As the owner of a USCG boat, you must be familiar with Coast Guard boat requirements that must be adhered to maintain your vessel in compliance with the federal government’s restrictions. Following the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, the United States Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing several maritime safety laws, such as licensing and paperwork prerequisites (46 USC subtitle III). You must be aware of the paperwork requirements that must be followed to maintain your vessel in compliance with federal rules if you are the owner or operator of a Coast Guard boat. These criteria may be found in the Coast Guard Boat Operating Manual. You need to be aware of what is expected of you to avoid incurring any potential consequences, including civil and criminal sanctions. Here are some of the most essential Coast Guard boat requirements to follow:
Registration with the United States Coast Guard is necessary for vessels, even those used for leisure purposes and small commercial boats. Registered one’s boat is considered one of the USCG’s most essential Coast Guard boat requirements. These papers note the name and address of the boat’s owner, in addition to the dimensions and classification of the vessel. If the boat owner does not have these papers, they risk being punished for operating a vessel that is not registered. It is mandatory to affix a unique identifying number known as a USCG Hull Identification Number to any vessel that does not have a current Certificate of Documentation (HIN). This number is stamped on the transom and is shown on any paperwork that the USCG requires. In an emergency, the HIN is kept in several other locations around the boat, including on life preservers and in several different compartments and lockers.
Certificate Of Inspection as One of The Coast Guard Boat Requirements
You can apply for a Certificate of Inspection (COI) and ensure that you comply with all Coast Guard regulations with the help of a certified marine surveyor and your state’s DMV. The process is relatively straightforward, but knowing exactly what you need to do and what documentation you need to present is essential. An updated Certificate of Inspection (COI) must be on file for your boat at all times. The COI for your boat must be renewed every five years, so ensure you have all the necessary paperwork. An authorized representative of the Coast Guard should sign and stamp the CVI. You won’t be able to register or insure your boat if you don’t have this paperwork and stamp. Owners of boats older than five years can use this free service to find out how to get in touch with them.
Hull Identification Number (HIN)
The United States Coast Guard provides a one-of-a-kind identifier known as a Hull Identification Number (HIN) to every vessel constructed in the country. It is required that the HIN be permanently attached to the hull and that it be legible from the outside of the vessel. It is forbidden to paint over, disguise, or otherwise hide it in any manner. If your boat has a legitimate HIN, you are obligated to have a copy of it visibly displayed aboard the watercraft at all times. The owner of each vessel is the one who is responsible for keeping their registration up to date and making sure that they adhere to all USCG regulations. Suppose you have just purchased a vessel but do not yet have its registration. In that case, the US Coast Guard strongly recommends that you get the registration as soon as possible and bring all of your paperwork needs up to date as soon as it is practicable.
Proof Of Ownership
The proof of ownership necessary for your vessel depends on what you want to use it for. In order to sell it, you will need the seller’s title and a bill of sale from the transaction. You’ll need the original title or proof of title if you want to retain it. Until the boat meets Coast Guard standards and any liens against it are cleared, you cannot register it in your name and obtain a title. You’ll need a Certificate of Documentation if you wish to retain it and utilize it professionally. All criteria have been satisfied, and any outstanding liens have been paid or transferred; thus, your USCG regional office issues this certificate. An application form and proof of compliance with Coast Guard boat requirements are needed to get this certificate of compliance.
Maintain Updated Copies of Your Documentation Files
In order to operate a watercraft lawfully in the United States, you’ll need to have special equipment on board. All of this equipment is recorded in some way. Vessels of various sizes and purposes need different paperwork. Vessels smaller than 26 feet in length are exempt from Coast Guard boat requirements. State registration is sufficient; however, Coast Guard documentation is not required. When you register your yacht, you’ll often get a registration number and, in some instances, a title. To lawfully operate a 26-foot or bigger boat in United States waters, you will require a document issued by the Coast Guard. A recreational boat documentation certificate, a commercial documentation certificate, or a commercial certificate of number are options available to you. Before you may acquire one from the Coast Guard, you must comply with all of its specific laws and regulations.
Applying for Coast Guard Documentation is simpler than ever since the USCG makes essential information readily accessible. We’ve done the legwork for you by narrowing down your options when filing your paperwork. We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to ask! We’d love to hear from you at (800) 535-8570 / (508) 325-7291.