Boat Registration – Things You Need to Know

boat registration

Keeping up with the ever-changing boat registration laws in the United States is a must for every boat owner. Keeping your yacht registered and by state and federal rules is covered here. Read on to learn all you need to know about boat registration, whether you are a first-time boat owner or need a refresher. First, what exactly is boat registration, and why is it necessary? State and federal governments demand boat registration to keep tabs on vessels and their owners. 

Getting your boat officially registered is typically straightforward, including filling out paperwork and paying associated costs. However, before registering your yacht, verify with the authorities in your area since additional criteria may differ from state to state. Did you know that you need a current registration to use your boat in U.S. waters? The steps necessary to register a yacht and keep it in good standing are detailed below.

The Vessel Must Be Owned By A US Citizen Or Resident

If you own a boat, the state where it is moored requires that you register it with their government. If you want to move your boat quite quickly, you must ensure that it is registered in every state where you intend to dock it. This is especially important if you intend to move it quite a bit across state lines. To register your boat, you will require a driver’s license or another kind of government-issued identification that is still current. Your social security card and birth certificate are also required pieces of documentation. It is required that the vessel be owned by a citizen or resident of the United States. If there is more than one owner, all of those owners must be present to complete the boat registration process.

The Vessel Must Be Operated Within US Waters Only

If you’ve ever thought about purchasing a boat, you know it’s not as easy as going to the following marine supply shop and picking one out. A boat, or a cheap imitation of a boat, may be obtained from various sources, but in most states, it must be licensed and registered just like any other motor vehicle. Sailboats, motorboats, personal watercraft (jet skis, etc.), and other types of boats are categorized by their intended purpose, while larger boats, those longer than 65 feet, are categorized by their length. 

The former is less challenging to manage since they need just an essential boat registration, which is often done at the county level. Depending on the boat’s intended usage, the state may additionally mandate specific safety equipment or periodic inspections. For instance, if you’re going to use your sailboat for fishing, you’ll need to have a sonar system for monitoring fish. If your boat is longer than 16 feet, it comes under federal authority and needs further paperwork—a Certificate of Documentation.

For Boat Registration, The Vessel Must Have a Valid Hull Identification Number (HIN)

Ensure to verify the legitimacy of a boat before purchasing it. You don’t want to be caught in a legal nightmare because you used someone else’s boat. And if you’re the boat’s owner, you don’t want your watercraft to be confused with one that hasn’t been correctly registered. Here is a summary of everything you’ll need to know to get your boat registered and maintain it so you can steer clear of these hassles. 

This 17-character identifier is contained on a certificate of the number provided by the state or by the manufacturer and is also known as the hull identification number (HIN). It is required by law to be displayed in two places on your boat: one above the waterline, where it can be seen from land, and another below the waterline, where it can be seen from the sea. Your boat’s unique identification number is proof of ownership, and you are accountable for any problems that may emerge.

boat registration

The Boat Must Be Registered With the Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center

Most individuals should be aware that boats are a significant financial commitment due to their high cost. Because of this, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the standards that must be met to register your yacht with the United States Coast Guard. Before getting a registration number from the Coast Guard, you need to demonstrate that you are legally allowed to register the boat. This is the first requirement. Before applying for a registration number, you need to prove that you are the vessel’s owner. This implies that if you are not named as an owner on the title, you may not be permitted to register your boat with the Vessel Documentation Online LLC. If you are an owner, you should ensure that your name is included in the title.

If you are a boater, you should register your boat. If you don’t understand it, there could be penalties for not following the correct protocol. Vessel Documentation Online LLC. can answer all your questions about boat registration and other related issues. Their phone number is (877) 564-1398.