What is the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC)?

National Vessel Documentation Center: what is it and what boaters need to know about the NVDC. The National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) facilitates maritime commerce and the availability of financing while protecting economic privileges of USA. It is the Coast Guard’s documentation center for commercial vessels and recreational boats

What is the National Vessel Documentation Center in the USA?

The U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center is he agency that handles boat documentation. Are you wondering what the National Vessel Documentation Center does? as you may already know, the importance of vessel documentation with the United States Coast Guard cannot be over-emphasized for large boats, hence the need for the NVDC.

In this blog post, we shall review what the NVDC does, their addresses, and the importance of documenting your vessel with the United States Coast Guard through the NVDC. We also explain what the USCG structure looks like and what a documented vessel number is about.

What is the role of the NVDC?

The National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) is tasked with the sole responsibility of vessel documentation in the United States. This agency is responsible for the maintenance of vessel documentation records at all times. They handle important vessel paperwork such as renewals and transfers as well as preferred mortgages and boat abstracts of title.

The USCG NVDC is the main government entity (authorities) that takes care of issuance of the USCG COD to citizens (US nationality)
Depending on your COD renewal eligibility, registration status and COD issue dates, you can get your vessel documentation filing completed quickly.

All you need is the application fee, coast guard boat bill of sale, and then get the coast guard lettering requirements right. The cod issue dates are usually 60 days but you have to check the nvdc case processing report.

With your documentation cod, you can sell the vessel to do a exchange reinstatement (transfer ownership of vessel).

Again, you are expecting some processing workload demands and some timeliness for your application registration status before you can have coast guard vessel documentation (coast guard boat registration).

Why Do You Need NVDC Vessel Documentation?

Knowing about the National Vessel Documentation Center would be incomplete, without prior knowledge of the reason or benefits why it’s important to document your vessel with the United States Coast Guard in the first place.

Below are some advantages of vessel documentation:

  • Title Guarantee– With the help of the NVDC you can get your vessel documentation with ease. The USCG is very strict when it comes to vessel documentation. It is expected that every vessel owner gets their boat documented. This also helps to ascertain the history of the vessel ownership.
  • Vessel Financing-This is very crucial, most especially when you need a preferred vessel mortgage. Many lenders always look out for vessels that are NVDC documented when financing your vessel. You can get a better term if truly your vessel is documented with the United State Coast Guard.
  • Official Vessel Number-Here is another advantage why it’s important to document your vessel with the NDVC. All documented vessels under the United state coast guard are given an official number known as vessel marking. The official number is placed on the interior structure of the hull. This gives your boat a better appearance and representation.
  • Ability To Sail Foreign Waters– With the help of USCG vessel documentation, you have the advantage and privileges to sail foreign waterways. All customs officials globally recognize the US Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation (COD). The COD serves as evidence and authentication about the origin of the vessel.
  • read more here.

How is the USCG structured?

The US Coast Guard is structured within six major operational programs that include; Maritime law enforcement, Maritime Prevention, Maritime security operations, Maritime response, Maritime defense operations, and Maritime transport system management.

What is a Documented vessel number? And what does it mean to have a vessel documented?

Since, you are wondering, what is Coast Guard documentation? it is a national form of boat titling. We have covered it in a detailed article you may want to take a look at.

Is “Maritime Documentation Center” legit?

There are agencies that pretend to be the NVDC itself. Many companies have names similar to the NVDC. They do this for the sake of legitimate representation. The reality is that they are only brokers that help boaters with NVDC paperwork.

In other words, is vessel documentation services legitimate? Yes. One of the best and most affordable vessel documentation brokers you can trust is the since it is the cheapest and most reliable for ordering the title abstract on boats.

Where is the NVDC and how can you reach the NVDC

The National Vessel Documentation Center’s official location is 792 T J Jackson Drive Falling Waters, WV 25419. Their contact information and mailing address have been listed in the previous article: How to contact the NVDC.

You can also use the following phone number to reach out; (304) 271-2400 is the main line and (800) 799-8362 is the toll-free line. They pick up calls between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Don’t call Thursday because you won’t get a response.

How do I check the status of my Coast Guard application?

Well, checking your Coast Guard application status shouldn’t be stressful. The NVDC has provided some ways to check the status of your application using a work packet inquiry system.

We have covered the process in our other article here.

There will be a link in there to do a national vessel documentation center work packet inquiry at this agency.

What Services Does the NVDC have?

As stated earlier, the National Vessel Documentation Center is saddled with the sole responsibilities of documenting, maintaining, and renewal of your vessel documentation in the US. They also help to prevent, protect, and secure operations through their specialized structured programs.

Vessel Documentation Portal and How to use it

There is no such thing as “vessel documentation portal”. Some websites claim to have one but they are not the NVDC itself. All forms are filled out in PDF and there is no portal.

How to Speed up your Vessel Documentation Application

If you are looking for how you can speed up your vessel documentation or renewal application, this link can be helpful to explain priority handling. Priority requests are evaluated based on your individual needs. It is not a 100 percent guarantee that your priority request may be approved.

You can forward your request through NVDC mail- You don’t have to pay to request a priority handling. Check the link above to know what is required of you to file a priority request.

National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) priority handling
NVDC expedited applications

National Vessel Documentation Center Forms

We have listed the main forms here. These include initial registration and renewals as well as updating your COD. The forms can be used to transfer boat ownership if you have a bill of sale.

National Vessel Documentation Center Search

Please, visit our search page to look up documented vessels. You find more information and database lookups for your HIN and USCG No..


We have explained what the NVDC is and how to reach them and what they do.

We encourage you to use a broker like us whenever you need a boat abstract of title.

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