Understanding the CG 1280 Renewal Form

Your Certificate of Documentation is an important form that goes along with owning and operating a boat. This document must be renewed on a regular basis, which protects you and the other people out on the water. It’s a fairly simple process and requires filling out a renewal form and paying a fee. Called the CG 1280, this renewal form has some considerations that go along with it. Keep reading to find out what they are. 

When to Submit

Submitting your CG 1280 renewal form in a timely manner is vital. You must do so before your current Certificate of Documentation expires. If the document is out of date, you may not be able to operate your boat and could face fines and penalties if you are caught without current paperwork. Be sure you file your renewal with plenty of time for processing. Give yourself a few weeks of leeway when you submit so that you aren’t docked due to expired documentation. 

What Documentation to Include

For successful approval of your Certificate of Documentation renewal, you will need to have specific information on hand. There are laws and regulations set forth by the United States Coast Guard regarding foreign-built boats, as well as those used for commerce, such as commercial fishing. Be sure you have any associated paperwork on hand when you file your CG 1280 to prove that your boat meets the Coast Guard requirements. This could be a waiver or endorsement that goes along with your boat. You’ll also need to include the name of your boat, official numbers, and other data that identifies it.

Inspection Reports

Your CG 1280 form may not be approved if you don’t meet all state, local, and federal requirements. That includes having an inspection that checks the list and ensures that you do meet all of them. Keep your inspection reports handy and in an easy-to-access location that is safe and dry, so you can offer them if requested when you file for a renewal of your Certificate of Documentation. You might consider keeping a copy on your boat and a copy elsewhere so you’re covered. Your 1280 form won’t be eligible if you have not passed an inspection in the last 24 months. 

CG 1280

Is Registration Required?

If you have an active registration for your boat, it lets the Coast Guard know that information regarding the boat is already in their system. You cannot register your boat in more than one jurisdiction so if it’s already currently registered, that step is not necessary for renewal. If that’s the case, you can simply carry on with the CG form 1280 to renew your Certificate of Documentation without going through the registration process first. However, if the boat is registered, but not yet in your name, you will need to complete that transfer to proceed. 

Filling out and submitting a CG 1280 renewal form is a fairly simple and straightforward process that can be done online. You can also pay the associated fees online. If you need help facilitating the process of finding the form, contact the Vessel Register Center today. We’re here to help.