Boat-Abstracts COD USCG

Fastest Boat Abstract of Title [Explained]

What is a boat abstract of title and how to get one quickly? We are the cheapest broker for vessel abstracts of title from the coast guard.

The Best and Easiest way to Get a Boat Abstract of Title

Overview of Abstract of Title for Boats

No doubt, the abstract of title for boats has become a household name to many around the US, especially individuals and corporate organizations in the US looking to buy a boat. We’ve helped hundreds navigate and obtain their vessel Abstract of Title from the USCG.

In this blog post, we shall be reviewing some vital information you need to know about the abstract of title for boats.

We shall focus on some confusing areas like a detailed explanation of abstract of title, what is a USCG Documentation number (Official No.), how to know if a vessel is documented, how you can get an abstract title, where to search an abstract vessel and how to transfer ownership.

What Is a USCG Abstract of Title – Detailed Explanation of Abstract of Title

Here, we shall unveil all you need to know about an abstract of title. In the US, every property is titled in several ways. for instance, cars are titled at the DMV, whereas aircraft are registered with the FAA. In the same vein, boats are federally registered or titled with the Coast guard.

An Abstract of Title entails all the necessary information regarding the history, background check, and documentation of a vessel that you intend to buy. The only media that contain all the information about the owners, liens of the vessel is the US Coast Guard Vessel.

Vessel documentation entails the registration of a boat with the government, which gives the vessel national identity for international purposes, especially in the area of interstate trade.

Many a time, people asked if it is ideal for a vessel to be documented versus just doing state registration. It is required for a vessel weighing up to 5 tons. It is vital to document active vessels that operate the US waters.

For Canadian boats, there is an equivalent report called Vessel Transcript of Registry.

What is a USCG Documentation number?

As the name implies, it is the legal documentation Identification number of the vessel issued by the Coat Guard. In other words, the USCG documentation number stays with the boat. This number will be like ONxxxx and you can see it on the Certificate of Documentation (COD).

A vessel can only be federally registered in the names of the legal titleholder. In other words, no other person can document a vessel without the consent of the legal titleholder.

What is a US Coast Guard documented vessel?

You may be wondering what the USCG documented mean. Don’t worry we are here to solve the missing puzzle. A US Coast Guard documented vessel is regarded as the ideal method of registering ownership of your boat with the government.

A documented vessel is added to the Coast Guard database and federal registry for future use and record-keeping purposes.

One of the benefits of having a documented vessel is that; you have detailed evidence of nationality for international business purposes. You have unhindered access in the coastwise trade and fisheries zone.

Other names for a vessel abstract

You can either call it “boat title abstract” or “vessel abstract”. Some use the words “Abstract of Title”. It all means the same thing but different terminology. The vessel abstract of title is the totality of record or information submitted to the United States Coast Guard on a given vessel. It contains the boat owner’s information which helps you to find liens on a boat.

What Does the Boat Abstract of Title Contain?

Below are the things you should find in a boat abstract title;

  1. Vessel Name changes.
  2. Owner Names (where legally possible).
  3. Mortgage and Lien recordings with Bank names.
  4. Encumbrances or satisfaction of claim of Lien.
  5. Synopsis of all historical ownership events (bill of sale).
  6. Price paid on Boat.
  7. Supplements (mortgage amendments, assignments, assumptions, or subordinations).

Here is an explanation:

  • Vessel Data– In the boat abstract of title, you can see the vessel year of production, place, and formal vessel identification IDs. Also, you see the official number assigned by the Coast Guard. In vessel data, you won’t see the model, dimension, or tonnage.
  • Recording Information– All necessary details, like e ownership transfers, names, mortgages, liens, date, and other information are recorded in the abstract of title. It is a very good way to know if a boat has money owing on it.
  • Ownership Information– Here, the boat abstract title will contain all current owners of the boat. This includes individuals, corporate organizations, and more. The boat abstract also includes the previous owners and transfer information.
  • Mortgages and Liens– A boat abstract title contains information regarding lien and mortgages. Satisfaction of mortgage and satisfaction of Claim of lien is attached to ascertain the release of liens and mortgage. We will discuss preferred Mortgages in another article.

Sample Boat Abstract of title

Here is a link to download an example vessel abstract

Benefits of Getting an Abstract of Title for your Vessel

Buying a boat does not come cheap, hence, it is imperative to do your due diligence before making a purchase. Nevertheless, the abstract of title can be very helpful in this area. Nobody wants to spend money on a lemon boat. Below are some benefits of the boat abstract title report;

  • It gives you detailed information regarding the boat, that is, documentation history, the background of the vessel you intend buying
  • It allows you to make an informed decision
  • It gives you knowledge about any liens of the boat that may hinder your operation in the future.
  • You have unhindered access to operate.

