Although the Coast Guard does have specific documentation standards, it is up to each Coast Guard district to choose which ones apply in their region. You may need additional Coast Guard documentation depending on where you want to sail and what activities you intend to carry out while at sea.
Having your boat registered with the U.S. Coast Guard and carrying proof of registration is the bare minimum to operate a boat in American waters legally. You must update these papers every five years and always have them aboard your ship. It also matters where you’re going and what kind of ship you’re using to get there. The U.S. Coast Guard requires five forms of identification:
Vessel Documentation Number (VDN)
If you look at the registration of a vessel, you will be able to see its hull identification number. This is a one-of-a-kind identifying number that has been permanently allocated to the boat. The hull identification number and the vessel’s serial or official number are the same. Ships are assigned their formal number by the jurisdiction in which they were built, though builders can also assign a number.
The vessel documentation number (VDN), which also has the name of an ownership identifier, is a number that enables tracking for the reasons of ownership. If a vessel has been inspected and found to comply with the Coast Guard documentation will issue a VDN to the boat. You may locate the VDN on either the Certificate of Documentation or the Certificate of Number.
Certificate of Documentation (COD) As a Coast Guard Documentation
You must register your vessel with the federal government to use it for commercial activities, including fishing or shipping goods. Acquiring a Certificate of Documentation is one of the steps involved in the procedure (COD). The Certificate of Documentation (COD) is a piece of government paperwork that grants permission for a vessel to be operated in U.S. waters. It is provided to you by the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
It is also possible to utilize it to get a registration number provided by the state, which grants permission for the vessel to be operated in state waters. In addition to that, you are required to have insurance and registration. In most cases, the buyer is responsible for paying the cash-on-delivery cost; however, if you do the purchasing, you should be aware that there is an extra fee in addition to the state sales tax.
Certificate of Inspection (Form CG-1150)
Boat owners must have specific items to make their vessels seaworthy and waterway-ready. A Certificate of Inspection is the first item required of you, so make sure you get one of them (Form CG-1150). It is simply a certificate that states the Coast Guard has examined your boat and found that it satisfies all of its requirements and that the inspection was successful.
This certificate will be valid for five years, after which you will be required to get a new one. In addition, you will be required to apply for a new one, even though this may be done online. It also verifies that your boat has passed a safety check and can be used for leisure.
Hull Identification Number (HIN)
The hull identification number, often known as the HIN, is a one-of-a-kind string of alphanumeric characters registered to every boat in the United States and abroad. Its goal is to make it easier to identify individual boats and record and monitor such vessels’ histories. Before you can get an official record of your boat’s identifying numbers, the coast guard needs you to fill out a form with your HIN and other personal information.
When you have this document in hand, re-registering your yacht after it has been sold to new owners and transferring ownership to them will be a breeze. Marinas and insurance companies will use the HIN to confirm that your boat is registered, insured, and licensed before allowing you to take it out on the water.
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Vessel Documentation Online offers a variety of maritime documentation services. We offer several inspection plans to ensure your boat is certified by the Federal Coast Guard. Contact us today for more information.