When do You Need a Reinstatement Form and How to Complete it

As you probably know if your boat is registered with the USCG (United States Coast Guard), the certificate of documentation you were awarded when you decided to license your vessel with the government department, will expire after a certain period. How long your certificate is valid depends on a variety of factors, and it is your responsibility to keep it up to date by informing the USCG of any changes in your situation and renewing the document after the expiration date. When you are passed that date, you will need to submit a reinstatement form instead. Let us dig a little bit deeper into the subject in this article.

Some Clarifications About Registered Vessels

Vessels that exceed the net weight of 5 tons (that is usually around 26 feet) are the only ones that can be registered with the USCG. Boats used commercially (and surpassing that tonnage) are mandated to get this type of license, and their certificate of documentation will need to be renewed yearly. Recreational vessels over the mentioned weight limit can decide whether they want to be registered federally or not (regardless of their state registration). If they do, their certificate of documentation will be valid for five years.

Let us clear something up: until 2019, recreational vessel owners needed to renew their certificates yearly, the same way commercial boat owners did. Soon after that, from 2019 until December 31, 2021, recreational vessel owners had the chance of deciding how long they wanted their certificate to be valid, between 1 and 5 years. The new law, beginning in 2022, states that recreational Certificates of Documentation are only issued for a validity period of five years. Now that we have straightened this out, let us show you when you will need to begin your renewal process and when you will need a reinstatement form instead.

When to Reinstate and When to Renew your Certificate of Documentation

As we told you before, your certificate of documentation (COD) will have an expiration date. That means that you will be USCG registered until that day. You can renew your certificate at any time, although it is recommended that you do it in the period between 60 and 7 days before the expiration date, to keep it the same. If you do it before those 60 days, the expiration date will change, therefore you would be “losing” some days. Furthermore, you have time to renew the certificate up to 30 days past the expiration date, despite the fact you would have to pay a late fee.

31 days after the expiry date of your document you will not be able to renew your COD. Given the case, you will need to reinstate it instead. This process, called reinstatement, returns your vessel to active status. In this situation, the only change you will be able to make to your certificate of documentation is to change the address of the owner of the vessel.


Easy Processing of your Reinstatement Application

The good news is that you do not have to lose any more time dealing with the United States Coast Guard: you can process your reinstatement document directly with us. The task is pretty straightforward and you can do it completely online by just clicking the appropriate form on the left side of our site. Our experienced representatives will be happy to help you with any doubts you may have while completing the application and will make sure you don’t make any mistakes once you submit it, to prevent the document from being delayed. Contact us today for any other information you want to know.