See our About Documentation page


Certificate of Documentation (COD) – a USCG issued document that is internationally recognized as proof of ownership and proof of national origin of the vessel

Hull Identification Number (HIN) – issued by vessel or boat manufacturer, permanently affixed to the hull

Official Number – coast guard issued, linked to HIN and stays with the vessel

Preferred Ship’s Mortgage (PSM) – puts the lender first in line of the creditors in the event of a default or bankruptcy. If the owner of the boat goes bankrupt, there is a list of creditors against the bankruptcy case, the PSM prefers the lenders note to be first in line to be paid

Abstract of Title (A/T) – when a boat is documented with the USCG a permanent file is created. This file records the chain of ownerships, mortgages, satisfactions and liens. The abstract is only as good as the information that has been filed with the USCG

Builders Certificate – a document issued by the manufacturer that contains specifications proving that the vessel is compliant with federal regulations and safety standards

Bill of Sale – purchase agreement

State Title – an ownership document

Registration – license to use

Transfer of Title – transfer of ownership via bill of sale, death, gift of deed or estate

Title Assurance – title assurance refers to the written proof of ownership for example an Abstract of Title or Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) search

State Title Searches – Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) search

Title Research – a deep dive detective search to confirm ownership

Claim of Lien – when you don’t pay a bill for a marine service (repair, storage, etc.). We file lien claims and clear them