If you are looking to transfer ownership of a USCG documented vessel, then utilize our “Transfer/Exchange” form. If, on the other hand, the vessel is registered with the state, then you are best served by contacting the California State DMV or Registrar.
You can find our Transfer/Exchange Vessel form here.
Transfer Exchange of USCG Documentation
These applications are designed for you to transfer the vessel’s ownership to essentially anyone you want. To be clear, when we say the word “transfer,” we’re essentially using it as a synonym for “change.” These applications make it simple to change who is actually the vessel’s owner. Often, these applications are used when someone sells their vessel. The old owner takes their name off the vessel’s documentation, and the new owner puts their name on it. It’s important to note that the “new owner” doesn’t have to be a person, as it can be a company or trust as well. Also, the vessel must be fully owned by a United States citizen.
What does and Exchange/Transfer of Ownership Entail?
In most cases, the boat in question is going to be registered with the USCG, making the Exchange/Transfer process relatively straight forward. A copy of both sides of the Certificate of Documentation must be submitted with the reverse side being signed by all the owners listed on the front. Additionally, the names of all the owners taking over the boat must also be stated on the Certificate.
If the vessel is not registered with the USCG, there are still only a few steps to follow. A copy of the current state of registration must be submitted along with a copy of the USCG Bill of Sale. Once these documents are gathered, they must be accepted by the USCG.
Though a fairly straightforward process, there are many varying factors that can impact the timeline for the Exchange/Transfer process to be completed. To help expedite this process, it is recommended that all documentation be submitted through the web using a third-party outlet to be filed with the USCG.
§ 156.120 Requirements for transfer.
A transfer is considered to begin when the person in charge on the transferring vessel or facility and the person in charge on the receiving facility or vessel first meet to begin completing the declaration of inspection, as required by § 156.150 of this part. No person shall conduct an oil or hazardous material transfer operation unless:
(a) The vessel’s moorings are strong enough to hold during all expected conditions of surge, current, and weather and are long enough to allow adjustment for changes in draft, drift, and tide during the transfer operation;
(b) Transfer hoses and loading arms are long enough to allow the vessel to move to the limits of its moorings without placing strain on the hose, loading arm, or transfer piping system;
(c) Each hose is supported to prevent kinking or other damage to the hose and strain on its coupling.
(d) Each part of the transfer system is aligned to allow the flow of oil or hazardous material;
(e) Each part of the transfer system not necessary for the transfer operation is securely blanked or shut off;
(f) The end of each hose and loading arm that is not connected for the transfer of oil or hazardous material is blanked off using the closure devices required by §§ 154.520 and 155.805 of this chapter;
(g) The transfer system is attached to a fixed connection on the vessel and the facility except that when a vessel is receiving fuel, an automatic back pressure shutoff nozzle may be used;
(h) Each overboard discharge or sea suction valve that is connected to the vessel’s transfer or cargo tank system is sealed or lashed in the closed position; except when used to receive or discharge ballast in compliance with 33 CFR Part 157;
(i) Each transfer hose has no unrepaired loose covers, kinks, bulges, soft spots, or any other defect which would permit the discharge of oil or hazardous material through the hose material and no gouges, cuts, or slashes that penetrate the first layer of hose reinforcement (“reinforcement” means the strength members of the hose, consisting of fabric, cord and/or metal);
(j) Each hose or loading arm in use meets §§ 154.500 and 154.510 of this chapter, respectively;
(k) Each connection meets § 156.130;
(l) Any monitoring devices required by § 154.525 of this chapter are installed and operating properly;
(m) The discharge containment equipment required by § 154.545 of this chapter is readily accessible or deployed as applicable;
(n) The discharge containment required by §§ 154.530, 155.310, and 155.320 of this chapter, as applicable, is in place and periodically drained to provide the required capacity;
(o) Each drain and scupper is closed by the mechanical means required by § 155.310;
(p) All connections in the transfer system are leak free except that a component in the transfer system, such as the packing glands of a pump, may leak at a rate that does not exceed the capacity of the discharge containment provided during the transfer operation;
(q) The communications required by §§ 154.560 and 155.785 of this chapter are operable for the transfer operation;
(r) The emergency means of shutdown required by §§ 154.550 and 155.780 of this chapter, as applicable, is in position and operable;
(s) There is a person in charge on the transferring vessel or facility and the receiving vessel or facility except as otherwise authorized under § 156.115;
(t) Each person in charge required by paragraph (s) of this section:
