Is the USCG Vessel Documentation Renewal Fee Fixed?

Boat ownership entitles you to have great experiences on the water. But it can also give you headaches when it comes to documentation. It is like a vehicle. Your boat must be registered or documented. If your boat is at least 5 net tons, you need to have it documented with the USCG. And the documentation must be renewed periodically. Do you know the USCG vessel documentation renewal fee? Find out below. 

The Truth About the USCG Vessel Documentation Renewal Fee 

Before dealing with the specifics of renewal fees, it is important to know the significance of keeping the documentation up to date: 

  • Compliance: This documentation ensures that your boat complies with US maritime laws and regulations. It contributes to safety and environmental responsibility. 
  • Legal Recognition: It provides your boat with official recognition. It lets you partake in international voyages and legal transactions like sales and mortgages. 
  • Ownership Confirmation: Documentation serves as legal proof of ownership, simplifying transactions and financial dealings. 
  • Safety Standards: Documented vessels must adhere to specific safety and equipment standards. It enhances safety for all on board. 

Should You Pay a Fixed Fee?

The renewal fee is not a fixed amount. Instead, it varies depending on various factors: 

  • Vessel Length: One of the primary factors influencing the rental fee is the length of your vessel. The USCG has a tiered fee structure, with different fees for vessels of varying lengths. Typically, longer vessels incur higher renewal fees. 
  • Documentation Type: The type of documentation you are renewing also affects the fee. For instance, the rental fee for recreational vessels may differ from that of commercial vessels. 
  • Renewal Period: The length of the renewal period you choose can impact the fee. The USCG offers renewal options for one, three, or five years, and the fee varies accordingly. 
  • Fee Schedule: The agency periodically updates its fee schedule to reflect changes in operating costs and inflation. Therefore, renewal fees can change over time to align with the budgetary requirements of USCG. 
  • Additional Services: If you are requesting additional services or amendments alongside your renewal, then these services may have associated fees. For instance, in addition to the basic rental, you may also want to change your vessel name or hailing port. This will entail an additional fee. 

How to Know Your Boat’s Documentation Needs to be Renewed? 

The quickest way to determine is to check your Certificate of Documentation. The doc contains vital information about your vessel and the documentation expiration date. You can find it on the COD itself. 

If you do not wish to miss the renewal period, make sure to set up reminders well in advance of your documentation expiration date. Use digital calendars, alarms, or notification apps to ensure you do not miss the renewal deadline. 

But the USCG also sends rental notices to the mailing address on file for documented vessels. Thus, make sure to keep checking your physical mailbox and email inbox for these notifications. 

USCG Vessel Documentation Renewal Fee

Your Responsibility to Renew 

As a boat owner, make sure that you renew your boat and pay for the USCG vessel documentation renewal fee on time. If you have further questions about the rental, you may give us a call and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can.