The Action to Take If You Lose Your Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation

Certificate of Documentation

Have you lost or misplaced your Certificate of Documentation? There’s no need to panic, though this is an issue you will need to address as soon as possible. It’s not a good idea to be out on the water with the proper documentation on hand, so replacing your lost certificate right away is part of being a responsible boat owner. This guide will walk you through it so you can get it done in a timely and efficient manner. 

What is a Certificate of Documentation?

Your Certificate of Documentation is a legal document issued by the United States Coast Guard. It is proof that you have registered the vessel and that you legally own it. It also provides proof that you can use it for commercial fishing purposes and international travel. The certificate also offers certain privileges, including eligibility for preferred mortgages, as well as trade and regulatory advantages.

A Certificate of Documentation isn’t the same as state registration. It applies to boats registered with the United States Coast Guard, and may not apply to smaller boats that are only registered at the state level. Make sure you keep the document in a safe location where you can get to it easily if you need to. 

How to Replace Your COD

Losing your Certificate of Documentation can be stressful and chances are you want to take care of the situation as soon as possible. Fortunately, working through each step takes some of the worry out of the problem and helps you get a replacement document so that you can have peace of mind when you’re out on the water. There are two ways to do this, online or by mail. Let’s look at a breakdown of how it works below.

To Order an Online Copy

  1. Visit the Commercial Fishing Permits Center
  2. Navigate to the tab that says, “USCG Documentation” and select Replacement
  3. Fill in the appropriate information 
  4. Pay the fee and submit

To Order a Physical Copy

  1. Download the form on the Commercial Fishing Permits Center website
  2. Complete the paper copy of the form
  3. Submit the form by mail, along with the fee
  4. Mail or email the finished forms

What Happens Next?

Once you have submitted your application for a replacement CoD, you will need to wait for it to be processed and approved. The wait time is shorter if you submit your request online and will take longer if you request a replacement certificate by mail. The replacement Certificate of Documentation will use the original expiration date, which keeps everything up to date. 

Cost of a Replacement Certificate of Documentation

If you request an expedited digital copy of your Certificate of Documentation, the cost is an additional $46.

Certificate of Documentation

If you need more help navigating the process of replacing your Certificate of Documentation, we are here to help. Contact the Commercial Fishing Permits Center and we’ll help you get through each step, from start to finish. 

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