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Old 01-02-2016, 12:52   #1
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Coast Guard Documentation Assist

This is my first post. My wife and I are looking to buy a used sailboat (40'-45') in Texas. I was told that I should get Coast Guard Documentation because we will be live a boards traveling from Nova Scotia to Bahamas and the Caribbean. The state I live in now (NM) told me that I will not need to pay sales tax or register it in NM as long as I don't bring it into the state.
Question is - Can I get Coast Guard Documentation with out a state registration?
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Old 01-02-2016, 13:40   #2
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

Yes you can. If you enter New Mexico at all sales taxes are due. The same applies to other states based on their limits. I have a friend who has a home port of Park City Utah.

You boat is not being bought in NM.


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Old 01-02-2016, 14:15   #3
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

You can get uscg doc without a state registration but the state the boat will be in most of the year, or less depending on the state, may require registration. And if you haven't paid sales tax in another state they will collect sales tax. Registration and sales tax vary greatly by state.

So, the simple answer is yes, but be careful to check the state you will be keeping the boat in for more than 30 days just to be safe.

The Home Port can be anyplace in the US but has nothing to do with where you may sales tax or registration.
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Old 01-02-2016, 16:09   #4
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

This is a duplicate thread.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:27   #5
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

Couple of things you need to know. Yes, you can get documentation without a state registration. I'm not sure how you plan to get a large boat to New Mexico, but it is possible. You need not pay sales tax in Texas if you plan to immediately remove the boat, that usually means within 30 days, from Texas waters. Each state you travel through will have different requirements. But it boils down to a matter of time. You will need to "register" the boat in any state you plan to be in for X number of days, anywhere from 90 to 120 days, if you remain in that states water. In Florida, you are required by state law to be registered in some state, even if documented, once you enter Florida waters. Florida does have a sojourners permit that amounts to a temporary registration to be used while your in Florida waters. As you can see the answer is a bit complicated so you will need to do some research for the waters you plan to travel and visit. Much of the information you receive on an internet forum may or may not be correct. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:46   #6
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

No sales tax on boats in Rhode Island. I don't live there but I would keep my boat there if I could. Narragansett Bay is superb. Rhode Island really works to serve boat owners from what I can tell so far, and I know sailors who are not Rhode Island resident but register their boat there for all these reasons.
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:30   #7
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

Regarding the 'tax' situation. If you can afford the boat, you ought to be able to afford the taxes due without going to great lengths to avoid that responsibility. You want services like bouys, dredged channels, navigation aids, NOAA weather reports, water police, and a Coast Guard to come save your butt? Then pony up your fair share, say I. If EVERYONE thought that way and paid their share, just think how much we'd ALL benefit. My 2 cents....but I don't much care for Caymen Island tax havens for billionaires, either. Just offering another, probably unpopular, opinion.....
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:14   #8
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

Quote:
Originally Posted by scareygary View Post
Regarding the 'tax' situation. If you can afford the boat, you ought to be able to afford the taxes due without going to great lengths to avoid that responsibility.


If you did a little research you would learn the the US Federal income tax is illegal. It was never passed by Congress. Having my income taxed is one thing, taxing what I spend is another. Double taxation.

You want services like buoys Paid by Federal tax

dredged channels Paid by Federal tax
navigation aids Paid by Federal tax
NOAA weather reports Paid by Federal tax
water police State or Local tax
Coast Guard to come save your butt? Paid by Federal tax, but since when do they come save anyones butt anymore?

Then pony up your fair share, say I. If EVERYONE thought that way and paid their share, just think how much we'd ALL benefit. My 2 cents....but I don't much care for Caymen Island tax havens for billionaires, either. Just offering another, probably unpopular, opinion.....
I pay my tax in two countries, but I would feel a lot better if the various entities didn't waste it.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:25   #9
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

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Originally Posted by biltin69 View Post
This is my first post. My wife and I are looking to buy a used sailboat (40'-45') in Texas. I was told that I should get Coast Guard Documentation because we will be live a boards traveling from Nova Scotia to Bahamas and the Caribbean. The state I live in now (NM) told me that I will not need to pay sales tax or register it in NM as long as I don't bring it into the state.
Question is - Can I get Coast Guard Documentation with out a state registration?
You will get much conflicting information here...go to the USCG web site and get the information you need. They are very helpful.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:27   #10
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

In Massachusetts you don't need a state registration if the boat is documented. In fact documentation exempts you from all state 'registration' but some states will still insist on a fee in place of the registration fee.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:28   #11
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

