The Coast Guard is responsible for vessel documentation of both recreational and commercial vessels. This function is performed by the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) located in Falling Waters, West Virginia. Vessel documentation is a national form of registration. Vessel documentation provides conclusive evidence of nationality for international purposes, provides for unhindered commerce between the states, and admits vessels to certain restricted trades, such as coastwise trade and the fisheries.
During a typical year, NVDC processes applications for more than 200,000 Certificates of Documentation (CODs) and 40,000 Abstracts of Title. From Dec. 23, 2018 through Jan. 25, 2019, normal operations were interrupted during the partial government shutdown, which caused backlogs that will take time to process. NVDC’s Case Processing Report, updated weekly and posted on the home page of NVDC’s website, provides detailed information related to cases being worked by request type and mail received date.
If you’ve already mailed, faxed or e-mailed your request and would like to confirm receipt and file date of your document, visit NVDC’s website, and follow the instructions under the Paperwork Status Inquiry tab. NOTE: Documents received but not yet linked in the system and cases already processed will return a ‘NO PENDING WORK ITEM(S)’ message.
The quickest and most efficient way to renew CODs (one-year only), late renewals (one-year only), and/or request Abstracts of Title or certified copies of CODs is to order these products online. However, if you’ve already submitted your request by mail, fax or e-mail, please do not re-submit via this process. To use the online payment system, visit our website and click the ORDER PRODUCTS ONLINE tab.
Recreational vessel owners who wish to renew CODs for more than one year may do so by including additional fees in the amount of $26.00 per extra year requested, and annotating same on the CG-7042 Credit Card Form, or in the memo line of checks. We are in the process of updating IT systems so that future applications can be processed online.
Information regarding expiring CODs can be found in the Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 03-19, released March 11, 2019.
For further assistance, please contact the NVDC at 1-800-799-8362 or 304-271-2400 between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm Eastern Time (Standard or Daylight Savings, when applicable).
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.