The Basics – How to Register Your Boat in the United States

Once you make the decision to purchase a recreational pleasure craft such as a yacht, there are steps you need to take leading up to and during your purchase. All the typical procedures you would expect, such as choosing the boat, securing financing, and signing ownership documents, are certainly part of what you need to do leading up to the sale. You also may want or have to look into what you must do so you can register your vessel with the Coast Guard. While registration of a recreational vessel is not mandatory, many lenders make it a condition of getting financing, and you may need to do this. Knowing the basics of how to register your boat will help you perform the task more efficiently so you can get the documents you need.

how to register your boat

The First Step to Register

The first step in registration will be to gather the necessary documents you need to provide to the Coast Guard. Part of registration involves providing proof that you are a United States citizen. The Coast Guard accepts various forms of identification that you can use, including things like a valid passport, driver’s license, or military ID. You must also have your bill of sale so that you can show that you are the owner of the vessel you are seeking to document. You will also want to have information regarding your boat so that you can complete the forms accurately before you submit them. If your application has errors on it, you will get the form back and have to start the process all over again.

The Coast Guard and Your Boat

Dealing with the Coast Guard is a necessary evil when you learn how to register your boat. It can be a frustrating process at times, mainly because initial registration must be filled out and mailed directly to the Coast Guard instead of filed electronically. This means you must submit your form, your supporting documents, and your payment information via mail and wait for a reply. This can leave you worried about the privacy and security of your data. You also will not have any way of knowing when you can expect to get a response or your documentation.

The Safer Way to Register

If you want the best way to see how to register your boat, you want to come to us at the Maritime Documentation Center. Our job is to make dealing with the Coast Guard better for boat owners like yourself. We are an outside agency that assists with the processing of paperwork to the Coast Guard. We provide you with the safest method for you to register your vessel. You will find everything you need available on our website so you can fill out forms, upload documents, and supply payment information on our encrypted servers. The forms are sent to us so our experts can check them for you before we pass them on to the Coast Guard for final approval. Use our services and you will see that we offer the method you want to use for registration.