How to Change Vessel Name and Hailing Port

If you’re the owner of a new vessel, you may be interested to know how to change vessel name and hailing port. Although you will be strongly advised against doing so by the superstitious sailor community, who tell you changing a boat’s name is bad luck, you are set on your ways. What are the steps you should take for changing your boat’s name?

The steps you need to follow

Step 1: Decide if you will be changing your vessel’s hailing port. Similar to land vehicles, vessels can be registered almost everywhere, and their hailing port determines where the owner will pay sales taxes and registration fees. Additionally, the hailing port where the vessel is registered determines the rules and regulations that the vessel owner must abide by, as well as the international regulations and treaties that the country of registry is part of. Step

2: Choose a new name for your boat. Unlike a license plate or online username, you do not have to choose a unique name for your vessel. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of boats with the same name roaming the waters, with some of the most popular being “Island Time”, “Liberty”, and “No Regrets”. Some boat owners choose to name their boats after their signi?cant others, while others add a little humor, with names like “A Little Nauti”.

Keep in mind that only standard alpha and numeric characters can be included in the vessel name.

How to Change Vessel Name and Hailing Port

Step 3: Obtain the proper documentation. Once you have chosen your boat’s name and decided on its hailing port, make sure that you have the proper information to aid you in ?lling out the necessary forms. You will need the of?cial number of your vessel, current vessel name, and current hailing port. In addition, you will have to provide the new owner’s name, contact information, and social security or tax ID number.

Step 4: Fill out the necessary forms. Once you have obtained the required information, ?ll out the form titled “Change of Vessel Name or Hailing Port”, which can be located on the Maritime Documentation Center website. Once your application has been submitted, Maritime Documentation Center specialists contact you to ensure the accuracy of your submitted document, after which the form will be submitted to the proper authorities.

If you have any questions about changing the name or the hailing port of your vessel, please call us at (800) 535-8570 or email us at