North Carolina Coast Guard Vessel Documentation

This is Coast Guard vessel documentation for vessels throughout not just North Carolina but the rest of the country as well. Below you can find essentially all of the different forms that you may need throughout the course of vessel ownership. From initial research through registering a vessel for the first time, renewing that documentation, reinstating it if necessary, obtaining a mortgage, paying it off, and more, we can help in a variety of ways. 

As you may know, vessels can be documented if they are wholly owned by American citizens and they measure more than five net tons. Vessels must be documented if they are used in fishery or coastwise trade through the navigable waters of the United States or the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). For further questions, we encourage sending an email to 

Initial Vessel Documentation 

This form allows you to document your vessel for the first time. Complete this if you have never documented your vessel in North Carolina or any other state. Using this form to attempt to renew documentation, reinstate it, or for any other purpose is forbidden. 

Abstract of Title 

A USCG Abstract of Title contains information about a vessel’s chain of ownership, mortgages/liens against their vessel and their status, the vessel’s build, and much more information. 


Reinstate your vessel documentation if it expired 30 or more days previously. Completing this form will NOT allow for vessel documentation renewal. 


For boat documentation renewal, complete this form. Renew vessel documentation for one, two, three, four, or up to five years. Vessel documentation cannot be renewed if it expired 30 or more days ago. In such a circumstance, it can only be reinstated. 

Certified Copy (COD) 

For a USCG certified copy of your Certificate of Documentation, complete this form. Vessel documentation is not valid if your Certificate of Documentation has been lost or mutilated. 


Boat documentation can be replaced with this form. A Certificate of Documentation that has been mutilated, lost, or similar, is not valid and must be replaced to stay in compliance. 

Transfer/Exchange of USCG Documentation 

Should you wish to make a change/transfer in the vessel’s ownership, complete this form. Examples include changing the managing owner, the vessel being transferred to a new individual, trust, or company, removing/adding a spouse, and selling it to another party. 

Preferred Ship’s Mortgage 

Should there be a default, this mortgage has a maritime lien status. As such, it enjoys a certain priority. To apply for this mortgage, complete this Preferred Ship Mortgage form. 

Satisfaction/Release of Mortgage/Lien 

Once you have paid off a lien and/or mortgage against your vessel, complete this Satisfaction of Mortgage form. Rush processing is available for expedited service. 

Change of Vessel Name and/or Hailing Port 

Changing the name of a boat as well as the port it hails from is possible with this form. Names that are the same as obscene words or those used to solicit assistance when on the water, whether actually or phonetically, are prohibited. Names must consist of only Latin alphabet letters and Arabic or Roman numerals. 33 characters are the maximum length for a name. 

Deletion (COD) 

Completing this Certificate of Deletion – Vessel removes it from the Coast Guard Registry. This is the appropriate vessel documentation if a vessel is no longer serviceable, has been sold to foreign citizens, or has been lost. 

Change of Trade Indicator/Endorsements 

This vessel documentation form allows for changing the endorsement/trade indicator on your Certificate of Registration. “Recreation” is only for using a vessel for pleasure. “Registry” is typically for foreign trade. “Fishery” is for commercial fishing operations, while “Coastwise” endorsement requirements include transporting people and/or merchandise on the navigable waters of the United States and/or the Exclusive Economic Zone. 

Change of Address

When your address has changed from what is currently on your registration, complete this Coast Guard Vessel Documentation Change of Address form. Expedited service is available by opting for rush processing. 

Notice of Claim of Lien (NCL) 

Applying for a Notice of Claim of Lien with this form does not guarantee that your claim is valid or that it is enforceable. Contacting private legal counsel is recommended before applying. 

Foreign Vessel Title Search Request/Transcript of Registry 

Obtained information about a documented vessel in the Bahamas, Canada, the United Kingdom, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands with this form. 

MARAD Small Vessel Waiver 

A MARAD waiver waives the American-built requirement for the operation of commercial passenger vessels in the United States. With this waiver, vessel owners can operate a foreign-built vessel for the purposes of limited commercial passenger operations. 

Waiver eligibility is exclusive to vessels that are three years old minimum, owned by an American citizen, and will only be used to transport passengers. Specifically, the vessel, while in operation, can never carry more than twelve passengers. 

Vessel Documentation Search 

A boat documentation search of the USCG database can be performed here. 

Document Upload 

For USCG documentation purposes, documents such as wills, previous Certificates of Documentation, and more can be uploaded through this portal. 

North Carolina Coast Guard Vessel Documentation for All 

The above vessel documentation forms can be used anywhere in America and not just in North Carolina. Opting for rush processing expedites the process, putting your documents at the top of our queue. Each of these forms can be completed from anywhere and on any device, due to the mobile optimization of this website. Safe journeys to you and yours.