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USCG Documentation or State Title - What's the Difference?

February 27, 2017

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What do I do if my Coast Guard Documentation Expires?



We all miss things once in a while - birthdays, anniversaries, and sometimes our annual Coast Guard documentation renewal.  If you miss the deadline to renew your boat registration, don't worry - remedying the situation is quick and easy.


First, if you renew within 30 days of the expiration date (either online or by mailing in a CG-1280 Renewal Form) you can simply pay a late fee of $5 extra - not a big deal.  Here at Yacht Docs Online, we absorb the fee and don't charge you extra for the lateness.


If your documentation expired more than 30 days ago, you will have to file a CG-1258 Reinstatement, which is unfortunately a bit more expensive.  Usually reinstatement are processed and you will have the new documentation within 2-4 weeks.


What if you're buying or selling your boat and you find out the documentation is expired?  Don't sweat it - the Coast Guard will process the documentation transfer even though the documentation is expired.  Anyone who tells you that you need to pay extra to reinstate prior to transferring the documentation, is trying to separate you from your money and may be trying to defraud you.


Consumer Protection Alert:  Remember that the only official Coast Guard website is  If a website or an email does not end in .mil, you are NOT dealing directly with the U.S. Coast Guard.  This includes websites and emails ending in,,,,,, or any other ending except .mil.  Just because a website or email contains the letters US, USCG, NVDC, or some combination of United States, Coast Guard, and/or Documentation Center, does NOT mean you are dealing directly with the U.S. Coast Guard or an affiliated agency.  The NVDC's ONLY website is


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