If you own a boat in the US you are required to either have it registered with a state or documented with the US Coast Guard. Any vessel 5 Gross tons (usually over 25')or more that is wholly owned by a US citizen or US business can be documented with the USCG. Documented vessels are given unique numbers that are displayed on the inside of the boat. A USCG Documented vessel is identified from the outside by the Name and hailing port.
If you travel to foreign waters, the Certificate of Documentation
facilitates clearance with foreign governments and provides certain protection by the U.S. flag. Every country knows what the USA is, but not everyone knows what Wyoming is and why you are registered with them.
be easier to get a bank loan to finance your vessel if it is documented. The bank is interested in recording a “First Preferred Ships Mortgage” to perfect their lien. This document is enforceable throughout the U.S., its territories, and some foreign countries.
Most states allow boats registered in other states into their waters up to 90 days without obtaining their state registration, but check with the visiting state registration requirements.
No need for state registration numbers on the outside of your boat.
A documented boat is always documented. If you sell a documented vessel the new owner simply needs to update the documentation
information. The documentation number will always stay the same.
I just completed my USCG documentation and I was all in for about $220. I also had to pay $155 for a three year NC registration since the boat is there for more than 90 days.