How to Complete Your Boat Documentation Renewal in 4 Easy Steps

The boat documentation renewal process can seem daunting, but don’t be intimidated! The United States Coast Guard has put up a comprehensive manual containing all the information necessary to renew your boat’s registration. Some of it is essential information, while other parts of it can be completely unknown to even the most seasoned boat owners. In this article, we will take you to step by step through the procedure and give some valuable resources for you to use along the way. Schedule a time to renew your boat’s documentation, whether it is docked in your backyard or out in the open sea. This is important to complete regardless of where your boat is located. Here are easy steps to help make the process a breeze.

Check the Expiration Date on Your Current Documentation

Some jurisdictions require you to update the paperwork on your boat annually, but most boat owners need more time to remember. And if you’re planning a vacation this summer, you should double-check: if your present paperwork expires before you return, you won’t be able to travel home! Make sure there is sufficient time on your passport before your travel by checking the expiry date.

Since many states only allow three to five days after the expiry date to renew boat paperwork, it’s easy to let the deadline pass without giving the matter any thought. To avoid being stranded far from home, it’s a good idea to schedule plenty of downtime before embarking on a journey. In addition, postpone your departure until the grace period has ended if you know you will only be able to renew after the conclusion of your trip.

Gather the Required Information

The certificate of boat registration is the next item you’ll require. You may get a copy of the boat registration form from the Maritime Documentation Center. You may discover this information by searching for “boat registration” and “[your state]. The vessel’s owner must swear under penalty of perjury before a notary public that the details listed on the registration form are truthful.

Verify that the owner’s signature here is the same as the one on the boat’s registration certificate. For each item of required marine hardware, you must also supply its unique hull identification number (HIN). The HIN is often located on stationary gear such as engines and generators, but it may sometimes show up in other places, such as on a boat’s propellers and other mobile components. Check your owner’s handbook or talk to a maritime expert if you need help finding your HINs.

Complete and Submit the Boat Documentation Renewal Application

The next step is to submit a renewal application that you’ve filled out. Find this application at the Maritime Documentation Center online, and double-check that you’ve included all necessary supporting materials before submitting it. Have a duplicate of the application or renewal notification, the boat’s title, and proof of insurance, if applicable. When submitting your application, we will ensure that everything goes as quickly as possible. Here’s where it gets trickier: after you’ve finished the paperwork, you’ll need to collect all the documents that came with your renewal notification and fill them out. You’ll need to provide proof of current insurance coverage, so if you don’t already have a policy or binder, now is the time to get one.

Boat Documentation Renewal

Pay the Applicable Fees

Your paperwork has to be renewed, so the other thing you’ll need to do is make sure it’s paid for. Checking the Maritime Documentation Center’s website for a list of fees will allow you to calculate the total cost of this endeavor. When you type in your information, it should tell you how much it costs and whether or not there are any discounts available at that time.

If you are renewing for six months, the price may be more than if you are continuing for the entire year. This is because, in the event of a longer length of time, they may be able to distribute the expenses of their administration across a more significant number of months. Be careful to take advantage of any discounts you may offer.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re worried about your boat documentation renewal. Contact us if you have any concerns regarding your boat’s paperwork, want to know what to do to keep your right to use the waterways, or understand what happens if you let your certificate expire. We know—it sounds like a lot of steps!