Deleting Your US Vessel Documentation, When is it Necessary?

US vessel documentation

On this blog, we touch quite a lot on the reasons behind you needing to get your US vessel documentation but not nearly enough on the reasons to delete it. The form for a certificate of deletion is more useful than you’d think, so let us tell you about the different scenarios in which you might need to file it.

Certificate of Deletion

As far as your US vessel documentation goes, a certificate of deletion serves as the official proof that you have removed your vessel’s registration from the United States Coast Guard’s registry. What does that mean? That the vessel will no longer be recognized as active by the Coast Guard. The vessel owner, or an authorized agent acting on their behalf, can apply for the deletion of vessel registration with the help of our website. All you’ll need to do is find the deletion form on the menu above and fill out all the relevant information. Do you think you might need to delete your registration but aren’t sure if that’s the best course of action for your situation? When will this form even be necessary? Here are two of the most common cases in which a vessel-owner might need this specific certificate.

The Vessel is Going to Be Registered Elsewhere

Quite often, a vessel owner will have to delete their registration when they are selling it. However, that isn’t always the case. If you are selling your vessel to an American person or company, meaning that the new owner will also register the vessel in the United States, you can transfer the registration to them. However, when you are selling it to a foreign citizen that will register the vessel in another country, you will want to delete the registration from the Coast Guard registry. After all, their registration won’t inform the United States government about the transfer of the vessel, so you don’t want to still be tied to the registration on this end.

The Vessel Isn’t Operational Anymore

The other common scenario in which you will want to get your certificate of deletion is when the vessel is no longer operational. This could mean that the vessel is busted, unsalvageable, or even capsized. You can no longer use the vessel, right? So there is no point in keeping your US vessel registration active. There are people who think that simply not renewing the vessel registration is enough and while, yes, that is technically true, it’s better for you and your records to have the demise of the vessel officialized via a certificate of deletion. This way, you will have evidence of your discontinued use and the deletion of the vessel registration in question for financial purposes.

Delete Your US Vessel Documentation and More

Are you looking to delete your US vessel documentation or do you need to apply for a new one? Regardless of where you sit on this spectrum, we can help you here at Vessel Documentation Online. All applications are available on our menu above and, if you are having trouble, give us a call at 1-866-981-8783 or email us at We’ll be in touch with you in no time.