How to Get USCG Documentation

If you are the owner of a boat in the United States, then you know that to navigate your vessel on waterways in the United States, you must have USCG documentation. But what if your yacht is missing any of the needed safety equipment? Alternatively, what if it is not registered as required? Do not be concerned; acquiring USCG paperwork does not have to be a difficult process. We will walk you through what you need to do to receive the paperwork for your boat in this article that we have written for our blog. If you are considering obtaining the documentation for your boat from the USCG, here are some ideas to assist make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Make Sure Your Boat Is Eligible For Documentation

There comes a time when boat owners with vessels older than ten must consider applying for USCG documentation. The paperwork is sometimes taken for granted by boat owners, but its primary functions as an official identifier and a consolidated service history log are crucial to comprehend. If your boat is found on public water without proper documentation, you might face penalties or have it impounded. How to quickly grasp how crucial this stage is? It’s similar to applying for a new driver’s license or a birth certificate. 

The US Coast Guard has laid down its requirements: To qualify, your vessel must be at least 26 feet in length, have a propulsion system (such as an engine) that can reach speeds of at least 7 knots, and have been constructed before 1976. The boat must be able to pass a survey by a marine surveyor recognized by the Coast Guard before you can legally set sail. A valid inland authorization letter is required if your boat is above 16 feet in length or less than 16 feet (LOA).

Gather All of The Necessary Paperwork

Get together all of the USCG documentation that is required for the application that you are submitting. This should contain a copy of your driver’s license, your Social Security card, a copy of your birth certificate, and evidence that you are covered by insurance. You will also need some information about the vessel itself, such as its length and width, the type of hull it has, the number of engines it has, the amount of horsepower in each machine, and the number of staterooms it has (if any), whether the vessel is built from wood, steel, or fiberglass, and whether it is constructed with laminated wood-faced hull construction if it is made from steel or fiberglass. In addition, you will be required to supply images of the vessel standing on its side.

Work With a Qualified Agent in Boat Documentation

Working with a licensed agent can seem like it might be more costly, but in the long run, it can end up saving you money. Many agents have ties with the US Coast Guard and will be able to have your application evaluated more quickly than you would be able to if you tried to do it yourself. They are also aware of the tasks that need to be completed and the procedures for doing so. If you are dealing with an agent, they should guide you through filling out the appropriate documents and ensure that you have completed them accurately. This may save both time and the possibility of making mistakes that might lead to difficulties in the future. They should be aware of the address to which the application should be sent, the date on which it should be sent, and the information they want from you to submit your application for boat documentation.

Be Patient 

It’s easy to be intimidated by the USCG documentation procedure, but don’t be. It’s a time-consuming procedure that requires forethought. Don’t be surprised if it takes more than a day to get your paperwork, particularly if you’re a first-time applicant. You should provide plenty of time and anticipate any setbacks. If you put in a little more effort ahead of time, you can ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. 

The United States Coast Guard website contains a wealth of information regarding boat paperwork, including how much it costs, what types of boats need registration, and what details you’ll need to collect. There’s even a video detailing how it works if you’re curious. You may contact the US Coast Guard by phone or email if you have any further inquiries that aren’t addressed on their website. While you’ll need to put in some effort, there are plenty of groups available to assist you in completing the necessary paperwork.

USCG Documentation

Cooperate With the USCG During Their Inspection Process

If you make the request, you will be informed of the reason for the inspection; nevertheless, in most situations, it is simply because you are purchasing or selling a boat. You may have even heard of sellers who won’t sell unless they have proof that all of the safety equipment has been properly maintained, in which case the Seller will ask the buyer to arrange for an inspection so that the seller can have proof that all of the safety equipment has been maintained properly. 

Help the US Coast Guard out with their inspection process by cooperating with them. This requires you to provide them with whatever documentation they need and ensure they can access any protected places on board your vessel. Don’t become defensive if a representative from the US Coast Guard asks you a question.

There is a lot to think about when buying a boat: the condition, the history, the price, and more. The last thing you want to do when you’re ready to buy a boat adds another stressor: ensure you get everything that comes with it. That’s why we recommend contacting the Maritime Documentation Center today at 800-535-8570 for more information on USCG documentation for your boat.