What is USCG and Other Pertinent Questions

Have you been researching online what you need for your vessel and found all these comments about the “USCG” but aren’t sure what is USCG? Do you feel like each of the rules for how vessels get documented are a bit hard to follow? Much of what we do at the Maritime Documentation Center is focused on education. We’ve found that the more folks know about the rules regarding vessel documentation, the better a position they’re in to do what’s necessary for their vessels. Below, we answer some common questions that we’re often asked. 

So, What is USCG? 

“USCG” is an acronym for the United States Coast Guard. That’s the maritime security, search and rescue branch of the United States Armed Forces. The reason that you see so many references to “USCG documentation” is that they’re the “powers that be” when it comes to your documentation. Our site is dedicated to making it that much easier for regular people to get all of their documentation done right, to simplify the process. 

Do I Need to Get My Number on the Side of My Vessel? 

No, not if you’ve documented your vessel. Undocumented vessels (that have been registered with state organizations) tend to have their numbers on the vessel. Documented vessels are not required to do that. However, documented vessels are required to mark their name and hailing port. The vessel name can’t be longer than 33 characters, nor can it have something that may be similar to, in spelling or sound, any word that “solicits assistance at sea,” or is obscene, indecent, etc. A good rule of thumb: if you have to ask yourself “is this too obscene,” it probably is. 

If I’ve Documented My Vessel, I Don’t Need to Worry About State Jurisdiction, Right? 

Actually, you do. A documented vessel still has to comply with the laws of the state in which the vessel is operated. That may mean that you have to register your vessel or show some kind of state decals (to show that you’ve complied with the state requirements) or that kind of thing. We understand how confusing that can be. That’s why, here at the Maritime Documentation Center, we have a team of professionals who can take your calls, answer your questions, and help you to be in compliance. 

What Makes the Maritime Documentation Center Different From Other, Similar Places? 

To put it simply, we’re on the side of vessel owners. That means that we want to do everything we can to make this sometimes confusing process easier. So, we employ document processors. That way, if there’s any little typo, any tiny mistake, they’ll fix them in a hurry. By that same token, we make it easier to hang onto your documentation too, as you can renew for up to three years in just a press of a button with us. To see all of the different forms that we offer (and it’s a lot) just head to our site. For more, call (800) 535-8570 or fill out our contact form.