USCG Vessel Documentation


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Marine Documentations offers a full line of USCG vessel documentation and other services such as recording ship's mortgages, title searches through NVDC, and Coast Guard Bills of Sale. Our services are available for both new and used boats as well as pleasure and commercial vessels.


To be federally documented, the owners of the yacht must be citizens of the United States. Usually, any vessel over 26 feet in length qualifies for documentation. A documented yacht is identified by an 'Official Number' which is carved or bonded to the hull of the vessel. This permanent numbering system acts as a theft deterrent. If stolen, a documented vessel falls under federal jurisdiction for recovery and prosecution, rather than state or local.


A complete vessel file, including the chain of ownership and all recorded liens and mortgages, is maintained at the USCG National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC). Also, documented yachts do not have to clear Customs when returning to or leaving the United States. Instead, a Report of Departure or Arrival is made to the Customs office, and a permit is signed by the master.

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Vessel Documentation

Vessel Documentation is the federal registration of a vessel with the US Coast Guard. USCG vessel documentation is recognized internationally as a certificate of ownership and nationality. Therefore, documented vessels are protected as Vessels of The United States.