What you Need to Know About the USCG Abstract of Title

Any vessel that was at some point registered with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) generated a type of document that we call “Abstract of Title”. If you are not familiar with this type of paperwork there is no need to stress. No one was born knowing what US Coast documentation is or what you can use the abstract of the title for. Luckily for you, this article will give an answer to both of those questions.

A Brief History of the USCG

Let us begin with the USCG. This is a governmental office responsible for maritime administration. Every state is in charge of the waterways in their territory and the first 3 nautical miles from shore. The US Coast Guard, on the other hand, oversees the seas 200 nautical miles from shore. They do so, by issuing permits for water crafts that want to navigate through those waters, in order to keep a registry. Who exactly needs to get this license? Let us get to that point.

Every vessel that is used for commercial purposes and has a net tonnage of 5 or more is mandated to register with the USCG. If the boat exceeds that same tonnage but its main purpose is recreational, its owners can choose to license with the governmental agency or not. Anyhow, the vessels that get this type of registration will be on the US Coast Guard record and therefore, have their own abstract of title generated. But what is this type of document we have been talking about? Let’s find out next. 

What is Exactly an Abstract of a Title?

In a few words, the abstract of the title is a complete summary of the vessel’s history. Many boat owners consider this one of the biggest advantages of documenting your boat with the USCG. In addition to that, you can also use this document as proof of ownership, given that it states the previous owners of the boats, the modifications that have been made to the title, and any liens or claims that were filed against it.

In addition to that, this particular document can help you verify what the owner is telling you about the boat. This does not mean that he is necessarily trying to deceive you: maybe he doesn’t know all of the previous information about the boat. But if you spot, for instance, that the official or HIN number displayed on the vessel does not match that of the document, well, there must be something dodgy about the boat that you might want to discuss with the owner.

What you Need to Know About the USCG Abstract of Title

All the Forms You Need in One Place

The Abstract of the title, and actually any other type of boat documentation, is readily available for you at the USCG website. Scrolling at their site, you can download any of the forms you need, and then send them via regular post to their offices. Another option is to do it at the Maritime Documentation Center, where you will be able to get it online. Contact us today and we will help you with any other questions you may have!