How Often Do I Have to Take Care of my Boat Documentation Renewal?

boat documentation renewal

As you might be aware if you are a big vessel enthusiast, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) rules are in constant change: In 2018 they passed a law that allowed boat documentation renewal for recreational vessels to be done from one to five years. In 2022 the law changed: it is now compulsory for recreational boats to extend their certificate for five years. This article will tell you everything you need to know about this law, including what happens if you, unfortunately, miss the date to renew it.

When to Get your Boat Documentation Renewal

From January 1st, 2022, it is mandatory for recreational vessels that their boat documentation renewal lasts 5 years. Commercial boats, on the other hand, still need to renew their certificate of documentation (COD) yearly. It is important to note, however, that given these regulations have just started, most of the vessels may still have CODs that are valid for less time than what we are saying.

Once you get your certificate of documentation, you will notice that it has an expiration date. That is the last day your certificate is valid for. 60 days prior to that date, you can submit your renewal application. This way, the expiration date on your certificate will remain the same. You can still do it before that 60-days period, but with the aggregate, you would be “losing” some days. What happens if you are passed the date? Let us explore the options…

What to Do When Your Certificate of Documentation Expired

To begin with, if you did not manage to process your boat documentation renewal on time, there is nothing to be afraid of: you have 30 more days to submit your application. 31 days after the date the story is different, but we will get back to it later. The only problem with renewing your certificate of documentation after the expiration date is that you will have to pay a late fee penalty. Other than that, the process is still the same.

Once the 31st day after the expiry date of your document has passed, you will not be renewing the COD. You will need to reinstate it instead. The reinstatement process allows you to return the vessel to active status. If this happens to you, the only change you will be able to make to your certificate of documentation is to change the address of the managing owner.

boat documentation renewal

Vessel Documentation Online Can Help You With Any Type of Boating Paperwork

If you don’t want to lose any more time dealing with the USCG, the good news is that you don’t have to do it. Vessel Documentation Online processes any type of boating paperwork completely online. Whether you need a boat documentation renewal or reinstatement you can do so at our site, by just selecting the appropriate form from the left side of our website. Additionally, our experienced staff will check your application to make sure you didn’t make any mistakes that would delay the process. Contact us today for anything else we can help you with!