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Old 19-09-2009, 16:29   #1
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Registration Numbers

Currently my vessel is registered with California, but I don't have the numbers in place. To save $10 and not bother with the stickers, can I instead register with the USCG, and therefore not need registration numbers because the boat has only sail power?
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Old 19-09-2009, 17:10   #2
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Here's the link for documentation:

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, FAQ Page
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Old 19-09-2009, 18:06   #3
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Yes, you can document your vessal for about $300 and not have to display state registration numbers. There would be no yearly fees.
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Old 19-09-2009, 18:45   #4
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A quick call to your county courthouse will give you the answer you need. I know in many states, having USCG documentation does not mean the state no longer wants your registration fees.
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Old 19-09-2009, 21:48   #5
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Your home port state may require you to register whether you are documented or not. I believe there might yearly fee for Documenting now, but not sure.
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Old 20-09-2009, 00:29   #6
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In California it is not necessary if you are documented federally to have state registration. Registering with the state is actually less of a hassle.
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Old 20-09-2009, 05:08   #7
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I believe there might yearly fee for Documenting now, but not sure.
Nope. See the above link for all the USCG requiremnts, forms and fees. The FAQ link is actually easy to underdstand and you can get all the forms ytou need and print them out. Your title can be registered there and you are done forever for one fee. You just mail back the form they send evry year to assert your address is still correct with no fees required.

States have a whole other set of issues related to taxes. Use tax (aka Sales Tax), personal property tax, and sticker fees on a regualr a basis can all apply or not apply no matter if the boat has a state or a USCG title certificate.
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Old 20-09-2009, 05:33   #8
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You also still need to affix numbers for documentation, albeit not on the outside. They require permanently affixed documentation inside the hull that cannot be handily removed. Mine has plastic numbers in anchor locker with clear epoxy applied over. Documentation fees for us were between 80 90 bucks with a 10$ per page recording fee for accompanying paperwork. As stated registration varies from state to state. Florida requires registration, but no registration number displayed, just colored year sticker. South carolina doesn't require registration for documented vessels.
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Old 20-09-2009, 21:50   #9
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In California it is not necessary if you are documented federally to have state registration. Registering with the state is actually less of a hassle.
Registering with the state requires the numbers on the boat even if it is non motorized if it is more than 12 feet long. Also a yearly fee. If I am registered with just the state and not the USCG, is that sufficient documentation for traveling to other countries?

If I were to register with the coast guard, and claim no home port, or a home port like some landlocked town in a state that does not require registration of non-motorized vehicles, then I would be except from all future fees, and a registration number would not be required correct?
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Old 21-11-2009, 09:54   #10
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Registering with the state requires the numbers on the boat even if it is non motorized if it is more than 12 feet long. Also a yearly fee. If I am registered with just the state and not the USCG, is that sufficient documentation for traveling to other countries?

If I were to register with the coast guard, and claim no home port, or a home port like some landlocked town in a state that does not require registration of non-motorized vehicles, then I would be except from all future fees, and a registration number would not be required correct?
Vessel registration in California is less than $50, and renewal is biannual with a fee of $20. According to the Coast Guard federal regs, if your vessel is not a Coast Guard Documented vessel, then it needs to be a state registered vessel and display the federally required 'AA 1234 AA' state registration numbering format in minimum 3" basic font on the forward half of the hull regardless of what state it hails from.
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Old 21-11-2009, 10:11   #11
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When I refinanced my California registered boat with an East Coast lender, they registered my boat with the USCG.
About four months later I received a document from the folks at the Calif. Sales Tax claiming that the USCG had informed them that I'd purchsed a boat and owned California the sales tax for the amount refinanced. The alleged date of sale matched the refinance date.
A polite "go to hell" letter with a copy of my original purchase contract cleared up the issue.
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Old 21-11-2009, 14:38   #12
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If I were to register with the coast guard, and claim no home port, or a home port like some landlocked town in a state that does not require registration of non-motorized vehicles, then I would be except from all future fees, and a registration number would not be required correct?
The dinghy requires registration in any state water she sails if motorized. While having another state registration on the dinghy may keep the law off. Having none and saying it's not required is probably not going to go your way. If your boat is US Documented it means absolutely nothing at all when it comes to the dinghy. You can name any home port you choose so long as it is a place (it does not need to be a city) in the US. You don't have to live or keep the boat there either. It probably won't mean anything no mater what you choose. The real address on the documentation is supposed to be your mailing address. When the state gets the info from the USCG they get the mailing address too. They don't care about your home port. Tax guys are not stupid. You can't just make that up as you need to renew the documentation papers each year on the anniversary and disclose your mailing address.
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