Need to Know USCG Requirements: Documentation, Preferred Mortgages, and More

USCG Requirements

Are you unsure as to whether or not you can register your vessel? Do you want to get a First Preferred Ship Mortgage but don’t know if your vessel would qualify? These are some of the questions that we can help with here at the National Documentation Portal. We didn’t just make this portal for applying for documentation (although certainly many, many folks have used it for exactly that) but also to serve as a resource, to be able to comply with USCG Requirements as well as provide answers to questions regular people have about boat registration and more. 

What Vessels Can I Register? 

You can register your vessel with the USCG so long as it measures at least five net tons and is wholly owned by a citizen of the United States. Presumably, in this scenario, you are the citizen, so you likely have that one covered. On the other hand, “net tonnage” measures not weight but volume. So, you can have that professionally measured, you can do the calculations yourself, or you can “eyeball” it. Meaning: if your vessel is 25 feet or longer, then it almost invariably measures at least five net tons. 

What Vessels Do I Have to Register? 

You have to register your vessel if it meets the above standards and you’re going to use it in certain trades. If you’re going to use it for commercial fishing and/or coastwise trade, then you have to register it. “Coastwise,” in this context, basically means transporting people and/or goods. Specifically, you have to register your vessel if you’re going to engage in those activities on the navigable waters of the United States or what’s called the “EEZ,” the “Exclusive Economic Zone.” 

To Get a First Preferred Ship’s Mortgage, Does My Vessel Have to Be Registered? 

To qualify, first, your vessel has to be registered. It has to be documented with the USCG. Now, you may have read this part and thought: “Wait, the only way for me to get this mortgage is to use my boat for some commercial activity?” No. Absolutely not. You can use your vessel for recreation, to have a good time with family and friends. Indeed, when you complete your initial registration application, choose “recreation” for how you’ll use your vessel. That’s the most common endorsement, a statement of purpose for how you’ll use your vessel. Then, you can meet the registration requirement for the mortgage while using your vessel to have a good time. 

USCG Requirements

Meeting USCG Requirements for Years 

We have helped vessel owners from all walks of life to be able to get the documentation that they need for their vessels. Now, we can put that experience to work for you. We don’t just offer the forms, rather, we offer a better process. For example, when you complete these forms, our document processors will get right to work making sure there aren’t any little errors before we pass them along. To see how we can help and the forms we offer, check out the rest of our site.