How Can I Get My Boat USCG Certified?

Perform a US Coast Guard Documentation Search for USCG Certified Vessels

Vessel owners can use this link to apply online American vessel documentation.


Certificates of Documentation

In this context, “USCG certified” means that the owner has received vessel documentation. This is a national form of boat registration with the United States Coast Guard.

Documentation provides for unhindered commerce between states, admits vessels to restricted trades (such as the fisheries and coastwise trade), and provides conclusive evidence of nationality.

Vessels that are documented do not have titles. Instead, they maintain Certificates of Documentation. Depending on the laws in your state, your vessel may need to be registered with the state as well.

Vessel financing

Vessel financing has been enhanced through the availability of preferred mortgages on documented vessels since 1920.

Coast Guard vessel documentation has to be renewed every year. However, this can be renewed for 1-5 years from the date of issuance. Vessel owners can use this link for Coast Guard vessel renewal.

Perform a US Coast Guard Documentation Search for USCG Certified Vessels

For a recently purchased vessel that already has a documented vessel number, use this form for a Coast Guard vessel documentation transfer.


Contact the Vessel Registrar Center

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