boat registration, british virgin islands yacht registration, marine documentation, USA
If you have any tidbits of information, we’d love to know.
20 June, 2024


If someone who is NOT a U.S. Citizen purchases a boat in the U.S., the minute the sale is completed, it is now an un-registered vessel.

The new owner is required to file Form 1300 (Permit to Proceed) with U.S. Customs. (A Customs broker’s office will handle this if desired).

The vessel can operate within the jurisdiction of the Port (i.e. Dock A to Dock B in Miami) with a Bill of Sale on board AND a copy of the Bill of Sale on file with the Marine Division of U.S. Customs. BUT if the vessel wants to move to the jurisdiction of another Port (i.e. Miami to Fort Lauderdale), then Form 1300 MUST be filed.

Fines can be steep ($5,000) for a first offense.


A non-U.S. Citizen wishes to keep his boat in Delaware, and have a Delaware Registration on board. Customs says “a vessel takes on the flag of the citizenship of its owner”… therefore if the non-U.S. Citizen is French, the vessel must fly a French Flag, even with the Delaware numbers displayed on the boat. The vessel must also clear in and clear out with Customs whenever he moves from Port to Port within U.S. Waters. Why? Because a U.S. Cruising Permit cannot be issued to a U.S. Registered Vessel, even though the flag on board is foreign.

All vessels built for U.S. consumption are required to have a second Hull Identification number hidden somewhere on the interior. In order to find this location it will be necessary to contact the manufacturer. A law enforcement official or marine surveyor may know the location.

The visual Hull ID Numbers located on the starboard transom are often painted over, damaged, or covered by a swim platform.
Tidbits for Boaters, Hull Identification numbers, Tenders and Dinghies

BVI, Cayman, and other Countries allow the Tenders to be marked T/T (Name of Mother Vessel). They are considered to be part of the inventory of the Mother Vessel.

There is some confusion on whether or not the tender needs to be registered when being used in US waters. To avoid a ticket, register it, it beats trying to “fight city hall”…
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO – visit our site often, and click on Fees/States then click on a STATE for information about visiting periods with a valid out of state registration.

Vessel Registration, marine documentation, Registration boat

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