How do I document my vessel?

by | Monday, June 30, 2014 | 0 comment(s)

To obtain Coast Guard approval, vessel documentation will meet the following requirements:

  1. Ensure you meet the requirements for vessel documentation, per 46 CFR Part 67.
  2. Collect all the requested paperwork.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Submit an application to the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC).

How to Get Approved by the Coast Guard for Vessel Documentation

You’ll need to make sure you meet the general requirements for obtaining vessel documentation. In order to be eligible for documentation, your vessel must weigh five net tons or more, you must be a U.S. citizen, and your vessel must have been built in the United States using U.S. materials.

The USCG explains other general requirements for Coast Guard vessel documentation:

  • CG-1258 – the owner of the vessel will need to complete CG-1258, Application for Initial, Exchange or Replacement of Certificate of Documentation; Redocumentation.
  • CG-1261 – if seeking a fishery or coastwise endorsement, the builder of the vessel must complete CG-1261, Builder's Certification and First Transfer of Title.
  • CG-5397 – if CG-1261 cannot be provided, form CG-5296, Application for Simplified Measurement, is an alternative.
  • CG-1340 –CG-1340, Bill of Sale, is required. If you are the original owner and your Builder's Certification & First Transfer of Title form identifies you as "Party for Whom Built" in Block V, CG-1340 is not required.

You can obtain forms on the USCG NVDC website. If you need help in determining specific requirements, you can contact the NVDC at 800-799-8362.

Paying Coast Guard Vessel Documentation Fees

The USCG provides the fee schedule in their NVDCINST16713/1-6 publication, Initial Vessel Documentation. Fees are non-refundable as per 46 CFR 67.500(e).

As of the time of this writing, the fees are as follows:

  • Initial application fee – $133;
  • Coastwise endorsement – $29;
  • Fishery endorsement – $12; and
  • Recreation or registry – free.

If you request more than one endorsement, you don’t have to pay both endorsement fees. You will only pay the highest endorsement rate, i.e., $29.

You can pay your fees via:

  • check or money order payable to the U.S. Coast Guard; or
  • credit card by submitting form CG-7042, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, along with your application.

Fees are subject to change, so you’ll want to contact the NVDC to double check the current rate prior to submitting your payment.

Ensuring You Meet All the Requirements

The above information includes only basic guidelines. To obtain more detailed info about Coast Guard vessel documentation regulations, you can download them in .pdf format on the website or you can contact the U.S. government bookstore for printed copies of regulations. You can request printed copies on the website or by sending your request via:

  • phone (202- 512-1800 from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm EST);
  • fax (202-512-2250); or
  • mail (Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954).

Material of Interest to Vessel Owners

For additional interesting articles for mariners, check out the latest posts on the blog. You also may shop for sturdy, premium logbooks that vessel owners around the country have come to trust in our online marine industry supply store.

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