What Is An Abstract Of Title? Understanding This Important Certificate

What Is An Abstract Of Title

As the brand-new owner of a vessel in US waters, you may be wondering exactly what is an abstract of title? It is important as a boat owner for you to understand the principles behind this documentation, including learning how it can help you, and what information the title will include. As a brand-new owner, it might be helpful to consider the relationship between the title that you receive on a motor vehicle, and the similar documentation for a boat. By realizing that these things are essentially the same, you can start to understand what information you will need to submit, and how it will affect your ownership of the boat.

What Is An Abstract Of Title?

The title is essentially a recounting of all the information which has been submitted to the USCG which relate to your new boat. These documents will have been accepted into the registry, and are considered part of the record of that boat’s history. The abstract will contain those documents, and while it is not exactly the same as a full title history, it will contain all of the important information retained by the USCG while it was listed in the registry. It does not have to be a complete record of the entire past of the vessel, but is instead simply a record of when it was being monitored by the US Coast Guard. If the boat was registered elsewhere, for example with the state, then the abstract will not contain this information.

What Is An Abstract Of Title

Finding The Information You Need

When you receive the abstract of title documentation, you need to read all of the information that is available to and decide whether it matches your vessel. The documents will be listed in the order that they were received, and you should check over the details included in them to make sure that you are dealing with the right information. For example, you will need to look at the identifying details of your boat. Do the hull numbers match each other, and does the official number located on the abstract match with the numbers written on the boat? Discrepancies may simply be an example of a mistake in the written document, but they can also be evidence that there is an error. It should certainly encourage you to make further inquiries, and ensure that you are looking at the correct boat.

Do You Have The Right Information?

As you have seen above, it is not rare for your abstract or title to have some missing information. This will be the case if you have a boat that has previously been docked in a foreign country or was registered with the state. You should take particular notice of the three documents included in the abstract. This will be:

  • the bill of sale, and evidence of ownership transfer
  • preferred ship mortgage and lien documents
  • satisfaction of mortgage and lien claims

These documents will demonstrate that the boat has passed successfully into your hands and that there are no outstanding mortgages or other problems.

Future Changes To The Abstract Of Title

Since 2008, there have been several changes to the way that the abstract of the title may be altered to correct the way that the title is affected when there are changes to the boat. In order to bring the title laws into line with those existing for motor vehicles, it aims to create a uniform law that will cover all states. This legislation will also include details of what might be considered as damage to the boat, which it describes as a “Title brand”. Any damage to the hull, whether it is caused by collision or other events, would be noted on the abstract of the title, giving potential buyers a clear idea of the condition of the boat. Although it has currently only been taken up by one or two states, if it were to be applied across the whole of the US, it would create a uniform abstract of title that would be extremely useful to future sellers and buyers of boats in the United States.

Getting Your Abstract Of Title

If you are looking at purchasing a second-hand vessel, or are the owner of such a vessel, then you will want to know what is an abstract of title going to do for me. The answer is that it will help you to understand more about your boat before you start using it on the water, and will also allow you to add your own information to the registry in turn. If you want to obtain the abstract of the title for your vessel, then you may need the help of the Vessel Documentation US team. We are here to help you learn more about your boat, so contact us now by emailing us at info@nvdcrenewal.us, or by calling us at (866) 981-8783 today.