What is the Difference Between Vessel Renewal and Vessel Reinstatement?

One of the less glamorous sides of being the owner of a boat is definitely the task of making sure that all of your relevant admin and paperwork is in order. It might not be something that you think about when you have visions of fun and adventure on the water, but it is certainly something that comes to mind the moment you are required to present all of your official documentation for inspection! Half of the battle is making sure that you are filling out the right kinds of forms for the right kinds of actions, and it doesn’t help that some of them boast very similar names. With this in mind, here is an explanation of the difference between vessel renewal and vessel reinstatement.

Out Of Documentation For 2 Years

The simple rule to remember on this front is that your Certificate of Documentation will need to be reinstated if it has been two years or more since you last had it renewed. If you need to enter into any US port, then you need to be documented, and this is regardless of whether or not it is already within the country. Your vessel will not be permitted to enter US ports or seas unless you have a valid Certificate of Documentation on file with the US Coast Guard. 

Renewal Isn’t Required If Expiration Date Has Not Passed

The truth is that if your boat was built before 1973  and registered in the USA, then you don’t have to register it with the US Coast Guard. However, if your relevant paperwork expires before the stated purchase date, then you will need to have it reissued. Even if renewal is not necessarily required by the law, it will definitely benefit you to safeguard your interests.

Vessel Renewal

Risk Of Detainment

It is not advised that you make a trip abroad in your vessel with your paperwork about to expire, because it can be the case that upon arrival back to home waters, your boat could be detained by US customs. They will hold your boat until you can provide proof that the paperwork has been renewed or reinstated, whichever is the relevant requirement based on the length of time since the expiration date has been and gone.

Essentially, if you are within the acceptable time frame and want to extend the life of your registered vessel, then you can do so with renewal. If this period of time has passed, then the only option left is to apply for vessel documentation reinstatement.

When you find yourself in need of completion of either a vessel renewal or a vessel reinstatement, then don’t hesitate to utilize the efficiency of service that can be experienced via Vessel Documentation Online. We strive to handle all vessel documentation requests at the fastest rate possible whilst maintaining the highest standards of error and omission checking. Although we cannot guarantee reinstatement, you can feel confident that using our services will be the best way to handle all and any of your vessel documentation needs.