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How Do I Document My Boat

How Do You Register A Boat

How Do I Document My Boating Experience

The laws and requirements for registering a boat also vary by state, however, most boats with mechanical propulsion will need to be registered. In many states, the existing title can be signed over to the new owner, who then takes it to the Department of Motor Vehicles along with any relevant forms, where they can apply for a new title and registration. Any required taxes must be paid before new documents will be issued.

What Types Of Pleasure Craft Do I Need To License

A licence or registration is mandatory for all pleasure craft equipped with motors of 10 horsepower or more, including personal watercraft, which are principally maintained or operated in Canada.

Owners of pleasure craft of all tonnages and lengths may choose to license them under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Alternatively, pleasure craft owners may choose to register their vessels in the Canadian Register of Vessels.

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Additional Information For Submitting Supporting Documentation Online:

  • The minimum print resolution per document is 300 dpi .
  • The maximum size for upload of any file is 5 MB . Only the following file formats are acceptable:
  • PDF, JPG, TIFF or PNG.
  • If your digital camera produces a file format other than those mentioned above, you will need to use the software that came with your camera to convert the images to the proper format.
  • The submitted documents must be clear and legible otherwise you will receive an e-mail advising you to resubmit the document, and the processing of your application will be delayed.
  • A current full side-view colour photograph of the pleasure craft is required for the following transactions:

    • New, Transfer, Updates, Renewals and Cancellations .

    Stock photographs of a pleasure craft will not be accepted.

    For further information and an example of an acceptable photograph of a pleasure craft, please .

    Return to: Application Information | Top of Page

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    Documenting Through The United States Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center

    To obtain official forms, visit the USCG NVDC website or contact NVDC at 799-8362 or 271-2400. Application packages and documents eligible for filing can be e-mailed to or faxed to 271-2405.

    Keep in mind that there are various businesses that claim to be able to facilitate your application process. However, the NVDC does not recommend anyone use them. They do not represent the USCG NVDC. Use the contact information above to deal direct with them.

    The U.S. Coast Guards National Vessel Documentation Center , located in Falling Waters, West Virginia, is the only entity authorized to issue Certificates of Documentation .

    Documenting Your Vessel Faq

    How do I sell my boat?

    by Ian ForteyUpdated on April 27, 2021.

    Boat Safe is a community supported site. We may earn comission from links on this page, but we have confidence in all recommended products.

    If you own a boat, it needs to be documented. Its like having a registration for your car. You can obtain your documents from the National Vessel Documentation Center. They will issue you a U.S. Coast Guard certificate of vessel documentation. This is registered at the federal level. The U.S Coast Guard may ask you for your vessel documentation if youre out on the water. Youll need to have it.

    A certificate of documentation allows you to easily enter international waters. If you have one, you also dont have to display your state registration numbers. Registration may also be required if you want to finance your boat.

    Theres a lot to know about vessel documentation and why its important. Lets take a look at some frequently asked questions to help you get up to speed. This will cover everything you need to know.



    A vessel must measure at least five net tons and, with the exception of certain oil spill response vessels, must be wholly owned by a citizen of the US.



    Tonnage is determined by volume. Most vessels more than 25 feet in length will measure five net tons or more.



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    What Is A Documented Vessel

    A documented vessel is one that has been federally registered through an application process with the U.S. Coast Guard, via either the National Vessel Documentation Center or an authorized third party. Typically vessels over 26 feet in length may obtain a Certificate of Documentation, while vessels over 5 tons are required to have one.

    What Is A Pleasure Craft

    A pleasure craft is a vessel that is used for recreation and does not carry passengers. It is a vessel of a prescribed class under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

    NOTE: For the purposes of this definition, a “passenger” is a person who has paid a fee to be transported in a commercial vessel. A “guest” does not need to pay a fee.

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    What Do I Need To Bring To Register My Boat

    All vessels manufactured after 1972 are required by federal law to have a hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. This 12 digit number is normally located on the outside stern of the vessel on the right side, below the gunwale. This number must be included on the registration certificate and application for registration.When registering a boat for the first time in your name, sales tax applies to the purchase price at the same local rates as applies to vehicles. Sales tax must be paid in your county of residence or the county in which your boat is domiciled . A marina or storage facility is not an acceptable address for registration purposes.What do I need to bring to register a new vessel?

