get coast guard vessel documentation

Do You Need to Get Coast Guard Vessel Documentation?

It is always a sweet experience for you to sign the papers that give you possession of your first large pleasure vessel or commercial vessel. The thought of spending days on the water vacationing or operating your own business on the water is thrilling to you, and you cannot wait to get started. Before you take your vessel out on the water for the first time, you want to make sure that everything is ready from a safety standpoint, and from a regulations standpoint. You may have heard about vessel documentation, and you may wonder if you need to get Coast Guard vessel documentation, or if it is something you can forego.

Understanding What You Need to Get Coast Guard Vessel Documentation

Federal documentation is something that is different from the state registration you may know about. For recreational vessels that are over twenty-six feet, you have the choice of seeking state registration of your vessel or getting documentation for your vessel from the Coast Guard. For commercial vessels, the rules are a bit different. All commercial vessels in the United States, regardless of size, are required to get federal documentation. This regulation provides the Coast Guard and the Office of Homeland Security a listing of all commercial vessels, so they know what vessels are legally in the waters.

coast guard vessel documentation


Filing for Documentation

Whether you have a recreational vessel and want to get Coast Guard vessel documentation, or have a commercial vessel and must have it by law, you can file for your initial documentation through the National Vessel Documentation Center, a division of the Coast Guard. This office handles all the documentation for vessels in the United States. You can download the forms you need from their website and fill them out, and then mail them to the facility. If you are unfamiliar with the forms and terminology, it can seem a bit confusing and complex at first.

We Can Assist with Documentation Processes

If you want assistance filing for Coast Guard vessel documentation for your recreational or commercial boat, contact Maritime Documentation Center to get more information. We are an outside agency that offers filing assistance and capability with the Coast Guard through our online system. You can fill out your forms easily online, supply your supporting documents and fees, and we can check the forms over to make sure everything is accurate and correct and then file them for you with the Coast Guard. Our process is easy to use and helps to make getting documentation much simpler for you.