We have plenty of blogs on this site about how to get your initial vessel documentation. We also have several about how to renew your vessel’s documentation. These subjects come up often, as they’re tasks that boat owners do quite a bit, so we tend to focus on them. One thing we’re always clear about at the Maritime Documentation Center is that we know that people’s lives can change. You make plans, and then things happen. That’s part of the reason that we offer so many different kinds of documentation options: so that you and your vessel are prepared for whatever’s coming next. In this blog, we’ll go over boat documentation reinstatement: when you might need it, when you might not, and how we can help.
Boat Documentation Reinstatement
When you get your vessel documented, it can feel like the end of a long journey. Maybe you’re the first owner of your vessel, perhaps you’re buying it used, but when you get that documentation in your name, many boat owners get a feeling of: “I did it. I’m officially a vessel owner.” However, that’s not the end of the process. Yes, your vessel is documented, but you still need to maintain that documentation. It has to be renewed every year. If you don’t get it renewed, then the documentation expires. In fact, if your vessel documentation is thirty days past the date of expiration, then you have to reinstate your documentation.
Reinstatement, not Renewal
Over the years, we’ve had so many vessel owners tell us: “can’t I just renew my vessel documentation once it’s expired?” You can’t do that thirty days after the expiration date. It’s a vessel, not a library book. At that point, the legal way to get your vessel documented again is to apply for reinstatement. We understand the impulse to want to be able to just renew the documentation, but if thirty days have passed since the date it expired, then you have to go through the process of reinstatement. We put that in all capital letters in red font on our site for a reason: we want to make that as clear as possible.
What Reinstatement is, and what it isn’t
Reinstatement is not renewal, but it’s not just documentation, either. We can provide you with what you need for reinstatement. Should you need to get vessel documentation again, we encourage you to do it through our site. However, should you do that, filling out the form on our site isn’t enough to just give you documentation by itself. You have to fill out the form and then get the information back. Filling out the form isn’t enough by itself. We mention this only because we hate to see our customers get into trouble when they’re boarded or asked for documentation.
Reinstatement at Our Site
We’ve tried to make the reinstatement process as easy as possible at our site. Just go to our home page, and then click on “Reinstatement” on the left side, in full capital letters. Then, you’ll see that we’ve put everything you need into one place. Be sure to read the disclaimer at the top. Filling out this form is the first step, not the final one. If you’ve used our services before, then you may notice how similar this form looks to many others that we offer at our site. Fill it out completely, to the best of your ability, and then send it in. You’re well on your way to reinstatement.
Once you’ve gotten your vessel documentation back, it can feel like you’re back in control of your vessel. Many of our customers who have gone through the process of reinstatement don’t want to have to go through it again. We’ve made that easier for them, too. If you click on our “renewal” link and scroll down, you’ll see that you can renew your documentation for the coming year… but we also provide the option to renew your documentation for future years, too. In fact, you can document your vessel for up to five additional years. That’s half a decade of renewal, all in one click.
Should you choose to do that, then you won’t have to worry about going back through the reinstatement process again or anything like that. Instead, you can give yourself one less thing to worry about. That’s a big part of what we hope to offer our customers: increased peace of mind. When you have a documented vessel, maritime business or the like, you’re plenty busy. You have quite a lot to worry about. Your documentation shouldn’t be on that list. That’s why we make our services as easy to use as we can. To see everything that we can offer you in terms of vessel documentation and more, head to our site or give us a call at (800) 535-8570.