Old 06-14-2019, 09:41 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 11,892

Originally Posted by marisalt View Post
First post to this forum, long time lurker. Been wanting a sailboat all of my life and finally decided to make it happen. One of the boats I am considering is currently documented with the USCG. I have read all the threads and conflicting information and remain puzzled at the process to get this vessel legally in the water in NJ. I know I have to pay taxes on the sale, I know I have to register it in NJ if it will be based in NJ, I also know NJ won't title it if it is currently documented. The only way to get the NJ state title is for the current owner to file a letter of deletion with the coast guard first.

Anyhow, assuming I keep the vessel documented and proceed to transfer that certificate to me, that would involve filling out and notarizing a Coast Guard Bill Of Sale 1340, as well as the back of the current Certificate of Documentation 1270. What is confusing is the backlog wait times at the Coast Guard. I spoke with someone at the CG this morning, who was a bit rude but that is another topic. Essentially was told they are currently processing paperwork from early March.
  • So does this mean anyone who is waiting on the CG documentation transfer cannot register the vessel with the NJ DMV until that transfer process is done? Sounds arcane.
    • If the answer to that is unfortunately yes, then what do I do with the vessel during that time? Does it have to remain on the hard or could I at least legally keep it in a slip?
    • Also, if NJ wont let me register until the CG transfer occurs, who exactly do I pay taxes to in the interim because I know they will come looking.

Hoping to hear from someone who went through this specifically in NJ. Thanks!
right from NJ's website:

How to register a Documented Vessel

Vessel documentation is a national form of registration. Documentation provides evidence of nationality for international purposes, provides unhindered commerce between the states and admits vessels to certain restricted trades, such as coastwise trade and the fisheries. A vessel must weigh at least five net tons, with the exception of certain oil spill response vessels and must be wholly owned by a citizen of the U.S. in order to be documented.
  • A vessel that is documented through the United States Coast Guard (USCG) will be issued a Certificate of Documentation.
  • If a boat is operated in New Jersey waters in excess of 180 days OR if the owner leases, owns, maintains or rents space in New Jersey for storage, mooring or servicing of the vessel on other than a transient basis, the documented vessel must be registered in New Jersey. Documented vessels do not receive NJ titles.
Applicant must visit a motor vehicle agency with:
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title for Vessel (OS/SS-27)**
  • Completed Boat Registration Application Form BA-51 (found only at motor vehicle agencies)
  • Proper identification (NJ Driverís License, Non-driver ID, Passport or Birth Certificate.)
  • Certificate of Documentation (if customer will be keeping vessel documented) or deletion papers (if new owner will not be documenting vessel) from the USCG.
  • Official Coast Guard Bill of Sale"

this all has been pretty much asked and answered many times over, every week on THT

decide if you want to keep the boat documented or not

if you have a valid reason for a priority request, you can get the uscg documentation papers processed within a week

if you want to wait then i think you simply wait to register in nj until you get the uscg papers back and keep a copy of your uscg paper aboard

some states are now insisting you just do a state boat registration in the interim so you can pay taxes sooner. a simple email to nj might get you the answer if you are very worried. that way you have a paper trail.
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