How to Transfer Boat Documentation After Spouse’s Passing

To transfer a vessel’s documentation into your name after your spouse’s passing, complete this form for the Transfer Exchange of USCG Documentation.

As you complete the form, upload any pertinent documentation in regards to Estate/Inheritance granting you vessel ownership, the death certificate, as well as documentation establishing Right of Survivorship (if necessary).

According to 46 CFR 67.79, “Passage of Title Without Court Action Following Death of Owner,” “when title to a vessel formerly owned in whole or in part by an individual now deceased passes without court action, an applicant for documentation must present (1) when title passes to a surviving joint tenant or tenants or to a tenant by the entirety, a copy of the death certificate, certified by an appropriate State official; or (2) where the laws of cognizant jurisdiction permit passage of title without court action, evidence of compliance with applicable State law.”

For further questions, contact us at info@usvesselregistrar.us

How Can I Find If There is a Mortgage on a Vessel?

The easiest way to determine whether or not a documented US vessel has a mortgage on it is to apply for an Abstract of Title.

That Abstract will include whether or not there are any mortgages/liens against the vessel. Additionally, it will tell you the status of those mortgages/liens, whether or not they have been satisfied, and so forth. Plus, the Abstract will include the vessel owner as well as its chain of ownership among other information.

At our site, if you have a vessel’s Official Number or Hull Identification Number (HIN), you can conduct a vessel documentation search. This will give you a vessel’s dimensions, information about its flag, name, vessel documentation status, and more. It will not include any mortgages/liens against the vessel nor will it include any information about the vessel owner(s).

How Do I Change My Recreational Endorsement So I Can Operate it As a Fishing Charter?

Should you wish to use your USCG documented vessel, currently with a “Recreational” endorsement, as a fishing charter vessel, you have to change the vessel’s endorsement/trade indicator. You can do so at this link for updating your boat documentation.

Choose the appropriate commercial endorsement for how you wish to use your vessel. For example, if you wish to engage in commercial fishing activities on the navigable waters of the United States or the Exclusive Economic Zone, select the “Fishery” endorsement.

If you’re going to transport people and/or merchandise (such as operating a “6-pack charter vessel,”) then select the “Coastwise” endorsement.

If you wish to engage in foreign/international trade, choose the “Registry” endorsement.

If you have further questions, you can email us at info@usvesselregistrar.us

Due to Theft, My Certificate of Documentation is Gone. What Should I Do?

Certified Copy of Certificate of Documentation 
In the event that your Certificate of Documentation has been stolen, lost, mutilated, or similar, there are multiple ways to proceed.

Use this link to obtain a Certified Copy of your Certificate of Documentation.
Replacement Certificate of Documentation 
Another option: you can use this link to apply for a replacement of your US Coast Guard vessel documentation certificate.

Do I Have to Register My Documented Vessel with the State of Alabama?

Documented vessels used for pleasure are required to register with the state of Alabama. 

Vessels documented as commercial are not. 

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Driver License Division Vessel Unit: 

“Alabama REQUIRES all mechanically propelled boats (sailboats), and boats for hire to be registered, as well as vessels documented as pleasure with the USCG. 

Do I Have to Register My Documented Vessel With the State of New Hampshire?

Most likely, yes.

According to the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles, “any boat operated on the public waters of New Hampshire, including tidal and coastal waters and all inland waters, must be registered and must display the bow number issued by the DMV as part of the registration process, unless the boat is exempt as provided in RSA 270-E:4.

RSA 270-E:4 states:

“The following vessels shall be exempt from registration in this state (New Hampshire):

Sailboats under 12 feet in length, rowboats and canoes powered by sail, oars, paddles, or other human power. Any vessel which has an inboard or outboard motor shall not be exempt from registration except as provided in paragraph II.
Vessel registration in another state or country temporarily using the waters of this state for not more than 30 consecutive days.
Vessels owned or operated by the United States government.

Use this link to file for your initial vessel documentation through our site.

Do I Have to Register My USCG Documented Vessel With the State of Georgia?


According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division: 

“For boats where Georgia is the state of primary use, documentation by the U.S. Coast Guard does not exempt the State of Georgia vessel registration requirement. Documentation by the U.S. Coast Guard only removes the requirement that the state registration numbers must be displayed on the vessel. You are still required to display the valid Georgia registration decal.” 

Does My Coast Guard Documented Vessel Have to Be Registered With the State of Arkansas?

No, it doesn’t. Vessels documented with the United States Coast Guard do not have to be documented in the state of Arkansas. 
Arkansas Boat Registration Explained 
According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, “boats propelled by sail or motor (including telling motors) of any type must be registered when operated on public waters,” but, they go on to say, “the only exceptions are: 

Vessels that are not propelled by an engine or by sail. 

Vessels properly registered in another state or using Arkansas waters for 90 or fewer consecutive days. 

How Long Will I Have to Wait to Receive Vessel Documentation?

Times vary. The NVDC works constantly yet they often have a backlog of registrations. Typically, the process takes between one month to four months, four to sixteen weeks. 

We do offer Priority Request/Rush Processing. With this, we put your documentation at the top of our queue, making it our top priority. 

Use this link to apply for initial vessel documentation.