Vessel Documentation Cost for Renewing or Initial Documentation

One of the many questions of new boat owners is the process of documentation. “Should I document it? What if I don’t plan to use it in international waters? How much will I pay for the documentation?” If you also wonder about these things, then this post is for you. Below, you will find some answers about vessel documentation costs whether you are renewing it or first time documenting it. 

Vessel Documentation Cost – Renewal and Initial 

If you own a recreational vessel, you may elect to document your boat. You may also consider extending the expiration date of renewed CODs for up to 5 years. However, if you have a commercial vessel, then you cannot renew it and have it documented for multiple years. The cost per renewal is $26, depending on the kind of certificate you need. 

Factors That Determine the Fees 

The documentation fee is determined based on the vessel’s size. Smaller vessels, typically under 30 feet in length, have a lower fee. Larger vessels have a higher fee. The initial cost can run from $89 to $133. But this is not the exact amount. 

Abstract of Title Fee 

This fee covers the cost of obtaining an abstract of title, which is a record of all the recorded ownership transactions for the vessel. This fee is typically around $25. But it can be higher than that. 

Optional Fees

Depending on the vessel’s intended use, you may need to pay additional fees. For instance, if the boat is used for coastwise trade or fisheries, there may be additional charges. 

Costs for Renewing Documentation 

Renewing vessel documentation is a periodic requirement. The costs are typically lower than the initial documentation fees. The primary costs for renewing documentation include: 

Documentation Renewal Fee

The fee is determined based on the boat’s size, similar to the initial documentation fee. It can go from $26 to $79. But this is just an estimate. 

Optional Fees 

As with initial documentation, optional fees may apply depending on the vessel’s use. 

Additional Considerations

Late Renewal Penalty 

It is important to renew your documentation on time to avoid late renewal penalties. These penalties can add additional costs if the renewal deadline is missed. 

Documentation Agent Fees 

Some vessel owners choose to work with documentation agents who assist with the application process. These agents may charge service fees, which vary based on the services provided. 

State Registration 

While federal documentation is available for eligible vessels, some states also require vessel registration. State registration fees are separate from federal documentation costs. 

Understanding the costs associated with vessel documentation is vital for a vessel owner. Whether you are obtaining initial documentation for a new vessel or renewing an existing one, being aware of the fees involved helps ensure compliance with regulations and provides the benefits and protection associated with vessel documentation.

vessel documentation cost

Renew or Initial Documentation 

If you need to renew USCG vessel documentation, you should not hesitate to use the services that we offer here at the Vessel Registrar Center. You can ask our team about the exact vessel documentation cost for your own vessel. Or you may contact us if you need further help. Our experts can guide you through the process depending on the choices you make. We look forward to assisting you in any way we can.