Law around General Index or Abstract of Title

Any person may request the National Vessel Documentation Center to issue a General Index or Abstract of Title (form CG-1332) for a vessel. This is in law number 46 CFR § 67.301 – Issuance of Abstract of Title. The form CG1332 is long and tedious so we recommend working with a broker like us.

Vessel Chain of Title vs. Abstract of title

A vessel chain of title shares similarity with boat abstract of title; the chain of title has full information regarding a given piece of property. Vessel chain of title track individual owners over the years, whereas, the boat abstract of title includes information like easements, debts, deeds, history, and mortgages. You would see chain of title in real estate more than boats.

How do I know if a vessel is documented?

Knowing if a particular vessel is documented is not very difficult once you know where to look. If you are considering getting a vessel and you are not sure if it is documented, here is what you should do;

  • Do a vessel search by going to Maritime Documentation Center (NVDC).
  • Enter the vessel name or the official USCG number to run a check.
  • Use our search tool or contact the support team for help.
  • Run the Hull ID Number against a Boat history check service like
  • Do a revere lookup of the Hull Number to find state numbers or USCG numbers.
  • Check for ON numbers displayed on the vessel hull

With the above steps, you get to know the detailed history report regarding the boat you plan to purchase and whether it is documented at the USCG.

How to Get an Abstract of Title?

Getting an abstract of title for any boat is very easy and seamless. Since abstract contains boat information like the current and previous owners’ names, dates, addresses, and more. All you need to do is to enter the official number on the home page and order it with paypal or credit card.

How to Do Boat Abstract of Title Search?

You may desire to search for a boat abstract of title for reasons such as buying a boat privately. The important thing here is that it’s not difficult to get answers to your questions. You can get the abstract of title search from the National Vessel Documentation Center or the Coast Guard. You can also order one from a broker such as since the process is much easier (one click and order) with no complicated forms to fill out.

Getting an abstract will give you information about the boat owners. When buying a boat, you need more than the owner’s name, your search needs to include many things like verifying if the boat is free of liens, knowing a thing about the history of the boat, and more. All you need is the Official Number for your ship to run the search.

How Long Does It Take to Get Abstract? Delays and Wait Times from the Coast Guard

You may be wondering how long does a USCG abstract of title take to be delivered? Well, it usually takes 3 business days. This depends on many factors, like workload at the Coast Guard, age of vessels that may have gone out of documentation, and more.

For older vessels, it can take 2 to 5 business days or a week. On occasion, there could be further delays during midsummer when there is a high volume of requests. We have also seen delays when on rare occasions when there was a strike happening at the coast guard and it took 21 days. As a broker, we process orders within the first hour on our side as a high priority. The rest is up to the NVDC to deliver.

Also, older vessels that may have gone out of documentation will require Coast Guard to retrieve the abstract that may not be available on site.

How do I transfer ownership of a USCG Documented Vessel?

There are steps to transfer ownership when a vessel is documented. Below are the various steps;

  • Apply For a Transfer of Ownership Certificate– This document shows the Coast Guard that you have completed the transfer process and you are no longer in charge of the vessel.
  • Certificate of Documentation– If your vessel is USCG documented you need to submit a copy of the certificate of documentation which includes the owner’s signature. And state the new owner on the back for the COD. (alternatively, a bill of sale is required).
  • Information of the New owners– You need to state the names, addresses, and other necessary details of the new owners. We can also help you to do the paperwork.
  • Transfer of Ownership form CG-1258
  • Get documents notarized and pay the fees

We will cover documentation transfer or owner exchange in another article in more detail.

How do I file a CG 1258 form?

The CG 1258 form is used by the vessel owners to file initial documentation of a vessel. It is also used to transfer ownership. We will cover transfers in more detail in another article.

What is a CG 1270 form? and what is a COD?

CG- 1270 form is very important if you want to prove that you are the owner of a boat. It gives you the right to sail. CG 1270 form is a national form for boat registration. CG 1270 is the code for the US Coast Guard Certificate of documentation.

COD, on the other hand, implies Certificate of Documentation. This shows that a vessel has been documented. The official number in your COD is required for renewal. Remember, you are to renew your COD before 60 days of expiration. The documentation period lasts 5 years. A five-year Certificate of Documentation is the only option available for recreational vessels as of April 2021. Formerly, documentation was $26 per year and boaters could select the number of years, up to five. The new five-year documentation cost is fixed at $130 USD.

How do I cancel my USCG document?

The best way to cancel or delete the USCG document is to write to the US Coast Guard. This request must be made by the vessel owner or the agent. Make sure you submit this in writing, including the details of the vessel like an official number, and the reason for cancellation.

Conclusion – Getting help with Boat Abstract of Title

If you are a boat buyer or owner and you were finding it difficult to understand, now we have covered what official numbers are for documented vessels and how to get an abstract of title for your boat. We also explained what the certificate of documentation is. You are now ready to get your boat abstract of title for your vessel. Let help. We are here to ensure you get your boat abstract of title with ease. Click here to order now.

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