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Old 31-10-2018, 13:49   #1
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USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

Bought a boat back in Sept and still waiting on USGC (National Vessel
Documentation Center) to process my COD (Certificate Of Documentation). Currently they are reporting a 2 month backlog for recreational COD.

A quick Google search returned info about a Temporary Certificate Of Documentation but they stopped that program too.

What do I need to carry aboard to be legal? Also, I need to sail the boat from BVI's to USVI likely before I receive the COD. Any recommendations would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old 31-10-2018, 16:20   #2
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

I almost had this dilemma, as I was considering buying a Canadian boat.
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Old 31-10-2018, 16:21   #3
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

I've been led to believe by this forum, as well as talking to the NDVC, that a bill of sale is sufficient.
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Old 31-10-2018, 18:44   #4
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

When I spoke with the nice people down in West VA, they told me that if I had copies of the materials I had submitted to them on board I could tell any authorities that wanted to know that my application was pending. I could then show them the file and if the questioning authority wanted, they could contact the processing center to verify everything. I also noted the need to show the boat's name and hailing port in properly sized letters. (There's some huge fine per day for not having the boat's name and hailing port evident.) So for our first few weeks of sailing we had masking tape spelling out our name and port. The only problem we had was aesthetic.
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Old 31-10-2018, 22:00   #5
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

I was planning on bringing a photo copy of the Bill of Sale and the forms I filed. But what would be the consequences if I try to enter the US as is?

Thanks for the name reminder...
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Old 31-10-2018, 23:48   #6
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

You will probably be OK with the sale paperwork but...

Found out after around 6months waiting, that if you need to cross international borders, you qualify for expedited service. Once I did that it got turned around in a week. Give them a call and tell them what you are doing and ask if you qualify.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:18   #7
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

BVI customs officials can be unpredictable and capriciously picky.

If you are waiting for mail in the BVI it can also take a while.

Can you get an EMail doc?
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:45   #8
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

Carry all the materials and documentations you submitted but I would remain in US waters until you receive the permanent doc.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:06   #9
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

I've said this before and will say it again " there is NO international law, stating one must have registration or documentation from a country", i found this out many year's ago, when i purchased a boat in Singapore, took the bill of sale to the U.S. embassy, and received a "U.S. certificate of ownership", a quite impressive document with a seal/ribbon in the top,left hand corner, in the many country's i checked into, there was never any question of registration, the above document was sufficient.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:33   #10
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

I am in similar boat so to speak, having just purchased US documented boat in Grenada. I an doing USCG documentation through an agent and so far he send me stack of docs confirming that my application have been filed, to use instead. The real certification are expected in January but for now I am planing to do sailing between Grendada and St. Vincent. I will let you know if I had any troubles.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:25   #11
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

Thanks for all the advice everyone... very helpful. I'm in the BVI's wanting to go to the USVI where I am also a citizen. I agree, BVI customs can be awful sometimes.

I'll give them a call today and tell them about the impending international travel. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:51   #12
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

Dougtiff has a point. USCG handles boat registration. ICE deals with you (immigration) and the boat (customs/duty). Call ICE. They may have a different perspective of what their people will require when you bring the boat into US waters.
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Old 01-11-2018, 15:15   #13
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

I seem to recall receiving a copy of the COD application from the boat broker I used. That in itself looked pretty official, though I never went out of the country on it. But it did take upwards of 2 months to get the final COD. Good luck.
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Old 01-11-2018, 15:41   #14
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

The Bill of Sale is the key document. That is the document that is used to prove ownership and is what the USCG desires to provide during their documentation. Until documentation is issued you do not need to put the vessels name and hailing port on the transom but could if your desire. For example: Calling it something nautical such as Duck Tape, instead of Duct Tape and using tape to spell out the letters.

Note: All documented [and undocumented] vessels must comply with the laws of the state in which they are operated. The vessel's USCG document must be shown to state law enforcement personnel upon their demand. States may require documented vessels to be registered (but not numbered) and to display state decals showing that they have complied with state requirements.

In the mean time you could have the boat titled by your State's titling agency which is typically the Department of Motor Vehicles and then cancel the titling when the USCG documentation arrives. USCG documentation is the equivalent of "Titling". "Titling" is different and distinct from "Registration" at the state level.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:41   #15
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Re: USCG Temporary Certificate Of Documentation

Iíve been back from Grenada last year and in the Caribbean islands, I was never asked to show my boat documents , only asked to fill their paperwork and, of course, pay the custom fees, the most important thing for them!
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