The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(FALLING WATERS, W.Va.) — The U.S. Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) is the only entity authorized to issue certificates of documentation (CODs), Form CG-1270, valid for a period of one year from date of issuance. This document is required for vessels engaged in commercial trade and is optional for vessels 5 net tons and over engaged in recreational use/activities.
The NVDC is aware that there are commercial entities that offer to manage the certification/renewal process on behalf of vessel owners for a fee. The Coast Guard does not endorse any of these companies, and the companies do not operate on behalf of the Coast Guard in any way. Any fees charged beyond the $26 renewal fee, to include other fees found in title 46 CFR 67.550, or other agreements offered by such companies are in no way associated with the NVDC certification process. In addition, these companies are not authorized to issue any form of documentation, including travel letters and/or permits that authorize operation of any vessel.
Persons interested in conducting business directly with NVDC should visit the official Coast Guard website at: http://www.uscg.mil/nvdc/. NOTE: The only legitimate Coast Guard website offering documentation uses a ".mil" domain name. Web domains using ".us," ".com," ".org" are not authorized.
To obtain official forms, visit the USCG NVDC website or contact NVDC at (800) 799-8362 or (304) 271-2400. Phone hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; phones are not manned on Thursdays. Application packages and documents eligible for filing (in .pdf format) can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to (304) 271-2405. COD renewal requests (Form CG-1280) are accepted via email@example.com with credit card payment of $26 via Form CG-7042.
The following products may be ordered online: renewals (Form CG-1280), late renewals (Form CG-1280), abstract of title (Form CG-7043) and certified copy of COD (Form CG-7043) requests. From the main page, follow the "Order Products Online" link. The fee schedule can be found here: http://www.uscg.mil/nvdc/instr/fee%20sch.pdf
Users are encouraged to register to receive notices and updates via e-mail by utilizing NVDC's email subscription service. From the main page, follow the "Subscribe to NVDC Information" link. Please report any issues to the NVDC webmaster. Customer complaints regarding false service providers can be made through the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) website at http://www.ftc.gov/.
This safety advisory is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement. Developed by the Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center and distributed by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, Washington D.C. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.