Vessel owners can use this link to renew Coast Guard documentation through our site.
Coast Guard vessel documentation has to be renewed every year. However, this can be renewed for 1-5 years from the date of issuance.
§ 67.5 Vessels eligible for documentation.
Any vessel of at least five net tons wholly owned by a citizen or citizens of the United States is eligible for documentation under this part. This includes, but is not limited to, vessels used exclusively for recreational purposes and vessels used in foreign trade.
§ 67.7 Vessels requiring documentation.
Any vessel of at least five net tons which engages in the fisheries on the navigable waters of the United States or in the Exclusive Economic Zone, or coastwise trade, unless exempt under § 67.9(c), must have a Certificate of Documentation bearing a valid endorsement appropriate for the activity in which engaged.
This 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.
Certificates of Documentation
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.
§ 67.15 Form of document—all endorsements.
(a) The form of document is a Certificate of Documentation, form CG–1270.
(b) Upon application in accordance with subpart K of this part and determination of qualification by the Director, National Vessel Documentation Center, a Certificate of Documentation may be issued with a registry, coastwise, fishery, or recreational endorsement.
(c) A Certificate of Documentation may bear simultaneous endorsements for recreation and more than one trade, including operation under 46 CFR part 68.
For vessels that have never been documented, use this link for initial vessel documentation.
Transfer Exchange of USCG Documentation.
For a recently purchased vessel that already has a documented vessel number, use this form for the Transfer Exchange of USCG Documentation.
§ 67.141 Application procedure; all cases.
The owner of a vessel applying for an initial Certificate of Documentation, exchange or replacement of a Certificate of Documentation, or return of a vessel to documentation after deletion from documentation must:
(a) Submit the following to the National Vessel Documentation Center:
(1) Application for Initial Issue, Exchange, or Replacement of Certificate of Documentation; or Redocumentation (form CG–1258);
(2) Title evidence, if applicable;
(3) Mortgagee consent on form CG–4593, if applicable; and
(4) If the application is for replacement of a mutilated document or exchange of documentation, the outstanding Certificate of Documentation.
(b) Each vessel 100 feet and greater in length applying for a fishery endorsement must meet the requirements of 46 CFR part 356 and must submit materials required in paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) Upon receipt of the Certificate of Documentation and prior to operation of the vessel, ensure that the vessel is marked in accordance with the requirements set forth in subpart I of this part.
Vessel financing has been enhanced through the availability of preferred mortgages on documented vessels since 1920.
If you have further questions about American vessel documentation, contact the Vessel Registrar Center at email@example.com or (800) 535-8570 Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM.