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Old 30-03-2019, 05:26   #1
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state registration vs. documentation

Wondering, if you are state registered, if documentation is still necessary. We are required to register boats in nc., even if documented ,what are advantages of documentation or can you still travel internationally with state registration?
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Old 30-03-2019, 06:08   #2
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

There are lots and lots of threads on this subject, use the search function

You'll get two answers; completely impossible, and no problem.

Personally, we've checked in and out of more than 50 countries with state registration and never once had a problem.
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Old 30-03-2019, 06:11   #3
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

CG documentation isn't "required". Checking in/out of countries with State registration appears to vary with it being most accepted as expected to the countries on the US borders.

One advantage is that you don't have to put those ugly letters on your boat is documented (at least for the States I've been in)
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Old 30-03-2019, 06:18   #4
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
One advantage is that you don't have to put those ugly letters on your boat is documented (at least for the States I've been in)
States cannot require you to put numbers on a documented boat, state registration sticker, yes, but not numbers. CG regulations specifically say, state numbers are not allowed.
FYI, there are some states that do not require state registration of documented boats. I'm in VA and my boat is not registered. It is optional here.
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Old 30-03-2019, 06:31   #5
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

What is the downside of getting USCG documented?
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Old 30-03-2019, 06:34   #6
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

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What is the downside of getting USCG documented?
$26/yr

and for cruisers finding a way to physically get it once the renewal is mailed
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Old 30-03-2019, 06:39   #7
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

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States cannot require you to put numbers on a documented boat, state registration sticker, yes, but not numbers. CG regulations specifically say, state numbers are not allowed.
FYI, there are some states that do not require state registration of documented boats. I'm in VA and my boat is not registered. It is optional here.
Yep, ditto -- have to pay VA property taxes (although I docked in another U.S. jurisdiction for years and never paid a cent), but no state markings, just documented name and hailing port.
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Old 30-03-2019, 07:24   #8
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

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What is the downside of getting USCG documented?
There is really no downside except for the extra bureaucracy. Documentation is really just federal registration btw, they say that on the website. If you are actually cruising and move the boat around a lot in the states then you can legally avoid other sales/use tax. If you keep it too long in one place then the tax man may send you a nice letter.
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Old 30-03-2019, 08:39   #9
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

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and for cruisers finding a way to physically get it once the renewal is mailed

Hopefully less of a hassle now that they're introducing the 5 year renewal instead of annual.


For Washington state they require you to register regardless because that's how the taxes are collected, but since we're documented we don't have to mount our registration numbers or stickers.
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Old 30-03-2019, 08:47   #10
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

So I'm wondering why the OP is implying they would prefer to "take their chances"?

I would think if the intention is to travel internationally, especially beyond those countries near the US, getting documented would be a no-brainer.
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Old 30-03-2019, 08:51   #11
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

hi:
I live in Florida and registration is required even if you document.
I chose to document as well for the following reason:

If your boat is stolen and the later recovered in a foreign country ( say Mexico or the Bahamas ) Florida cannot negotiate with a foreign country for its return. Only the Feds can negotiate on your behalf. I.E. Mexico does not recognize Florida, etc. Documentation is only a small fee.

In Florida, If you document, you must remove the state registration number from the bow and put the name of the boat on the transom instead. The state registration sticker goes on the hull abeam the mast.
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Old 30-03-2019, 08:54   #12
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

There is also a complication with recovering a boat that has a mortgage on it. I don't remember the details.
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Old 30-03-2019, 09:32   #13
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

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Originally Posted by basssears View Post
For Washington state they require you to register regardless because that's how the taxes are collected, but since we're documented we don't have to mount our registration numbers or stickers.
You should look into this again. Documented vessels in Washington state must display the current registration stickers or you will be cited. It is only the numbers that are not displayed.

https://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420082.pdf
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Old 30-03-2019, 09:41   #14
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

PPS:
The documentation # must be glassed into the inside of the hull.
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Old 30-03-2019, 10:12   #15
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Re: state registration vs. documentation

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Wondering, if you are state registered, if documentation is still necessary. We are required to register boats in nc., even if documented ,what are advantages of documentation or can you still travel internationally with state registration?
Google National Vessel Documentation Center for all the details. Regarding the registration number: "The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area." This is usually done by carving the numbers into a bulkhead...it can't be affixed, i.e. screwed/bolted, etc.

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