How to Start a US Boat Registry?

Congratulations on your first boat purchase. You may feel so excited about your investment. Now, what’s the next step? You can sail away with your friends and family. But make sure that you have completed the US boat registry first. Keep in mind that it is required by law. It is like having a car. The rules depend on where you will operate your boat. 

Determine Your Boat’s Eligibility Before Tackling US Boat Registry 

Before you set sail into the world of boat registration, ensure that it is eligible for US documentation. Generally, boats that are at least five net tons and wholly owned by US citizens are eligible for documentation. 

Gather Documentation 

Prepare a comprehensive set of documents required for boat registration. Common documents include proof of ownership, including a bill of sale, builder’s certificate or previous documentation, proof of citizenship, and other supporting documentation required by the US Coast Guard. 

Check Vessel Name Availability

Choose a unique and legally acceptable name for your vessel. Before finalizing, check the availability of the name through the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) to ensure there’s no conflict with existing vessel names.

Obtain a Hull Identification Number (HIN) 

If your boat is new or has never issued a HIN, you will need to obtain one. The 

HIN is a unique identifier for your boat and is usually provided by the boat manufacturer. If not, contact us to learn more about how to obtain it. 

Complete the Application Form 

You can download and fill out the application for initial documentation or renewal. The forms are available on the left side of this page. If the boat has not been registered yet, then choose initial registration. On the other hand, if you are just renewing it, then the renewal form is the one you need to fill out. Now, where to submit the form? 

Submit the Application 

The easiest way to submit it is through our online portal. You do not have to go out and mail it to the NVDC. Just use our services and you can leave everything to us. It is necessary, however, that your submission is accurate. It must also be well-organized to facilitate a smoother processing experience. 

Pay the Required Fees 

There are fees associated with boat registration. You can find the exact amount of how much you need to pay at the bottom of the form. Ensure timely payment to avoid delays in processing. 

Await Documentation Issuance 

After submitting your application and payment, await the issuance of your COD. This document serves as proof of your vessel’s US registration and must be kept on board whenever the vessel is in operation.

Display the Documentation Numbers 

Once you receive COD, ensure that you prominently display the vessel’s name and documentation numbers on both sides of the hull. Compliance with these display requirements is essential for maintaining your vessel’s legal status. 

Keep Documentation Updated 

Maintain accurate records and promptly update your documentation in case of any changes, such as ownership transfers or alterations to the vessel. Timely updates ensure that your boat registry remains current and in compliance with USCG regulations. 

Boat Registry

Start the Registration Today 

US boat registry is a fundamental step in ensuring the legal standing and smooth operation of your vessel. If you are still confused about how to proceed, give us a call and our experts will guide you.