(1) Is at the site of the transfer operation and immediately available to the transfer personnel;
(2) Has readily available in the marine transfer area a copy of the most recently examined facility operations manual or vessel transfer procedures, as appropriate; and
(3) Conducts the transfer operation in accordance with the facility operations manual or vessel transfer procedures, as appropriate;
(u) The personnel required, under the facility operations manual and the vessel transfer procedures, to conduct the transfer operation:
(1) Are on duty; and
(2) Conduct the transfer operation in accordance with the facility operations manual or vessel transfer procedures, as appropriate;
(v) At least one person is at the site of the transfer operation who fluently speaks the language or languages spoken by both persons in charge;
(w) The person in charge of the transfer on the transferring vessel or facility and the person in charge of it on the receiving vessel or facility have held a conference, to ensure that each person in charge understands—
(1) The identity of the product to be transferred;
(2) The sequence of transfer operations;
(3) The transfer rate;
(4) The name or title and location of each person participating in the transfer operation;
(5) Details of the transferring and receiving systems including procedures to ensure that the transfer pressure does not exceed the maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) for each hose assembly, loading arm and/or transfer pipe system;
(6) Critical stages of the transfer operation;
(7) Federal, state, and local rules that apply to the transfer of oil or hazardous material;
(8) Emergency procedures;
(9) Discharge containment procedures;
(10) Discharge reporting procedures;
(11) Watch or shift arrangement;
(12) Transfer shutdown procedures; and,
(13) If the persons use radios, a predetermined frequency for communications during the transfer, agreed upon by both.
(x) The person in charge of transfer operations on the transferring vessel or facility and the person in charge of transfer operations on the receiving vessel or facility agree to begin the transfer operation;
(y) Between sunset and sunrise the lighting required by §§ 154.570 and 155.790 of this chapter is provided; and
(z) For transfer operations between tank barges from sunset to sunrise, lighting is provided as described in § 155.790 of this chapter.
(aa) A transfer operation which includes collection of vapor emitted to or from a vessel’s cargo tanks through a vapor control system (VCS) not located on the vessel must have the following verified by the person in charge:
(1) Each manual valve in the vapor collection system is correctly positioned to allow the collection of cargo vapor;
(2) A vapor collection hose or arm is connected to the vessel’s vapor connection;
(3) The electrical insulating device required by § 154.810(g) of this chapter or 46 CFR 39.40–3(c) is fitted between the facility vapor connection and the vessel vapor connection;
(4) The initial transfer rate and the maximum transfer rate are determined;
(5) The maximum and minimum operating pressures at the facility vapor connection are determined;
(6) The tank barge overfill control system, if installed, is connected to the facility, tested, and operating properly;
(7) The following have been performed not more than 24 hours prior to the start of the transfer operation or in accordance with 33 CFR 154.2150(b):
(i) Each alarm and automatic shutdown system required by subpart E of part 154 of this chapter and 46 CFR part 39 has been tested and found to be operating properly, and
(ii) Analyzers required by 33 CFR 154.2105(a) and (j) and 154.2107(d) and (e) or 46 CFR 39.40–3(a) have been checked for calibration by use of a span gas;
(8) Each vapor recovery hose has no unrepaired loose covers, kinks, bulges, soft spots, or any other defect which would permit the discharge of vapor through the hose material, and no external gouges, cuts, or slashes that penetrate the first layer of hose reinforcement; and
(9) The oxygen content in the vapor space of each of the vessel’s cargo tanks connected to the vapor collection system, if inerted, is—
(i) At or below 60 percent by volume of the cargo’s minimum oxygen concentration for combustion; or
(ii) At or below 8 percent by volume, at the start of cargo transfer, for vapor of crude oil, gasoline blends, or benzene;
(10) The freezing point of each cargo has been determined. If there is a possibility that the ambient air temperature during transfer operations will be at or below the freezing point of the cargo, adequate precautions have been taken to prevent freezing of vapor or condensate, or to detect and remove the liquid condensate and solids to prevent accumulation;
(11) If the cargo has the potential to polymerize, adequate precautions have been taken to prevent and detect polymerization of the cargo vapors; and
(12) The VCS has been cleaned, in accordance with 33 CFR 154.2150(p), between transfers of incompatible cargoes.
(bb) If the transfer operation involves loading oil, as defined in § 151.05 of this chapter, into a cargo tank, the overfill device required by § 155.480 of this chapter is installed and operating properly.
(cc) Smoking is not permitted in the facilities marine transfer area except in designated smoking areas.
(dd) Welding, hot work operations and smoking are prohibited on vessels during the transfer of flammable or combustible materials, except that smoking may be permitted in accommodation areas designated by the master.