What You Need to Know About United States Coast Guard Boat Registration if You Are a New Owner

Becoming a new boat owner is a really exciting and thrilling time, but don’t let all your eagerness to get out on the water result in forgetting to tick off all of the admin that makes your ownership 100% legal and official! 

There is plenty of paperwork to complete, especially if you are a brand-new vessel owner, and a lot of it can have to do with registering your vessel’s existence with the all-important United States Coast Guard. Not every single boat has to be registered so it’s important to first establish the status of your vessel and what is required. With this in mind, here is some of the vital information that you need to know regarding United States Coast Guard boat registration.

Who Qualifies For Coast Guard Documentation?

If you are an American citizen and own a boat that measures at least five net tons, then you are eligible for United States Coast Guard documentation. There are, however, some exceptions based on the type of boat that you have, for example, an oil spill response vessel. Something crucial to note is that five net tons is a measurement of volume rather than a measurement of weight. In the majority of cases, boats more than 25 feet in length will usually meet the five-net-ton threshold.

Who Needs To Obtain USCG Documentation?

You need to apply for and secure USCG documentation if you fit into the above-mentioned measurement category, and also intend to use your boat for the purposes of fishing or transporting people/goods within the navigable waters of the United States and/or the Exclusive Economic Zone. There are some exceptions for the likes of dredges and towboats, but this is quite uncommon.

Do You Have To Document Even If It Isn’t Mandatory?

Qualifying size vessels that aren’t destined for fishing or transportation can still apply for Recreational documentation, it is actually the most common category. Many boat owners choose to document their vessel when it isn’t legally required because they are able to take advantage of benefits like tax incentives and the ability to obtain a First Preferred Ship’s Mortgage if needed.

United States Coast Guard Boat Registration

Does Documentation Need To Be Renewed?

Yes, USCG documentation needs to be renewed every year from the date of its original issuance. Those who don’t want to have to go through so much admin annually can also choose to renew for up to five years at a time, which makes the process a twice-a-decade task rather than ten times a decade instead! So, if you are in need of any assistance with the United States Coast Guard boat registration or any of the other essential elements of paperwork and documentation, then don’t hesitate to utilize the services that are on offer at the US Vessel Registrar. Feel free to get in touch with a member of our experienced team and they will be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have. We very much look forward to being able to help you in any way that we can.