What is the USCG Certificate of Documentation? It’s a vital piece of paperwork that you must have if you operate a commercial fishing business. It certifies that your documentation is up to date and in order, in case you need to present it to the authorities. Boats of certain sizes are required to be documented with the United States Coast Guard and there are several benefits to doing so. Read more about them below.
Proof of Registration and Ownership
Much like you register your vehicle, you must do the same with a boat. Doing so proves that you own the vessel and ensures that you have a United States Coast Guard documentation number. That number operates as your registration “tag,” as well as your Certificate of Documentation. Your number will be placed on your boat and allow the Coast Guard to track and recognize vessels.
Your boat has its own unique Universal Serial Number and recognizes your vessel. It can be likened to a social security number. This number helps track ownership of the boat and is vital in case it’s ever stolen or lost. Not only can it help the USCG find your boat, but it’s also necessary if you need to make an insurance claim for loss or theft. Additionally, this number is used anytime a boat is bought or sold and you will need it if you ever decide to sell your boat to a new owner. You should also be sure that number is available anytime you purchase a new or used commercial fishing boat.
United States Coast Guard Registration
Your Coast Guard number allows you to legally fish in a commercial manner in United States waters, as well as the waters of Canada and Mexico. If there is an emergency or the USCG needs to contact you for any reason, this number helps them find you and your vessel. Because your number is unique to your watercraft, it can also be used to track past ownership and maintenance, which comes in handy when a boat is bought or sold.
If your boat is ever involved in some kind of incident, including crime or robbery, your Certificate of Documentation can be used to find you. At the same time, registering your vessel with the United States Coast Guard makes it easier to access utilities that are an important part of operating your boat. That includes trash, water, gas, power, sewage, telephone, and cable television on board your watercraft. It may sound dramatic, but your survival on the water relies on access to these services, so ensuring that you can get them when you need them is part of being a responsible commercial fisherman.
Do you need help understanding and applying for your USCG Certificate of Documentation? Let the Commercial Fishing Permits Center help. Contact us today and we can facilitate the process and answer your questions along the way.