Does a Documented Vessel Have to Be Registered in Kansas?

Yes, they do. A Coast Guard documented vessel must be registered in the state of Kansas.

According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks: “All vessels powered by motor (gasoline, diesel, or electric), or sail, must be registered and numbered. The State of Kansas does not, however, title watercraft nor does it register or title motors.”

How do I know if my vessel measures five net tons?

“Net tonnage” measures a vessel’s volume. It does not measure a vessel’s weight (which is often also expressed in tons).

If a vessel is 26 feet or longer, then it most likely measures five net tons or more.

According to the United States Coast Guard, “net tonnage is a volumetric measure of a vessel’s useful capacity.” Parts of the vessel that do not hold cargo (such as the crew’s spaces and the like) do not count as part of a vessel’s net tonnage.

Must my vessel be documented?

Vessel documentation is required for any vessel that measures five net tons or more, is owned by an American citizen, and will be operated in certain trades, according to the Code of Federal Regulations.

A vessel must be documented if it will be used in fishing activities and/or coastwise trade on the navigable waters of the United States or the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Dredges, towboats, and vessels that conduct salvaging activities that operate in those same waters also must be documented.

What vessels may be documented?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, “any vessel of at least five net tons wholly owned by a citizen or citizens of the United States is eligible for documentation.” Vessels that are used for commercial purposes, foreign trade, and recreation are included.


Vessel documentation is a national form of registration. It is one of the oldest functions of Government, dating back to the 11th Act of the First Congress. Documentation provides conclusive evidence of nationality for international purposes, provides for unhindered commerce between the states, and admits vessels to certain restricted trades, such as coastwise trade and the fisheries. Since 1920, vessel financing has been enhanced through the availability of preferred mortgages on documented vessels.

For more information, please call: 1(866) 981-8783 or email: info@usvesselregistrar.us

Can uscg documentation numbers expire?

This endorsement is for any vessel that engages in interstate or international commerce. It serves to certify the ownership and registration details of the vessel to ensure it can be identified in case of an emergency, or if there is ever a dispute regarding its provenance. USCG documentation numbers are permanent and never expire. This means that a vessel with a USCG documentation number can retain it in perpetuity, without the need to renew or reapply for a new one. This is an important feature of USCG documentation as it enables potential buyers to check the authenticity of vessels they may purchase, by verifying the history associated with the vessel's documentation number.