“Documentation” is a form of vessel registration through the U.S. Coast Guard. This certificate/title for the vessel is on a national/federal level, as opposed to State titling. USCG title is proof of ownership and authentication of the vessel’s origin.

The United State Coast Guard (USCG) National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) has announced rollout of an expanded online ordering system, expected to be launched this summer, 2022. The new eStorefront, accessible through the website, will provide customers with a more efficient means of electronically applying for products/documents directly with the USCG Documentation Center. Not all items and services offered by NVDC will be immediately available since online enhancements are planned to rollout in phases over the next 12 months.

Recreational vessels 5 net tons and over may secure USCG documentation. The USCG certificate is internationally recognized and makes it easier for American vessels to enter and leave foreign ports. A bank may also require the certification if the boat was purchased with a bank loan and the lender required it.

To document your vessel or renew your USCG documentation, go to www.uscg.mil/nvdc and click on “instruction and forms,” then the appropriate selection such as “Initial Vessel Documentation” or “Certificate of Documentation Application for Renewal.” Other choices are included in the list like change of address, replacement, release of mortgage etc.

Payment for documentation can be made by credit card, check, or money order payable to the U.S. Coast Guard and must accompany the application. A fillable form for documentation is currently available online at www.pay.gov/public/form/start/1175233. Application can also be mailed to: United States Coast Guard, National Vessel Documentation Center, 792 T. J. Jackson Drive, Falling waters, WV  25419.

Photo: USCG National Vessel Documentation Center