What is Vessel Documentation Reinstatement?

The United States Coast Guard has a program called Vessel documentation Reinstatement that enables boat owners to maintain their current documentation even if they do not use their vessel annually. It could be challenging to keep the active status of your documents if you own a vessel you do not use regularly. To maintain your paperwork up to date, however, you may do so by participating in this program and paying a reduced monthly charge. This is a fantastic alternative to consider for boat owners who do not have the opportunity to utilize their boats often or who reside in a region where it is difficult to go out on the water during the winter. The following is a list of the conditions that must be met before the United States Coast Guard may restore a vessel’s documentation:

You Must Have Current Liability Insurance on Your Boat

Having liability insurance on your boat is a must for registering it with the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will take away your registration if you don’t have insurance or if your insurance lapses; if you don’t get new insurance within a specific time, the Coast Guard will have to seize your boat. This is problematic in a variety of ways. You can’t get your boat back from the Coast Guard unless you have it registered again, and you can’t do that until you acquire liability insurance and provide proof that it’s been in place for 30 days. Following 30 days without insurance coverage, you must verify with an insurance agent that you will be covered again no later than 14 days after the date of purchase. Depending on how long the Coast Guard has seized your boat, it might cost a substantial amount of missed time and money.

Your Vessel Must Be Seaworthy and Meet All Safety Requirements

Boat owners have to deal with renewing their paperwork every few years. You may have done this before, especially if you’re a long-time boat owner like me. If you pay attention first, you know that having your boat registered is no picnic since several potential snags might derail your application. Your reinstatement application will be rejected if you cannot provide a certificate or binder proving that you are covered by insurance. There will be no acceptance of the altered paperwork number for your boat. No matter how you spell it, the number on the boat’s hull must correspond precisely to the information on the hull itself (state, city, length) (i.e., five digits instead of six). The Coast Guard will begin its inspection to determine whether or not your vessel is seaworthy after those issues are resolved, and you’ve submitted all the information asked on the application.

Your Name Must Not Appear on the National Hold List for the Vessel Documentation Reinstatement

All vessel reinstatements for the United States Coast Guard are handled by the National Vessel Documentation Center, often known as the NVDC. Regarding recertification, there are a few standards to meet, but the one that stands out as the most crucial is that your name cannot be found on the National Hold List. This list is a register of individuals whose activities have been deemed illegal in character and who have been barred from owning or running a vessel due to their conduct. If your name appears on this list, you will not be able to get a certification for a vessel operated by the Coast Guard. Several helpful resources can be found online that can guide you through bringing your boat back into compliance with the coast guard’s regulations.

You Must Have a Valid Certificate of Inspection

Provided the official Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for your boat has either expired or become invalid, you may be able to have your Vessel documentation Reinstatement if it has been determined that your boat complies with the current inspection requirements. If you own a boat, you do not need to have a Certificate of Inspection produced when you buy a new boat; this step is only required if you want to register the vessel in your name. In order to register and title your yacht in the state where it is permanently moored, you will need to provide that state with a Certificate of Inspection first. 

The fact that your Certificate of Inspection has expired or is invalid won’t have any impact on the restrictions enforced by the coast guard concerning the usage of your boat, but it will prohibit you from registering your vessel with the state. Suppose your Certificate of Inspection has expired, but you still have a Temporary Certificate of Inspection that has not yet expired. In that case, you should be able to register your vehicle with the state with only the temporary certificate.

Vessel Documentation Reinstatement

You Must Pay All Delinquent Fees and Fines Related To Your Boat Registration

To have your yacht registered anew with the USCG, you must first complete a Vessel documentation Reinstatement. All penalties and costs must be paid in full before you can request to have your boat’s documentation reinstated. Those who want to reinstate their boat’s documentation must contact the local USCG office first. They will record the serial number and other pertinent information about your boat and give you a rundown of what you’ll need to apply. Once the necessary materials have been gathered, the U.S. Coast Guard will forward your application to the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC). The NVDC will review your application; if it is, you will get a “Receipt Number” from them. Once you have this number, you can legally use the boat again.

Vessel documentation is a process that any boat owner must go through to operate their vessel on the water legally. For example, if you can’t find your documentation or want to learn more about the process, contact the Maritime Documentation Center today at 800-535-8570 for more.