What is Coast Guard Certification of Vessels?

Coast Guard Certification of Vessels (also known as “vessel documentation,”) is a national form of boat registration with the United States Coast Guard. 

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. 

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. 

For vessels that have never been documented, use this link for initial vessel documentation

Coast Guard vessel documentation has to be renewed every year. However, this can be renewed for 1-5 years from the date of issuance. Vessel owners can use this link for boat documentation renewal.

Vessel financing has been enhanced through the availability of preferred mortgages on documented vessels since 1920. 

For a recently purchased vessel that already has a documented vessel number, use this link for the Transfer of Ownership Form.

If you have further questions about American vessel documentation, contact the Vessel Registrar Center at info@usvesselregistrar.us or (800) 535-8570 Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM