Registering Your Vessel with NVDC Forms

As the owner of a brand-new vessel, you want to show it off, and you also want to protect it, and make sure that it will be safe in US waters. You also want to make sure that if you are stopped by state led marine patrols that you are able to provide them with the information that they request quickly. As you would not drive an undocumented car, it is important that you have the right documentation for the vessel you are operating. This means that if your ship is heavier than five gross tons, you need to apply for a certificate of documentation by filling in the relevant NVDC forms. This is where you may run into difficulty, and could use help in navigating your way around the Documentation Center website.


Certificate of Documentation or State Registration?

Many new boat owners are uncertain whether they need to apply for a certificate of documentation for their vessel, or if they would be better off claiming a state registration only. There are some advantages to state registration, such as the fact you can get this document regardless of size or weight, and that you can get the documentation the same day. However, you have to pay an annual fee for this process, and you will not be fully covered for other states. This effectively limits you to only one area of water, and you are not protected outside of US waters. With a certificate of documentation, you must have a vessel which is over five gross tons, and you will pay a single fee for that certificate. You will be given an official number which will then be applied to the side of your vessel. You will be protected by the Coast Guard, and it is also a form of registration which can be used in foreign ports. Deciding on the right type of security for your vessel is not always easy, and you may benefit from taking the advice of experts.


Documenting a Boat for a Mortgage

One reason why you may wish to document your new vessel is because you have obtained a mortgage in order to afford the boat. Getting financing for your vessel is easier if you have a US Coast Guard certificate of documentation. Known as a preferred ships mortgage, this will be filed with your documentation at the NVDC. The mortgage then becomes a lien on the vessel, and there is tracking for mortgages, the full payment of the mortgage, as well as the satisfaction of the lien. When this process is completed, you will get a certificate showing that the mortgage has been satisfied, and that you are the full owner of the vessel. It is a way to protect your vessel and to get a good mortgage rate when buying a boat.

Getting the Right Documentation

In order to apply for a certificate of documentation, it is important that you understand the restrictions on the vessel. Your boat must be more than five gross tons, and must also be more than 26 feet in length. You must also provide evidence that the vessel is made in the US, and will be owned by US citizens. This is essential whether you are operating the boat as a single owner, or as part of a business or corporation. In the latter case, you will need to provide evidence that the chair and operating officers of the corporation are US citizens. Getting all this information together can be time-consuming, but is necessary if you want to apply for documentation.


Completing NVDC Forms

When you apply for a certificate of documentation, you will be given a series of forms which you must complete filling in order to obtain the certificate. This will ask you a series of questions about the vessel, about you, and any other elements which may influence whether the vessel receives its documentation. You must divulge the necessary information requested, including certificates and evidence of your claims. If you do not provide all of the details required by the form, then it will be rejected, and you will have to start the whole process again.


Get Help with Completing Forms

Filling in forms is tough at the best of times, and when you have a maritime application to complete, you may find it very confusing. You might not know how to answer some of the questions, or what information and evidence you need to provide. If you are struggling to complete your forms, and need help, then the Maritime Documentation Center will assist you in completing the process. Our expert teams can read your forms, and make sure that you have completed them correctly, including supplying all the necessary evidence, before we submit it to the NVDC. For help with completing forms today, send us an email on or talk to a member of staff by calling (800) 535-8570 now.