    • Bill of Sale from a licensed dealership with the complete description of the vessel including the HIN, year, make and model serial number of the motor, horse power of the motor. It must include the amount paid for the vehicle, the date of sale, the name, address and signature of both buyer and seller. Sales tax must be itemized

    What do I need to bring to register a vessel purchased from an individual in Alabama?

    What do I need to bring to register a homemade vessel?

    Download a printable checklisthere

    Complete Guide To Uscg Documentation Standards And Requirements For Boats

    How to Document Your Boat with the United States Coast Guard

    Vessel documentation has a long history in the United States with some of the first requirements being outlined by the 11th Act of the First Congress in 1790. This type of regulation serves as the known standard to prove nationality for international purposes, regulate trade among coastal territories and fishing grounds, and clarify ownership of vessels in the U.S. The United States Coast Guard manages the federal documentation of vessels through the National Vessel Documentation Center .

    Today there are approximately 225,000 USCG documented vessels that are current and valid. The requirements for federal documentation of vessels are outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations in section 46 CFR 67. There is also a complementary section that specifies the requirements for state registration of vessels. Vessel owners seeking documentation at the federal level must submit an application to the NVDC, and there are a number of considerations to keep in mind and ensure your boat is fully compliant at both the state and federal levels. This guide will help to clarify the specific requirements for individual vessels including differences in size, intended use, and location.

    In todays guide well discuss:

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    Benefits Of Following Uscg Documentation Standards

    There are a couple of potential financial benefits to federally documenting your boat, the first being tax savings. Some states designate a preferred tax status for documented vessels check with your local regulations to see if your state allows this. Another important consideration involves bank loans. If you will be financing a documented vessel, it will allow the bank to record a First Preferred Ships Mortgage and they will supply the National Vessel Documentation Center with proof showing a Satisfaction of Mortgage. This may make it easier to secure the loan and provide important documentation on the matter.

    One other practical benefit of USCG documentation is the facilitation of ocean travel to foreign territories. If you plan to visit other locations outside the U.S. states and territories with your vessel, having the federal documentation can assist your clearance with foreign governments. Having federal paperwork with you can go a long way in proving the status of your boat and compliance with U.S. regulations. In many cases, individual states allow boats from other states to visit their waters for a certain period without any additional registration. It is important to consult the local regulations for any planned location of travel to ensure that you are in compliance, both international and domestic.

    How Do I Complete A Declaration Under Oath

    You can complete the declaration under oath on the sample declaration form * provided. However, you can also complete these declarations on another sworn document, as long as the document contains enough information to demonstrate that you are legally entitled to license a specific pleasure craft.

    The declaration should include the following information:

    • The name and address of the new owner
    • the licence number of the pleasure craft
    • the make and model of the pleasure craft
    • the hull serial number
    • the hull material and colour
    • the propulsion type
    • the name of the previous owner
    • an explanation as to why you cannot produce proof of ownership or other documents
    • for an unlicensed pleasure craft, a statement that, to the best of your knowledge, the pleasure craft was not previously licensed
    • the date the original licence was issued
    • your signature as the new owner
    • the signature of a lawyer, notary, justice of the peace, or commissioner of oaths and
    • the printed name of the lawyer, notary, justice of the peace, or commissioner of oaths.

    NOTE: A lawyer, notary, justice of the peace, commissioner of oaths, or another person legally entitled to sign such documents in Canada must sign a declaration under oath. You may have to pay a fee to obtain the signature for a declaration under oath.

    Return to: Application Information | Top of Page

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    Can My Boat Be Titled And Documented

    Once a boat is Documented with the US Coast Guard, any state titling that may have previously applied to the vessel is invalidated and superseded by Coast Guard Documentation. The registration depends on the requirements of the state where the owner primarily keeps the vessel, and where the taxes have been paid. Some states require vessels to maintain registration along with the Documentation others do not issue a registration at all if a vessel will be Documented. The most important thing to remember is that Documentation with the US Coast Guard DOES NOT exempt an owner from paying taxes to their respective state.

    What Forms Do I Need To Apply For A Pleasure Craft Licence

    Do USCG Documented Vessels Need State Registration or Decals?

    To apply for a pleasure craft licence, you can obtain your Pleasure Craft Licence either electronically through the “Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System “) or, you can fill out a paper application form.

    In either case, you will be required to provide the appropriate supporting documents to substantiate your request.

    If you are submitting your request, electronically:

    Depending on the type of request you have selected, the following supporting documents may be required to upload. Please ensure you have the necessary documents in the proper file format:

    If you have additional supporting documentation to submit, you are provided with two additional “Optional File” buttons.

