Vessel DocumentationDocumentation News & Updates

The Coast Guard will be suspending the issuance of Temporary Certificates of Documentation
(TCOD) as of October 22, 2015. The National Vessel Documentation Center will review all
applications received as of October 22, 2015 and will issue a TCOD (if the application meets the
minimal requirements). The intent of the TCOD program was to allow vessel operators to legally
operate their vessels during the busy summer boating season. The Coast Guard will consider
reinstituting this program again next spring, depending on the recreational vessel backlogs.
TCODs are in a different format than the permanent COD, printed in letter format on blue paper
and embedded with specific security features. TCODs include the managing owner’s name and
address, the vessel’s official number and HIN number, are signed by the Director and are mailed
to the address on file for the managing owner.
TCODs shall be maintained on the vessel at all times while the vessel is being operated. The
TCOD shall remain valid until the first of the following shall have occurred:
1. The elapse of one (1) year from the issue date of the letter; or
2. The issuance of the vessel’s permanent COD which, upon its issuance, shall supersede
the Temporary COD; or
3. Issuance of written notice of a determination by the NVDC that the vessel is not eligible
for documentation; or
4. An ownership change to the vessel before the permanent COD has been issued.
While it is in effect, the recreational vessel subject to this TCOD shall be deemed to be a
documented vessel of the United States, subject to all the rights and responsibilities applicable by
law to documented vessels and to CODs. Please note that this document is not conclusive
evidence of title in any proceedings where ownership is in issue. Complete records are on file at
the NVDC.
To be eligible for a TCOD, one must meet citizenship and nationality requirements (i.e. vessel
must not be foreign registered), provide title evidence, include applicable fees and properly
signed documents. If the applicant or accompanying documentation does not meet the minimum
requirements, no correspondence will be forthcoming until a complete review of the case file is
TCODs will NOT be reissued if lost, mutilated or destroyed.