What is US Coast Guard Documentation Exactly?

US Coast Guard documentation is a national form of boat registration with the United States Coast Guard.


This 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.


Use this link to apply online for US Coast Guard vessel documentation.


Specifically, that link is for vessels that have never been documented previously.


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.


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 rCoast Guard 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 form for a Coast Guard vessel documentation transfer.

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.