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Originally Posted by scareygary View Post
Regarding the 'tax' situation. If you can afford the boat, you ought to be able to afford the taxes due without going to great lengths to avoid that responsibility. You want services like bouys, dredged channels, navigation aids, NOAA weather reports, water police, and a Coast Guard to come save your butt? Then pony up your fair share, say I. If EVERYONE thought that way and paid their share, just think how much we'd ALL benefit. My 2 cents....but I don't much care for Caymen Island tax havens for billionaires, either. Just offering another, probably unpopular, opinion.....
Just how will paying sales tax to New Mexico pay for dredging channels?
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:41   #12
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

What I am reading is you will be starting your cruise in Nova Scotia? By trucking the boat up there? If so, disregard the following, but still get professional advise - see the bottom for a good starting place in Texas.


If you are planning on buying the boat in Texas and starting your cruise from there, then it will probably best serve you to pay and register in Texas as well as document. Texas is one of the states that requires boats to be registered regardless, but does not provide title to unregistered boats.

Here is the deal. If you are cruising say through Florida, they will leave a valid Texas registered cruiser alone for a long, long time as will other states. Unregistered documented boats get a hard look and may have to prove up they paid sales tax or came from somewhere that did and also first to get pegged for the ~90 day rule in some states. They believe revenue should be paid somewhere and first state to collect wins. Even though officially you may have to register in a state you stay in too long, you will not have to pay taxes again. Seems the old defense of selling everything, buying a boat in another state and not paying taxes because your home state didn't require it is being caught more and more. Recent example of cruisers who bought and started the cruise in Oregon to Cabo and beyond. CA, sent them a tax bill.

If buying the boat in Texas, contact Carol Mathews Vessel Documentation for more formalized advise and also recommend using them for handling all of the paperwork. Don't trust the broker to handle this for you.

Carol Matthews' vessel registration USCG vessel title registration USCG registrations Coast Guard vessel titles Coast Guard registration vessels documentations USCG titles Coast Guard vessels registrations USCG documentations vessels registrations Co
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:52   #13
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

George, I know full well that state taxes don't pay for federal expenses. it's the point that if we want SERVICES, we have to pony up. One reason the CG does less 'rescue' than in the past is that their budgets have been slashed. They still do helicopter rescues and Columbia Bar rescues out here on the left coast, and I'm glad we have them. But, we have missing markers at the end of wing dams on the Columbia that keep submerged piles from being seen by boaters at higher water. Huge safety issue. Corps of Engineers are in charge. I call them and ask why they don't fix those 'safety issues'. "Budget cuts.... " The point is...if you want services, pay your damn TAXES; all these "cuts" so people can avoid their responsibility is destroying our 'infrastructure', as it relates to boating as well. Again, this is just my opinion, but I'd be remiss if I didn't offer this point of view. You can argue the specifics, and did, quite well, but I'm trying to make a more general point here.....Thanks for considering it...
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:54   #14
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

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George, I know full well that state taxes don't pay for federal expenses. it's the point that if we want SERVICES, we have to pony up. One reason the CG does less 'rescue' than in the past is that their budgets have been slashed. They still do helicopter rescues and Columbia Bar rescues out here on the left coast, and I'm glad we have them. But, we have missing markers at the end of wing dams on the Columbia that keep submerged piles from being seen by boaters at higher water. Huge safety issue. Corps of Engineers are in charge. I call them and ask why they don't fix those 'safety issues'. "Budget cuts.... " The point is...if you want services, pay your damn TAXES; all these "cuts" so people can avoid their responsibility is destroying our 'infrastructure', as it relates to boating as well. Again, this is just my opinion, but I'd be remiss if I didn't offer this point of view. You can argue the specifics, and did, quite well, but I'm trying to make a more general point here.....Thanks for considering it...
I don't think an argument on the application of taxes is serving the OP well or close to topic. Each State has their own requirements and funds. Some better than others. I will bite and venture off in that the problem with ANY organization (private or government), is that the larger it becomes, the less inefficient it becomes. What happens when you roll up what was a very efficient and well run organization like the US Coast Guard under Homeland Security? Then roll up an organization that really has nothing to do with either - FEMA. Where is the money now going? The squeaky wheel gets the oil....
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:18   #15
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation Assist

Let me echo others suggestion to go online for documentation information: USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page

The forms are very straight forward and easy to complete. I completed them for one boat and the finance company completed them for 2 other boats. I think they charged about $150.

If I understand, this is like a national/international title for your boat. As I recall, the finance company did an abstract search to verify there were no liens on the boat.

In Missouri, you first document the boat, then register it and pay an "in lieu of" tax, which is about 2% as opposed to 7% sales tax
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