USCG Forms for the Life of Your Vessel

Are you unsure which USCG forms are right for your vessel? Does it feel like every year or so there’s another form of documentation you have to get for your boat and you aren’t sure what it is? That’s not just you. The truth is that vessel documentation can seem confusing and opaque even to people who have spent most of their lives on the water. Below, we’ve laid out a very “broad strokes,” simplified version of which documents you might need for what stage of vessel ownership. Obviously, every owner and vessel is different, so your situation may vary. 

Before You Purchase Your Vessel 

Before you buy a vessel, you want to know as much about it as possible. That’s why we offer an “Abstract of Title.” While the name may sound a little, well, abstract, the truth is that this document can get you the whole truth and nothing but the truth about a vessel. So, if you have your eye on one particular vessel, you can use this form to find out if there are any liens, mortgages, or other important facts that you should know before making your decision. The more info you have, the better a decision you can make. 

USCG Forms

Initial (or Renewed) Documentation 

Once you’ve acquired the vessel, then it might be time to determine whether or not you want to document it. If you decide to do so (or you have to do so), the first task is to get into compliance. That means either getting the initial documentation or renewing your documentation. From there, you can use our site to renew it for many years to come. The other forms on this list come subsequent to this documentation. So, if you have this, you can get the others. 

USCG Forms for After You’ve Documented It 

A vessel of practically any kind is a substantial investment. That’s true whether you’re using your vessel for recreation, business, or any other purpose. Getting financing is a great way to have the vessel of your dreams. However, for the most part, banks are going to want you to get your vessel documented before you get a loan. Beyond that, we also have “Preferred Ship’s Mortgage” forms available. That way, you can have your vessel as well as your financial security. 

Forms for Life and Wherever the Journey May Take You 

Once you’ve gotten the vessel you’ve always wanted (as well as the documentation) it can be the end of one journey and the beginning of another. No matter where that journey takes you, you’ll be able to find the forms for it at our site. If you need to change your address, your hailing port, the name of your vessel, or anything else, you’ll be able to do that easier through our site. When it comes time to buy another vessel (or sell this one) you’ll find the forms you need for that at the Maritime Documentation Center, too. To learn more: (800) 535-8570.