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United States Coast Guard Boat Registration / Title Forms and FAQ

United States Coast Guard Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Links for United States Coast Guard:
National Vessel Documentation Center
What is USCG vessel Documentation?
US Coast Guard Vessel Documentation is a national form of titling a vessel.
What are the benefits of documenting my boat with the USCG?
The benefits of documenting a boat include conclusive evidence of nationality for international purposes, unhindered commerce between states, allows access to certain restricted trades, and provides enhanced vessel financing through the availability of preferred ships mortgages on documented boats.
What types of boats can be documented?
Vessels over 5 net tons (typically 26ft in length or larger) can be documented with the US Coast Guard. If a boat is used in fishing activities on navigable waters of the US or used in Coastwise trade, the boat must be documented.
Are there different types of USCG Documentation?
There are different types of USCG Documentation through endorsements depending on what the vessel will be used for. The different types of endorsements include fishery, coastwise, registry, or recreational.
What are the requirements for US Coast Guard Documentation?
The basic requirements for US Coast Guard documentation include the following: •The owner must prove ownership •The owner must be a US Citizen •The owner must demonstrate eligibility for the endorsement requested
What forms do I need to document my boat with the Coast Guard?
In order to document your boat with the US Coast Guard, you will need the following forms: •CG-1258 Application for Initial, Exchange or Replacement of Certificate of Documentation; Redocumentation: Completed by new owner(s); submit an original OR a copy of form CG1258. •CG-1261 Builder's Certification and First Transfer of Title (for initial documentation only): Must be completed by the builder of the vessel. If more than one builder, each builder must complete a form. Evidence of U.S. build is required for all vessels seeking a fishery or coastwise endorsement. •CG-5397 Application for Simplified Measurement: Completed by owner, to establish tonnage calculations, when CG-1261 Builder’s Certification is not provided. •CG-1340 Bill of Sale: This form may not be necessary if the Builder's Certification and First Transfer of Title form is submitted and shows the applicant as "Party for Whom Built" in Block V, or as the transferee in the First Sale or Transfer in Block VII. Otherwise, submit one original OR one copy of the notarized bill of sale, signed by or on behalf of all persons transferring an interest in the vessel. •Simplified Method. Ownership may be established from state title or state or foreign registration. A copy of the title or registration must be provided with the bill(s) of sale from the registered owner to applicant. If the foreign registry is similar to U.S. documentation, provide a copy of the registry and evidence of removal from foreign registry in addition to the bill of sale.
How much does USCG documentation cost?
The following fees apply when documenting a vessel with the US Coast Guard: •Initial Application for Documentation Recreational/Commercial (1 year expiration): $133.00* •Bill of Sale (per page): $8.00 •Mortgage (per page): $4.00 To add a Commercial Endorsement Fee: •Coastwise: $29.00 •Fishery: $12.00 •Registry: NO CHARGE There is no fee to add a Recreational Endorsement but to add Recreational (endorsed with Recreation ONLY) Multi-Year Expiration, the fees are as follows: •Two Year: $26.00 •Three Year: $52.00 •Four Year: $78.00 •Five Year: $104.00

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