What Is USCG Documentation Number Placard?

what is uscg documentation placard

USCG documentation number placard is a plaque that you should attach to your documented ship. This documentation number works like your Social Security number. Once your vessel has the said number, it will stay with the boat from owner to owner, unless you decide not to renew it and register it at the state level.

The documentation certificate is only valid until your ship has the USCG documentation number placard. When operating your ship, the original documentation certificate should be kept aboard at all times.

What The USCG Documentation Number Placard Does?

It provides evidence of your nationality when you travel in international waters. It also offers unhindered commerce between states. Plus, it allows your ship to undergo restricted trades. Some lenders prefer USCG documentation over state registration. But some states do require registering your boat in addition to applying for documentation.

Vessel Marking

Documented vessels are recognized through their name and hailing port. When you apply for documentation, the application should include the ship’s name consisting of letters and does not exceed 33 characters.

The name of your ship must not be the same as the words used to solicit assistance at sea. It must not contain indecent or profane language. Once your ship’s name has been fixed, it must not be modified without proper application and consent from the Director of the National Vessel Documentation Center.

Marking Your Ship

Upon request for documentation, your ship will be assigned an official number preceded by “NO.” It should be displayed in block-type Arabic numerals. Then, the text should be at least three inches high. The number must be affixed permanently to the ship. In this way, any alteration or replacement would be obvious.

A recreational vessel should have the name and hailing port. These pieces of information should be marked clearly in the exterior part of the hull.

All documentation number plaque can be made by any means and materials as long as a result will offer permanent markings. The markings should be at least four inches in height. They should be written in clear letters of Arabic or Roman numerals.

Documentation number plaques can be made of mahogany, teak, oak, cedar or stainless steel. Each material has its own pros and cons. It depends on your preference. For some boat owners, they opt for a mahogany made plaque because they resemble that of their vessel. Others, however, prefer stainless steel because they are durable.