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Old 09-05-2006, 14:17   #1
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State registration and foreign travel

Has anyone on the list traveled as a US resident (but not a US citizen) to carribean countries or bahamas or mexico with his/her boat that is state registered? What kinds of problems are encountered when you present state registration as opposed federal level US documentation? My boat title also only states "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations". There's no place that says United States or anything simmilar.
Am I still allowed or supposed to fly US flag off the stern? My point is that there is no paperwork that says this a us boat? Title, registration and decal do not mention United States.
Petar
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Old 09-05-2006, 14:53   #2
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The issue you face is proof of ownership and proof of citizenship not that you are a citizen where the boat is from (as you are not). If it is state registered vessle then that is what it is and the papers you should have aboard at all times - up to date too. US Documentation is better only becuase it is easier to recognize the papers. It's less confusing to some officals.

Actually most immigration / cutoms people will have heard of Rhode Island. It's not that odd even if the people can be .

The flag you fly is based on vessle registration not where you come from. If you chartered a boat in France you would fly a French flag but you better have the proper passport for yourself. You should fly a US flag becuase that is the proper one to fly. You are not actually required under law to fly any flag from the stern but it is customary. Flying the incorrect flag would confuse officials you might encounter and they amy not be too sure about you.

So, US flag on stern, host country flag after you clear immigration and customs then your citizenship passport of where you are a citizen is what you need and actually is all you really have.
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Old 09-05-2006, 15:32   #3
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I read on one of the threads that french don't accept the state title and registration so would they return me or even worse would there be a chance that they or any other place would confiscate the boat?
On the other hand would a better solution be to sign the boat over to my wife who is a US citizen, then document the boat bofere we go this summer?
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Old 09-05-2006, 16:37   #4
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US Documentation is the best. It will be accepted worldwide. You'll need the proper credentials to get it and it can take maybe 2 months. So you'll need to get going NOW! The USCG web site has all the forms so you can do this yourself. They will want original build certificates and I'm not sure what else if you don't have that. I'm sure we can find someone on the forum that has done a documentation from scratch to give some more advice. You really want to hurry up and get it submitted. You could not leave if you started the process. if you dont see a reply post a new message or get in contact with the USCG documentation Center (in West Virginia no ocean there)

For me I just did a transfer as it was already documented so it was cheaper and easier (still took a long time).

If you could query each country ahead of time you could determine if they will accept a state registration. Though that would assume you know every country you will go to.
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:52   #5
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I recently documented my C&C and did it through a documentation service. Depending on a few issues you may be able to document it yourself for less than $200. I choose to use a service for a couple of reasons. First, I have a C&C that was made in Canada and required the customs paperwork along with a bill of sale, state title, simple tonnage calculation (this is not how heavy the boat is), build paperwork and documentation search. Second my time was better spent in other areas than dealing directly with the USCG. Frankly I might try it myself if I was documenting another boat but I don't regret paying the documentation service to handle all of the paperwork. Also you may have to re-register your boat with the state as we do here in Texas. The documentation service should document the boat, register it with the state, turn over the invalid state title and generally clean up the whole thing. Be sure that you mark your boat properly. The documentation process was completed for under $400. Finially South Shore Yachts in Ontario has much of the original C&C paperwork if you boat is from the Canadian firm. I started the process in December and received the documentation certificate in early February. Don't go to Mexico without it!
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:44   #6
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Pura Vida, I'll lay off of the documentation. I called up my sailing school out of Ft. Lauderdale and there's no problems going to bahamas with state registration/ state title. It sould be smooth sailing for most of the carribean. I'll be cautious. Transfering the title to my wife, and then documenting the boat seems like an awful lot of paperwork. I heard from a guy on another forum that traveled the south pacific with a state title and state registration. I also looked over my documents and since the previous owner had the vessel documented, I have US Coast Guard bill of sale. Everyone should accept that as a proof of ownership.
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Old 10-05-2006, 13:11   #7
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Quote:
I also looked over my documents and since the previous owner had the vessel documented, I have US Coast Guard bill of sale. Everyone should accept that as a proof of ownership.
Then documentation for you is easy. You just need a transfer. I did that myself. It's starting from the ground up that takes all the hassle and paperwork.

