US Boat Registry is Easier to Join Than it Seems

If you’re a new vessel owner, then you are probably just learning about the US boat registry. This will be very important for you to be aware of since it’s very likely that you will need to register your vessel in it and obtain a certificate of documentation. It’s understandable that you might have questions about this process at some point, but don’t worry about that. It’s actually pretty similar to the way you register your car.

What is the US Boat Registry?

Similarly to the car registry that you might find at the DMV, the United States Coast Guard keeps a full list of registered boats in the United States. This allows them to keep an ongoing current list of all registered boats, as well as their purpose and standing. Not only is this there to keep track of all registered boats, but it also helps potential buyers learn information about the vessels they are taking a look at. However, it’s important to know that not all vessels need to be on the registry.

register a boat

What Vessels Need to Be Registered?

All commercial vessels need to be registered with the United States Coast Guard and obtain a certificate of documentation. Although not precisely mandatory for recreational vessels, it is recommended that these also get a certificate. Obtaining the necessary documentation to join the US boat registry provides the owner with evidence of the nationality of a vessel. Additionally, this can help boat owners provide mortgage status to lenders if they are looking into financing a vessel. Although it sounds like a lot of work or a lot of bureaucracy, you don’t have to worry about that. Our mission here at the Maritime Documentation Center is to make the process of joining the boat registry easier for vessel owners.

What Vessels Are Exempt from the Register?

As previously mentioned, recreational vessels don’t exactly have to obtain a certificate of documentation with the Coast Guard even if it’s often recommended for them to do so. These are not the only ones, though. Vessels that don’t operate on the navigable waters of the US, or in the fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone don’t have to be documented. Additionally, those that are already coastwise-qualified, no-self-propelled vessels that are used in coastal trade in a harbor, in the rivers, lakes, waters, or canals of an American state (with the exception of the Great Lakes). Different registration is needed according to the different circumstances of vessels in these situations.

Join the US Boat Registry

If you need help with joining the US boat registry, or with any other matter related to boating documentation, don’t stress, because we are here to help. On our website, you will be able to find all the necessary forms to apply for all sorts of documentation, registration, and changes without having to deal with the actual Coast Guard bureaucracy.  Do you have questions about a process and are looking to learn more about how we can help? Give us a call at 1-800-535-8570 or send us an email. We are here to guide you through your vessel registration.