Having up-to-date Coast Guard Vessel Documentation is an important part of owning and operating a boat. This is for your protection, as well as the protection of everyone else on the water. There are a variety of guidelines about how to keep your boat properly documented, which may occur on the state level, the federal level, or both. That documentation must also be renewed regularly. Being caught without current paperwork can result in fines or the loss of your boat. Here’s what you need to know about the process.
Why Renew Documentation?
As mentioned above, for legal reasons, your boat’s paperwork must be current. Even if you don’t think there’s any reason for the United States Coast Guard to stop you or board your vessel, it’s always a possibility. If you have an emergency on the water and there’s no documentation of your presence, it can be difficult to find and help you. Be sure you know when renewal is necessary and get the process started well ahead of time so you don’t run the risk of operating your boat with expired paperwork.
Understand the Requirements
From time to time, requirements may be changed or updated and you’ll need to know what they are so you can be sure your boat meets all of them before submitting renewal documentation paperwork. Once you know you’re compliant, you can file your renewal online, as well as keep all of your documentation digitally for easy access. However, it’s also a good idea to keep paper copies of all of your documents in a safe and dry location on board your vessel.
When Changes Are Needed
In some cases, you may need to change the information on your documentation. This could be contact information, your hailing port, or even the name of your vessel. When that happens, you will need to update your information for the United States Coast Guard so it’s all current, should it become necessary to produce it on board your boat. As soon as any information regarding your boat changes, it’s important to update your documents, so don’t wait to get the forms submitted.
Updated Insurance Information
It’s vital to have all of your insurance information up to date. That’s because if there is an accident or damage to your boat, you will need to file a claim and your documentation must be current to do so without a lot of hassle. Be sure you understand your policy as well, which allows you to make the proper claim, should the need ever arise. Without up-to-date paperwork, you may have trouble claiming an accident with your insurance company so be sure you stay on top of all boat documentation and update as soon as changes are needed.
If you need help with your boat documentation, you aren’t alone. The Commercial Fishing Permits Center is here to help. We can answer questions, and facilitate the process and we have many online forms on our website that make the process of updating your Coast Guard vessel documentation fast and easy. Contact us today for all of the assistance you need.