Some important information from the Coast Guard and a few words of caution for those renewing or changing their vessel documentation.
See U.S. Coast Guard's Falling Waters, West Virginia, Vessel Documentation Center site: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization which offers complete information on renewing a vessel's documentation, registering, transferring, fees, and other services. or call 1-800-799-8362 for information.
View also at https://www.uscg.mil/nvdc new 2022 Forms and Instructions, helpful FAQs category, e-Storefront to Order Products Online, paperwork status and much more.
Note: Beware about receiving forms and letters in the mail as one person did shortly before his renewal was due. If you carefully examine any materials printed on them as well as on a website there will be "_________ is NOT Affiliated with the U.S. Coast Guard" or similar required consumer disclosure wording. Even if a legitimate vendor there can be triple the fees the USCG charges for processing and in addition won't be any faster according to CG officials.
Avoid paying unnecessary fees and disclosing personal information too by visiting the official U.S. Coast Guard's vessel documentation center website (or newer boaters can ask a fellow skipper to help navigate) when requiring vessel documentation services by being observant as you would on the water!.
Joan Wenner, J.D. is a longtime widely published U.S. marine safety writer with a law degree. Comments welcomed at email@example.com