When Do USCG Documented Vessels Need State Registration?

When a USCG-documented vessel must be registered in a state and what makes a USCG document vessel exempt, boating is two of the most perplexing parts. One reason for the ambiguity is that numerous elements must be considered while making this assessment, including the fact that state waters are involved and whether a section of the law applies (Sections 21 or 20). The sort of vessel you own.

The specific circumstances of each case will always determine whether or not a USCG vessel has to be registered with the State. Even if two boats are otherwise similar, various degrees of state registration may be required. In order to get the most out of the process, owners should be aware of local state legislation and engage with a type-approved surveyor. This essay aims to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding this issue and provide some examples of when state registration is required for USCG-documented boats.

USCG Documented Vessels

When The Vessel Is Operated for Commercial Purposes

Every State where your USCG documented vessel will be doing business will need registration if it is being used for commercial reasons according to mass.gov. On the other hand, a recreational boat does not need to be registered in every State in which it sails if it satisfies the criteria of one. Owners of USCG documented vessels must provide documentation from the USCG demonstrating that their boat does not fit USCG’s definitions of recreational boating.

Form CG-1263 Part I or Part II contains this information. You should make this information readily available to prospective purchasers and state registration offices if they desire to verify your claim that your yacht does not need to be registered in their jurisdiction. A person who is wounded aboard a commercial fishing vessel is likely to be held liable, even if they are exempt from this duty. As a result, owners of big ocean-going boats that go to other states less than once a week will still be obliged to register their vessels in every State.

When The Vessel Is Used to Carry Passengers for Hire

You may be wondering whether this exemption doesn’t apply to your USCG documented vessel if you use it for passenger transport or only for fishing. If you operate a boat that transports passengers for a fee, you may be obliged to register it with your State’s authorities. Every boat owner must register their watercraft with their State’s department of motor vehicles division if mandated by state or federal law. To begin, you’ll need to determine your location’s maritime rules and the specific kind of boat you possess. Here are some basic standards for registering a watercraft with the State, which differ from State to State. More than six passengers aboard a USCG-documented vessel necessitates the issuance of a state registration certificate by a specific state.

When The Vessel Exceeds 26 Feet in Length

State registration is something that a USCG vessel owner has to check annually. All vessels must be registered by state law within 30 days of the boat gaining propulsion power. There are many advantages to registering a boat with the State of origin, but it is not necessary in some cases. It’s easy to determine if your USCG-documented boat needs to be registered with your State. For starters, make sure that the vessel is 26 feet long. State registration is not required if the boat is less than 26 feet long.

In most cases, a state registration must be obtained if the boat is 26 feet or longer. Recreational vessels must be registered in the State where they are moored if they are longer than 26 feet. The decal must be displayed on both sides of the boat for recreational vessels. The State has made this process simple for boat owners by making the decals available online at any authorized license agent. A USCG-documented boat over 26 feet in length should be registered with the State. The Waterways Commission requires a state-issued title certificate and an annual registration fee (SWC).

When The Ownership of The USCG Documented Vessel Changes

Changes in ownership of a USCG vessel may need re-registration. When a ship’s owner dies, or the vessel is sold, this is frequently the case. When it comes to registering watercraft, each State has its own set of laws and regulations. To be safe, it’s best to get the vessel registered if it’s going to a new owner who’ll be based in another state. This may be a problem for USCG-documented boats since the residence requirements for each onboard vessel will vary per State. Many owners (e.g., many people who co-own a vessel) may lead to multiple ownership changes within 12 months, although this is possible because of the dates on which the ownership was transferred.

Commercial boat owners may not be required to register their vessels in every State they operate. There are times when “you don’t need to register” isn’t quite as simple as it seems. For an exemption, a vessel must match a published description, fulfill particular length and tonnage limits and be used only for domestic commerce. Contact us at 1-800-535-8570 if you have any issues regarding registering.