    The minimum print resolution per document is 300 dpi the maximum size for upload of any file is 5 MB . Only the following file formats are acceptable:

    • PDF, JPG, TIFF or PNG.

    If your digital camera produces a file format other than those mentioned above, you will need to use the software that came with your camera to convert the images to the proper format.

    If you are submitting your request by post:

    Depending on the type of request, supporting documents may include:

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    How Can I Find Out If The Used Pleasure Craft I Want To Buy Has An Outstanding Lien Mortgage Or Loan Against It

    All provinces have personal property registries where citizens can search for financial and security information on personal property such as cars, boats, and tractors.

    These personal property registries provide online registration and search services to support both the legislative requirements of the provincial personal property security acts and the enforcement of money judgments and other civil enforcement proceedings.

    You can find your provincial site online by performing an Internet search using the name of your province and the phrase “personal property registry.” You can also visit your local provincial service centre for more information.

    Return to: Financial Information | Top of Page

    Us Border News Archive

    2018: The CANPASS Private Boats and CANPASS Air programs have been discontinued.Current members can use privileges until their membership expires. Join NEXUS for similar benefits crossing the Canada-U.S. border.

    2017: U.S. Border agents cannot force U.S. citizens to unlock phones.But they might detain you or seize your device if you refuse. And if you’re Canadian, U.S. agents have the authority to refuse you entry. Video: phones at the border

    2017: New regulations and requirementsfor private boaters and changes occurring this year, were outlined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection representatives.Border crossing by boat getting harder

    Spring 2016: U.S. Homeland Security will require Canadian boaters to obtain a cruising licencethe first time they enter U.S. waters in any calendar year, even if they have a Nexus, BR number, customs decal or I-68. Boats over 30 ft. no longer require a customs decal.

    Canadian boaters are again being told by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to call in if they plan to cross the border into American waters.

    May 2010:U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced the Small Vessel Reporting System. Canadian and American boaters will preregister online to obtain expedited clearance upon arrival in the U.S. by calling the closest port of entry with the float plan identification number.

    Acceptable alternative documents to a passport for Canadian air travel will be the NEXUS card. The NEXUS Air card will only be accepted at certain airports.

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    You Do Not Want To Display State Registration Numbers

    One of the most common reason Documentation is appealing to owners is that they do not need to display the state registration numbers on the vessel if the boat is Documented with the US Coast Guard. This reason is purely for aesthetics, but many owners prefer the clean look of their vessel without the block letter displaying registration information.

    How To Sell A Boat: The Complete Guide

    Quickest Way To Launch A Boat By Yourself

    The process of selling your boat privately can be a daunting task. If youre interested in learning about the ins-and-outs of selling, then look no further! The experts at Boat Trader have compiled an extensive list of suggestions to ensure a quick sale. If youve done this before and are ready to list your boat for sale right away, then Boat Traders private sellers page is where you may want to navigate.

    We begin with some basic steps to understand before you strike a deal with a buyer. It is best to review and understand each of these steps prior to listing your boat for sale. Think of it as studying for an exam. You want to know each of the steps very well prior to meeting with potential buyers. So, lets get started! Here are the seven steps to selling your boat online.

  • Interacting with potential buyers be ready to communicate with buyers
  • Paperwork ensure the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed
  • Payments now, its time to get paid!
  • Above: Boat Traders Lenny Rudow walks through the steps to sell your boat online in this helpful video.

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    How Can I Sell My Boat Fast

    The speed at which a boat will sell varies. Advertising the boat in as many places as possible is typically faster than listing in one place. Price is probably the key determining factor in how fast a boat will sell. Listings priced below market values will sell typically faster. If you follow the steps above, you should be in good shape to off-load your boat in no time!

    What Is A Dealer Or Demonstration Licence

    A dealer or demonstration licence is a pleasure craft licence used for demonstration purposes only. This type of licence does not apply to any one pleasure craft. A boat dealer applies for a dealer or demonstration licence to use it on any of the unlicensed pleasure craft in the dealer’s name. Dealers must not paint the licence number on any pleasure craft, since pleasure craft owners must apply for another licence number once they purchase the pleasure craft.

    Requests for a dealer or demonstration licence can only be submitted by post. Requests sent in by fax will not be processed.

    Boat dealers can read our Dealer’s Guide to Pleasure Craft Licensing for information on applying for a pleasure craft licence

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