Coast Guard Form 1258: Where it All Starts

Coast Guard Form

Every journey has a beginning. When you go out on your vessel, you could say the trip begins when you make that walk down the pier, when you get on the boat, or when you cast off from the dock itself. When it comes to vessel documentation, for many vessel owners, the journey begins with Coast Guard Form 1258. This is often used as the “initial” registration form. This is the one you’ll get that will document your vessel with the Coast Guard, allowing you to use your vessel how you want legally. 

What Coast Guard Form 1258 Says 

To be technical, this form is often referred to as the “Application for Initial, Exchange, or Replacement of Certificate of Documentation; Redocumentation.” So, you use this form if your vessel is being documented for the first time. It might also be appropriate if you’re replacing the Certificate of Documentation or if it’s been lost along the way. Just like any of the other forms we have at our site, you can talk to our staff to determine whether or not this form is right for you and your needs. 

Coast Guard Form 1258

Are you Eligible for this Form? 

First off, you have to be the owner of the vessel as well as a US citizen. There are exceptions to the latter, namely in regards to very specific kinds of oil spill response vessels. What is important, however, is that the vessel has to be at least five tons net. “Net tons” isn’t exactly the same as weight, it’s a measurement instead of volume. You could have your vessel’s et tonnage measured, or, alternatively, you could “eyeball” it. For the most part, if your vessel is longer than 25 feet, then it almost assuredly weighs the requisite five net tons

Does That Mean You Have to Get This Documentation? 

Not necessarily. If your vessel (and you) meet the standards laid out in the last paragraph, then yes, you can get it documented. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to. You have that option if you want the benefits that come along with documentation. However, you do need to get your vessel documented if you use it in fishing activities on the navigable waters of the US, in coastwise trade, or if it’s in the EEZ (which means “Exclusive Economic Zone.” as you might imagine, with that kind of specificity, there are many exceptions. 

Beyond this Form 

This is just one of the forms that you can find at our site. In fact, we have all of the forms you’ll need at every step of the way. For example, this form just helps you at the beginning, but you will need to renew your documentation too. We have all of the forms for that and so much more. You can fill these forms out from practically anywhere, on any device that has an internet connection. So, if you’d like some help with this form or any of the others at our site, just call (866) 981-8783.