Just like your car, every year you need to renew your Coast Guard Documentation. Typically you will get a renewal notice in the mail from the Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) about a month before your expiration with a CG-1280 renewal form enclosed. If you want to renew your documentation online or want to renew for multiple years, you can click here and easily renew on-line for up to 5 years in advance. The more years in advance you purchase, the better the discount on the annual renewal fee. Even if the annual renewal fees go up in the next 5 years, you will not be charged extra.
If you accidentally miss the expiration date, you still have 30 days in which you can renew on-line. Once 30 days have passed, you can no longer renew and must reinstate your Coast Guard Documentation, which is slightly more expensive and requires a different form. If more than 30 days have passed since your expiration - even if several years have passed - you can click here to easily reinstate your expired documentation.