How often do I need to update my vessel documentation?

USCG documentation must be renewed on an annual basis. This includes all vessels over five net tons that are documented with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Owners of documented vessels must complete a renewal application and pay the applicable fee to maintain their USCG documentation for another year.

Do coast guard documented vessels have to be registered in New Jersey?

In particular circumstances, yes. 

According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, “if a boat is operated in New Jersey waters in excess of 180 days OR if the owner leases, owns, maintains, or rents space in New Jersey for storage, mooring, or servicing of the vessel on other than a transient basis, the documented vessel must be registered in New Jersey. Documented vessels do not receive NJ titles.”  

Does the sale of a boat with documented vessel registration need to be notarized?

Yes, it does. If you are transferring ownership of a vessel with documented vessel registration, then either the back of the CG-1270 Certificate of Documentation or the CG-1340 Bill of Sale has to be notarized. This has to be done. It is required.
Documented Vessel Forms That Must Be Notarized
At the Vessel Registrar Center, vessel owners can use this form for their initial vessel documentation.

What is a Hull Identification Number?

Abbreviated “HIN,” is, more or less, the equivalent of a car’s VIN (“Vehicle Identification Number.”) The HIN is a 12 or 14-character number that identifies a specific vessel. You may have seen older vessels that don’t have a HIN. That’s because vessels that were manufactured or imported before 1973 are exempt from having a HIN.

What is the Registry Endorsement?

This is the USCG documentation endorsement for engaging in international/foreign trade. Additionally, it allows the vessel to engage in any international/foreign employment a Coastwise or Fishery endorsement is not required for.

How Can I Check My Vessel Documentation?

Do you want to check the expiration date of your vessel documentation? All you have to do is to look at your current Certification of Documentation. If you look on the lower-left corner of the front page, you’ll find the boat documentation’s expiration date.

What endorsement should I choose for my vessel?

When it comes to vessel documentation, you should choose the endorsement that fits how you plan to use the vessel. If you are just going to use the vessel for fun, to have a good time, then your endorsement should be for “Recreation.” You should also choose that endorsement if you are just registering your vessel so that you can apply for a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage.

On the other hand, if you are going to use your vessel for commercial purposes, then you may be required to register it and choose the correct endorsement accordingly.

For example, if you are going to use your vessel for transporting people and/or merchandise on the navigable waters of the United States or in the Exclusive Economic Zone, then you’re going to want to choose the “Coastwise” endorsement.