|Administered by The Pirate|
I am federally documented and registered with the state. Amongst other things, it makes selling your boat easier. It serves as a title search. Just one phone call to the feds and they will tell you if the boat is clean or liened in under 60 seconds. Your documentation number and documented name are exclusive to you, No two boats will have the same name with the same hailing port - just like a corporation.
Seems like every state I go to requires registration. If you are documented, you are not allowed to display your state registration numbers, but are required to display the little square sticker which tells the water cops you are up to date with your state registration fees. If you don't display either, you will eventually get pulled over.
Actually, I was mistaken. I checked my CG documentation over the weekend and it's free for renewal.
'06 Sailabration located on Percy Priest Lake
Bet On Another Thousand
I believe CG documentation doesn't relieve you of the responsibility of paying NC registration and taxes. Probably also presupposes the boat is finished, and surveyed. Ain't happenin' any time soon. :sigh:
Amelia, as long as you get to use it from time to time, there should be no sighs.
My lender required that our boat be documented.
Many many moons ago, documenting a boat could allow a boat owner to avoid paying state sales tax and personal property tax. However in the 70's we (the USCG) changed the rules by making an agreement with the states to provide them with ownership data on boats documented with the USCG. Now many states do require you to pay your taxes (they want their pound of flesh too), but most do not require the state registration numbers to be displayed as long as the boat complies with the USCG rules for Documented vessels, that is a name and home port on the stern and the official number permanently affixed inside the boat, as well as having the boat's papers aboard. Documentation was often (and still is to some extent) required to get a bank loan, and insurance. This of course depends a lot on the size and value of the boat. If you travel outside of the US on your boat, documentation is almost mandatory, with a few notable exceptions, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, and a few other close neighbors. Of course most houseboats do not do international travel except maybe to Canada.
By the way, I have worked with a lot of the Documentation Services. Most of them are very reputable, and if you have an older boat that has never been documented before they can be invaluable at smoothing the process. For that reason alone they are worth the money. If your boat has already been documented then it is easy to renew as has been noted by several posts. Actually the biggest PITA can be actually getting to talk to someone at the Documentation Center. For me it was easy because I had direct access to the guy who ran the place, but for the average person the process can be painful. You will more than likely talk to a low level clerk and they may or may not be helpful. In that case a Documentation Service can be well worth the cost because they have been through it many times and know all the right people to talk to and all the right hoops to jump through, especially for old boats that have never been documented before.
Respect Our Recreational Resources
Leaving Only "Footprints of your Passing"
Boating on the Muskingum River
1972 35' Crest Pontoon Houseboat
2007 90 hp. Yamaha
Coast Guard issues final rule to charge vessel documentation renewal fees
Thompson Coburn LLP Contact
In the August 12, 2014 Federal Register, the Coast Guard issued a final rule entitled “Vessel Documentation Renewal Fees." Currently there is no charge for renewals of endorsements; however, as of November 10, 2014, the Coast Guard will assess a $26 fee for the renewal of endorsements on a vessel’s Certificate of Documentation, which must be renewed annually. According to the Coast Guard:
The purpose of this rule is to increase the annual Certificate of Documentation (COD) renewal fee collections so that the fees we charge more accurately reflect the actual costs to the Coast Guard of providing the annual documentation renewal services.