Where are the Documented Boat Names Stored?

The documentation boat names are stored in the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC). It is a vital institution under the umbrella of the USCG. It serves as the custodian of maritime records, where the official documentation of vessels, including their names, is meticulously stored and managed. The good thing is that you can access its database using our search tool on this site. 

How are Documented Boat Names Stored in the Database of NVDC? 

Not all boat names are registered in this database. The only ones stored here are the boat names documented with the USCG. If you access its database and you find that your boat is not in the database, then it is pretty clear that your boat is not documented. 

Documentation Eligibility 

Keep in mind that not all boats are stored in the NVDC database. The reason for this is that only boats that are at least five net tons can be documented. Thus, before you initiate the documentation process, make sure that your boat is eligible for documentation. 

How to Obtain Documentation? 

In addition to the tonnage requirement, you must present ownership documentation. You should prove that you are the owner of the boat in question. To prove that, you may submit a bill of sale, builder’s certificate, and other acceptable documents to establish a clear chain of ownership. 

Verify Eligibility of Boat Name 

Ensure that the chosen boat name is eligible for documentation. That is, the name must be unique. It is not in use by another documented vessel. The NVDC has specific guidelines on eligible names. 

Prepare Application Form 

There is no need to print the form to apply for USCG documentation. Just go to our renewal or initial form and fill in your details. Make sure that the details are correct. Then, pay the appropriate fee and submit the form to us. You should also attach the necessary documents to facilitate the process. Our staff will review the documents and your application to review the veracity of the details you submitted. Remember that an error in the application can mean a delay in the processing of your documentation. If there are errors, we will contact you for clarification. Once everything is perfect, we will submit the form to the NVDC. 

Why Document Your Boat? 

Obtaining a certificate of documentation (COD) can serve as proof of your boat’s nationality and ownership. It establishes that the boat is owned by you or a US citizen. It provides a clear legal standing for the boat. 

International Travel 

Although the primary use of a documented boat is for coastwise or domestic trade, the COD enables a vessel to travel internationally. It serves as an internationally recognized document that verifies the vessel’s nationality and facilitates its entry into foreign ports. 

Commercial Activities 

For vessels involved in certain commercial activities, such as fisheries, the COD is a requirement. It enables the boat to engage in specific commercial operations in US waters. 

Documented Boat Names

Ready to Start Your Application? 

Documenting your boat with the USCG offers tons of benefits. If you wish your boat to be included in the documented boat names database, make sure to start applying for documentation now. But your boat must be eligible for documentation. If it is, go ahead and fill out the initial documentation form on the left side of this page.