar Boat Registration Texas Renewal 

Through our site, Texas vessel owners can renew their national vessel documentation. 

To do so, use this link to complete boat registration Texas renewal.

Documentation must be renewed every year. Through our site, vessel owners with a “Recreational” endorsement will have the option to renew their documentation for up to five years in advance.

Renewing less than 60 days before the expiration date is recommended. Renewing more than 60 days prior to expiration will issue renewal with a new expiration and issuance date, thus shortening the documentation’s period of validity.

Vessel owners can renew their documentation up to 30 days after the expiration date. 

This only pertains to Federal documentation through the United States Coast Guard. This documentation is not exclusive to Texas. It pertains to the entire country. In regards to State registration in Texas, follow the appropriate state laws.

Differences Between Texas and National Registration  

The documentation discussed in this FAQ is federal. 

In regards to Texas registration for vessels, USCG documented vessels must be documented with the state. 

According to the Texas Wildlife and Parks Department, the only documented vessels excluded from state registration are those which are commercial tugboats, exceed 115 feet in length, or are pilot or crew boats transporting freight, supplies, or personnel to or from cargo ships, freighters, or offshore oil infrastructure.  

What to Do If Your Documentation Expires 

After that period, vessel owners cannot “renew” their documentation. However, they can reinstate it. Vessel owners can use this link to reinstate their US Coast Guard vessel documentation.

If you have further questions about renewing the documentation of your Texas vessel, contact the Vessel Registrar Center at or (800) 535-8570 Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

Vessel Renewal Laws Regarding Renewal and Replacement 

Below are federal laws regarding the validity of certificates of documentation, their renewal, and their replacement. 

§ 67.161 Validity of Certificate of Documentation.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a Certificate of Documentation but no trade endorsement thereon, issued to a vessel which is the subject of an outstanding mortgage filed or recorded in accordance with subpart Q of this part or any predecessor regulations, remains valid for purposes of:

(1) 46 U.S.C. chapter 125;

(2) 46 U.S.C. chapter 313 for an instrument filed or recorded before the date of invalidation, and an assignment or a notice of claim of lien filed after that date;

(3) 46 U.S.C. 56101, 56102 and 57109; and

(4) 46 U.S.C. 56301.

(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) of this section do not apply to a vessel which is subject only to a mortgage filed or recorded before January 1, 1989, which had not attained preferred status as of that date.

  • 67.163 Renewal of endorsement.

(a) Requirement for renewal of endorsement. Endorsements on Certificates of Documentation are valid for 1 year, except for Recreational Endorsements on Certificates of Documentation, which are valid for 5 years. However, a Certificate of Documentation with a Recreational Endorsement and a Commercial Endorsement will only be valid for 1 year. Prior to the expiration of an endorsement, the owner of a vessel, which is not exempt from the requirement for documentation under paragraph (c) of § 67.9, must apply for renewal of the endorsement(s) by complying with paragraph (b) of this section. The owner of a vessel exempt from the requirement for documentation under paragraph (c) of § 67.9 must either:

(1) Apply for renewal of the endorsement by complying with paragraph (b) of this section; or

(2) Place the Certificate of Documentation on deposit in accordance with § 67.165.

(b) Renewal application. The owner of a vessel must apply for renewal of each endorsement by executing an original Vessel Renewal Notification, Application for Renewal (CG–1280) certifying that the information contained in the Certificate of Documentation and any endorsement(s) thereon remains accurate, and that the Certificate has not been lost, mutilated, or wrongfully withheld. The completed CG–1280 must be sent to the Director, National Vessel Documentation Center.

(c) Requirement for renewal of recreational endorsements. A certificate of documentation for a recreational vessel and the renewal of such a certificate shall be effective for a 5-year period. During the period beginning January 1, 2019, and ending December 31, 2021, the owner of a recreational vessel may choose a period of effectiveness of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years for such a certificate of documentation for such vessel or the renewal thereof.


Renewal of endorsements on a Certificate of Documentation may be denied if the vessel owner is the subject of an outstanding civil penalty assessed by the Coast Guard.

  • 67.169 Requirement for replacement of Certificate of Documentation.

(a) The owner of a documented vessel must make application in accordance with subpart K of this part for replacement of a Certificate of Documentation which is:

(1) Lost;

(2) Mutilated; or

(3) Wrongfully withheld from the vessel owner.

(b) When application for replacement of a Certificate of Documentation is required because the Certificate has been mutilated, the existing Certificate must be physically given up to the National Vessel Documentation Center.