A bill of sale is all you need to finish the documentation transfer process but it won't mean anything to any one else. A bill of sale isn't the same thing as a title. It's only slightly better than a note from your mom.
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Old 10-05-2006, 13:17   #8
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If your boat was previously documented, it should be quick and easy to transfer documentation. I just transferred my boat at a cost of $92 ( give or take a dollar or two) and turnaround was 2 weeks. First step would be a call to the processing center. I found them quite helpful. They can tell you all the paperwork needed as well as an estimated process time. If you then decide not to persue it, you're only out a phone call. Thier number as well as other information can be found at NVDC.gov
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Old 10-05-2006, 14:11   #9
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http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/vdoc/nvdc.htm

is the web site. You need a CG-1258 form. You can download it and the instructions and call them with questions.
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Old 10-05-2006, 14:25   #10
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Thanks for the correct web link
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Old 10-05-2006, 14:48   #11
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Forgetting one thing, I am not a US citizen. Only a permanent resident. I need another bill of sale or a gift statement to my wife who is a us Citizen. Then she has to do the documentation. That, to me is to much paperwork. Because then we need insurance, state registration and state title to get transfered. And then what hapens if she, as we hear in many other cruising stories, decides she no longer wants to go cruising?
On the other hand, US Coast Guard Bill of Sale is the only document I have in my posession that says United States, Vessel name and my name on a same piece of paper. It must be better than moms note and better than state registration in a country that does not know that Rhode Island is part of United States.
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Old 10-05-2006, 16:35   #12
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If you have been documented in the past you may try looking up the status of your boat here:
http://www.st.nmfs.gov/st1/commercia...g_vessel2.html

Boats can loose their documented status. If you are a legal resident alien you may still be able to document your boat without a transfer to the wife. If you have a few minutes call the processing center and ask them. It can't hurt. The one thing that you may want to keep in mind is one purpose of the US Doc is to make the boat easier to sell or transfer. If you leave Rhode Island and decide you want to sell in Florida (let's say to buy a different boat) it will be much easier to do. The form CG-1340 may not carry the weight of the actual form CG-1270. Fair winds. I envy the big C&C she must be a sweet sailing boat.
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Old 11-05-2006, 15:40   #13
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The WV coast Guard guys tell me that I cannot get the boat documented, and don't know of any other paperwork other than RI state Registration. my boat lost the documented status which is fine cause thats the previous owners stuff.
No need to force the boat documentation. We are going and we'll see what happens along the way. I'll be elegible for US citizenship in July 2007, so I can always chage the status later on. I am not selling the hose, and my mother will be living in part of it so I can still receive mail and do all kinds of necessary paperwork.
I am just glad that others have done it.
Pura Vida, I think many C&C owners especially the designer Rob Ball would hate me. I've added so much sh.t, that I've probably ruined all of their racing design aspects. Like pulling the bronze flush t-hulls and installing the meralon mushroom style, then adding a bunch of heavy heavy items. Still I love to look at the cabin lines and topsides which I didn't manage to screw up yet.
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Old 11-05-2006, 17:54   #14
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Petar,
You may put a thoroughbred in a carrage harness but she will alway be able to run. Have a safe trip.
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:28   #15
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US documentation (documented vessel status) is reserved for US citizens partly because of traditional and commercial provisions that gave the owners and crew special status and protections AS CITIZENS. I know some of these have changed or been dropped over the past 20-30 years but going back that long ago, for example, if you were crew aboard a US documented vessel and that vessel was stranded in a foreign port, the US government would repatriot you, i.e. bring you home. I'm afraid I've lost the notes I once had about specifics, these days documentation for pleasure boats seems to be mainly an issue of title registration.
On other perq for documented vessels is that the captain may act as a defacto agent of the US postal service: If you have picked up mail in a foreign port and are bringing it inbound to the US for delivery to the USPS (who does not need to authorize you for this) you are legally allowed to BRING THE MAIL. You are not required to stop for the USCG, Customs, etc, but are allowed to bring the mail in without delay. An obscure provision in the USCode which, I am sure, the nice men in the striped boats neither know nor care about, I don't suggest doing this. But the odd little quirks like that are why documented status is reserved for US citizens and corporations that are more than 51% owned by US citizens, IIRC.

In the meantime, Peter, in order to make sure you don't run afoul of some petty inspector along the way, you might write ahead to the places you plan to visit, and get their written reply stating that there should be no problem, or what papers they want you to bring. If nothing else, when you present those along with your registration, it assures the locals that you have planned ahead and you are a legitimate visitor.
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