Four different types of boats

US Coast Guard Documentation

US Coast Guard Documentation creates an official record of ownership with the US Coast Guard, aids in theft recovery if your vessel is ever stolen and often eliminates the need to mark state registration numbers on your boat. Many marine lenders require that a boat be documented in order to provide financing since it creates an official record of ownership and a way to record liens.

Boat owners are able to work directly with the Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center to document their boat or renew their Certificate of Documentation. Their website has instructions, forms, pricing, FAQs and contact information to help boaters understand the documentation process.

For boats that have not been previously documented, owners will generally need to submit form CG-1258 (application for documentation), form CG-5397 (Application for Simplified Measurement) and proof of ownership (i.e. state title, state registration, form CG-1340 Bill of Sale, form CG-1261 Builders Certificate).

For boats that have been previously documented, owners will generally need to submit CG-1258 (application for documentation) and proof of ownership (i.e. state title, state registration, form CG-1340 Bill of Sale, form CG-1261 Builders Certificate).

Renewing a Certificate of Documentation can be done on the National Vessel Documentation Center's website.

BoatUS has decades of experience working with the National Vessel Documentation Center and offers a service to help boaters document their boat.  BoatUS charges a fee for our service above what the Coast Guard charges and working with BoatUS does not expedite your documentation request with the Coast Guard.

BOATUS CAN HELP YOU DOCUMENT YOUR BOAT WITH THE US COAST GUARD