Time for your Boat Documentation Renewal: Here’s What you Need to Know

Every year, or every five years, according to the use you give your vessel, and if you are registered to the United States Coast Guard (USCG) you need to get your boat documentation renewal application. This article will show you how to do it to keep your certificate of documentation (COD) up to date and what you should do if, for some reason or another, the period in which you were supposed to submit your form has already expired.

How Long is Your Certificate of Documentation Valid For

We will begin this article by introducing the USCG. They are a governmental department that administers all of the maritime activity. As such, you can choose to register your boat with them or at a state level. Depending on the state, you might need to get both. Additionally, keep in mind that commercial vessels over 5 net tons do not have the option of choosing whether to get it or not: it is mandatory for them. Recreational vessels, on the other hand, can only get this type of documentation if they exceed that weight.

The certificate you get will then be valid for 1 year for commercial vessels, and, from 2022, recreational vessel certificates can only be obtained for 5 years. As we said before, there is a period for you to get the boat documentation renewal application so, without further ado, let’s get to it.

What to Do if Your Certificate of Documentation Expires

To begin with, you can submit the boat documentation renewal application at any time while your certificate is still valid (that means before the expiration date). However, the best period for you to do it is two months before that date. 

There is a reason behind that: When you do it before the expiration date, your new certificate will now have the date of your application, so you would be “losing” some days the document would still be valid for. In addition to that, you can also get this document up to a month after the paperwork is no longer valid, with the aggregate that, on this occasion, you would have to pay a late fee as well.

Once those 30 days are over, you can no longer renew the certificate. You will need to go through a whole different process instead. That process is called reinstatement, and it will return the vessel documentation to active status.  

Time for your Boat Documentation Renewal Here s What you Need to Know

All of Your Forms in One Place

Whether you need to process a boat documentation renewal, reinstatement, or any other type of vessel paperwork, you can access all of them at our site, the Maritime Documentation Center. Our platform allows you to get any type of boating application completely online, as we will take care of dealing with the USCG on your behalf. Additionally, your details will be kept confidential, as our website is SSL-encrypted. Finally, we will make sure that no mistakes are made, given that our experienced staff will overlook your submitted applications to prevent them from being delayed. Contact us today and clear all of your doubts!