Three Different Ways of Documenting a Vessel Explained

documenting a vessel

Perhaps one of the most frustrating parts of owning a vessel is keeping its documentation in order. After all, no one wants to deal with this sort of DMV-like application. However, documenting a vessel is very important in order to make sure you can even use it in the first place, as well as claiming your ownership over it. If you‘re not sure about what you need to do in order to get your registration in order, allow us to guide you through the process.

Documenting a Vessel

Registering your vessel is very important when it comes to being able to use it at all. This will always be mandatory when it comes to commercial purposes, but don’t think that because your vessel is recreational then the registration won’t be important. After all, your registration provides you with a certificate of documentation and evidence of the vessel’s nationality. To register your vessel with the coast guard, you don’t have to do so directly with them. Like with any other government application, that can get complicated. Instead, we at the Vessel Documentation Center provide you with all the necessary forms for you to get your documentation in order as soon as possible.

Renewing Your Registration

When documenting a vessel, you will have the option to get your registration for up to five years. Once that’s over, you will need to renew it. It’s important that you remember this, because you will only have a very brief window to renew your registration once it expires. You only have thirty days following the expiration date of your registration to renew it without a problem. After this grace period, you won’t be able to renew the registration and you will have to reinstate it, which is a different process. This is also what you will want to do if, say, you put your boat in storage for a few years and didn’t need to renew the registration during that time.

Replacing Missing Documentation

Now, what happens if you lose your documentation? Or when the certificate has been damaged beyond recognition? Well, you can’t exactly rely on, say, a digital copy of it whenever needed. This is one of those documents, such as your passport or your driver’s license, that need to be in your hands as an official physical copy. So, what are you going to do when you’ve lost your copy? Do you need to register your vessel all over again? Not at all. All you need to do is file an application for a replacement of your certificate, which is a lot easier. Your registration still exists, after all, so all you need to do is provide some information about you and the vessel itself and your new documentation will be on its way.

Documenting a Vessel

Now, these are only a few of the different existing processes regarding documenting a vessel, but we are here to help with just about any of them that is giving you trouble. All applications are available on our menu above and, if you are having trouble, our team is ready to help. If you have a question about a process or application, give us a call at 1-866-981-8783 or email us at and we’ll be in touch with you in no time.