Vessel Documentation

11/16/2016: Important information for vessel owners, operators pursuing federal documentation

The U.S. Coast Guard’s National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC), located in Falling Waters, West Virginia, is the only entity authorized to issue Certificates of Documentation (CODs), form CG-1270. This documentation is required for vessels engaged in Commercial trade and is optional for vessels five net tons and over engaged in recreational use/activities. Persons interested in conducting business directly with NVDC should visit the official Coast Guard website or other published contact methods.

The NVDC is aware that there are commercial entities that offer, for a fee, to manage the certification process on behalf of vessel owners. The Coast Guard does not endorse any of these companies, and the companies do not operate on behalf of the Coast Guard in any way. Any fees charged or agreements offered by such companies are in no way associated with the NVDC certification process, and these companies are not authorized to issue official NVDC Certificates of Documentation.

In addition, these companies are not authorized to issue any form of documentation, including letters that permit operation of ANY vessel.

Temporary CODs (TCODs) were not issued for calendar year 2016, and TCODS have never been issued to commercial vessel owners.   All historical TCODs will expire on or before November 15, 2016 and were issued to recreational vessel owners only.

Persons interested in conducting business directly with NVDC should visit the official NVDC website or contact NVDC at (800) 799-8362 or (304) 271-2400. Phone hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; phones are not manned on Thursdays. Application packages and documents eligible for filing (in .pdf format) can be e-mailed to or faxed via (304) 271-2405. COD Renewal requests are accepted via VDC-PF-NVDCRENEWALS@USCG.MIL.

The following products may be ordered online: Renewals, Late Renewals, Abstract of Title requests, and Certified Copies of COD requests. From the main page, follow the “Order Products Online” link.

Users are encouraged to register to receive notices and updates via e-mail by utilizing NVDC’s email subscription service. Please report any issues to the NVDC Webmaster.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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