Coast Guard documentation status

How to Check Coast Guard Documentation Status

Fortunately, the process for checking your Coast Guard documentation status is fairly easy and doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to figure out. Once you’ve submitted the initial documentation, you can also check back on the application process to see where you’re at in getting it completed. You can also check to see what the current processing times are. 

Remember, that most vessels are required to be documented with the United States Coast Guard, so it’s important to make sure your documentation is in order and current at all times. Here’s what you need to know about checking your status. 

What is US Coast Guard Documentation

This is similar to how you title a car, truck or SUV, but applies specifically to watercraft. It is a federal requirement for most vessels and is used as a way to identify the boat and its owner, as well as other important data. Much like your vehicle, updating your registration is required on a consistent basis, typically every year, so you need to be sure you are keeping it current or you may face fines and penalties, including being docked until your paperwork is current. 

Checking Your Vessel Status

The best way to check the status of your application is to visit the National Vessel Documentation Center. In addition to providing you with information about your current application, the site also assists you with other important forms relating to your boat and has plenty of information about all things related to keeping your boat properly documented. 

Checking on Documentation

There’s also a way to check to see if a boat is documented at all. Remember, that boats of certain types are required to be registered with the United States Coast Guard, including those that have a volume of 5 net tons or more, and those that are at least 26 feet in length. There are some ways to check to see if a watercraft is registered, including the following:

  • Does the vessel have an official United States Coast Guard number?
  • Is the name displayed on the bow?
  • Does the bow have a state registration number?
  • Is there a name and/or hailing port displayed on the stern?

You can use the Vessel Documentation Center website to cross reference information to be sure it’s a valid and unique US Coast Guard number. You can also look up the boat using the name or hull identification number (HIN), as well as doing a Certificate of Documentation search. 

How Long Does an Application Take to Process?

The standard wait times vary and tend to go up when more applications are in the queue. You can check the current processing times on the Vessel Documentation Online site, but the following is also to be expected:

  • Initial COD (fishery): 10 days
  • Initial COD (recreational): 70-80 working days
  • COD renewal: 15 days
  • Notice of claims of lien: 4 months
  • Satisfaction of ship mortgage: 4 months
  • Abstract of Title: 5-10 business days

Coast Guard documentation status
If you want to check your Coast Guard documentation status, it’s easy to do and can give you a good idea of how long your wait will be. If you need help facilitating the process or have questions along the way, our FAQ section can assist you with all the answers you may need.