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NVDC USCG

U.S. Coast Guard Forms for Documentation

List of all U.S. Coast Guard Forms you will need to register your boat nationally (USCG Vessel Documentation). Includes links to the CG- forms and articles to explain renewal and exchange.

U.S. Coast Guard Forms

These forms are used when documenting vessels nationally instead of state titling.

CG-1258 Application For Initial Issue, Exchange, Or Replacement Of Certificate Of Documentation; Redocumentation

CG-1261 Builders Certificate

CG-5397 Application For Simplified Measurement

CG-1340 Bill of Sale

CG-5542 Optional Application For Filing (Mortgage)

CG-4593 Application, Consent, And Approval For Withdrawal Of Application For Documentation Or Exchange Of Certificate Of Documentation

CG-1356 Bill Of Sale By Government Entity Pursuant To Court Order Or Administrative Decree Of Forfeiture

CG-1280 Renewal of Certificate of Documentation

CG-7042 Credit Card Form

CG-7043 Abstract of Title or Certified Copy of COD Request Form

United States Coast Guard Registration and Title FAQs – download documents and forms

Link to NVDC 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 boat.

What are the benefits of documenting your boat with the Coast Guard?

The benefits of documenting a boat include conclusive evidence of nationality for international boating purposes, unhindered commerce between states, allows access to certain restricted trades, and provides for preferred ships mortgages on documented boats.

What are the types of boats that can be documented?

Vessels over 5 net tons (typically 26ft in length or larger) can be documented with the US Coast Guard and get an USCG official number issued to them. 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?

Depending on what the vessel will be used for the endorsements can be different: The different types of endorsements include fishery, coastwise, registry, and recreational.

What are the requirements for US Coast Guard Documentation?

This was covered in another article here: Learn about Coast Guard Vessel Documentation

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 it cost to document a vessel? USCG documentation fees:

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: $8.00
  • Mortgage: $4.00
  • To add a Commercial Endorsement you will pay these added fees:
    • Coastwise: $29.00
    • Fishery: $12.00
    • Registry: NO FEE

Table Explaining which states require registration and/or documentation

State Requires Non-powered Vessels be Registered Requires Non-powered Vessels be Titled Requires USCG Documented Vessels be Registered Requires Vessels be Titled Requires Outboard Motors be Reg/Titled Requires Trailers be Reg/Titled
Alabama – AL NO NO YES NO NO NO
Alaska – AK NO NO YES YES > 24FT NO Reg Only
Arizona – AZ NO NO NO NO NO YES
Arkansas – AR NO NO NO YES -boats manf. on or after Jan 2020 NO YES
California – CF NO NO NO YES NO YES
Colorado – CL NO NO NO NO NO YES
Connecticut – CT NO NO YES YES – 2017 and newer NO YES > 3000lbs
Delaware – DL NO NO NO NO NO YES
District of Columbia – DC YES YES YES YES NO YES
Florida – FL NO NO YES YES NO Yes > 2000lbs
Georgia – GA NO NO YES YES beginning July 2020 YES as part of the bh boat reg/title Reg only
Hawaii – HA NO NO NO YES NO Reg only
Idaho – ID NO NO NO YES NO Yes > 2000lbs
illinois – IL NO NO YES YES (optional under 22ft) NO YES
Indiana – IN NO NO YES YES NO YES
Iowa – IA YES if > 12ft NO YES YES NO YES > 2000lbs
Kansas – KA NO NO YES NO NO YES > 2000lbs
Kentucky – KY NO NO NO YES NO YES
Louisiana – LA NO NO YES YES YES YES
Maine – ME NO NO NO NO NO YES > 3000lbs
Maryland – MD NO NO YES YES NO YES
Massachusetts – MS NO NO NO YES NO YES > 3000lbs
Michigan – MC NO NO YES YES NO YES > 2500lbs
Minnesota – MN YES > 10ft NO NO YES NO YES > 4000lbs
Mississippi – MI NO Optional NO Optional Optional YES > 5000lbs
Missouri – MO NO NO YES YES YES YES
Montana – MT NO NO NO YES NO YES
Nebraska – NB NO NO NO YES NO Reg only
Nevada – NV NO NO YES YES NO YES
New Hampshire – NH NO NO YES NO NO YES > 3000lbs
New Jersey – NJ NO NO YES YES NO YES > 2500lbs
New Mexico – NM NO NO NO YES NO YES
New York – NY NO NO YES YES NO YES > 1000lbs
North Carolina – NC NO NO YES YES NO YES
North Dakota – ND NO NO YES NO NO NO
Ohio, OH YES NO YES YES YES > 9hp YES > 4000lbs
Oklahoma – OK NO NO YES YES YES > 10hp NO
Oregon – OR NO NO YES YES NO YES > 1800lbs boat/trailer combined
Pennsylvania – PA NO unless used in state parks bh NO YES YES NO YES
Rhode Island – RI YES > 12ft YES > 14ft YES YES Reg only YES > 3000lbs
South Carolina – SC NO NO NO YES YES > 4hp No
South Dakota – SD NO if < 18ft NO YES YES NO YES
Tennessee – TN NO NO YES NO NO NO
Texas – TX YES > 14ft YES > 14ft YES YES YES YES > 4000lbs
Utah – UT NO NO YES YES YES > 25hp YES > 750lbs
Vermont – VT NO NO NO YES NO YES > 1500lbs
Virginia, VA NO NO Optional YES YES > 25hp on reg/title app YES
Washington – WA NO NO YES YES NO YES
West Virginia – WS NO NO NO YES NO YES
Wisconsin – WS NO NO YES YES NO YES > 3000lbs
Wyoming – WY NO NO YES YES NO YES

*Non-powered refers to canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, bh.