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what I had hoped to receive

Note To Self: when submitting paperwork via email to the National Vessel Documentation Center, always make sure you receive the confirmation email confirming the submittal. Do Not Assume that they received it!

“That’s just the way it works” A quote from the National Vessel Documentation Center. Ughhhh!
I’ve been trying to reinstate the official documentation of our vessel since we were up on the island in June of 2015. But in order for me to do that I had to establish a chain of custody.

Submit one bill of sale notarized. Check.

Submit my temporary registration from Wisconsin. Note: Wisconsin will not issue a permanent registration to a vessel that is documented unless it is actually documented. Huh? What?
See, Wisconsin needs to see the actual COD. Fair enough. O.K. so I submitted that.

I submitted all the required paperwork to the National Vessel Documentation Center and waited, and waited, and waited, all the while watching the case processing dates on their website tick slowly forward. I finally heard from them on November 6th 2015 stating that they could not accept a temporary Wisonsin registration as a chain of title since this was not a sale from the last registered owner of the vessel. (The second owner, the one I had bought the vessel from never registered the vessel after he bought it, and it was subsequently deleted from the documentation database.)
Anyhow, I called the Wisconsin DNR and shared my plight, however they said their hands were tied and that as a last resort I could register it with Wisconsin as an undocumented vessel. Then Wisconsin would issue a title. However they would need  a letter from the National Vessel Documentation Center stating that the vessel has been deleted from the database, since Wisconsin will not issue a title to a documented vessel. Uhhhhh! 

Three days later I received an email from the Nation Vessel Documentation Center stating that they would accept a copy of the Wisconsin registration of the owner whom I purchased the Vessel from as establishing the chain of title. Great ,but why didn’t they just tell me that on the 6th of November.

I had the copy of the previous owners registration and emailed it in along with the copy of the letter from the National Vessel Documentation Center from November 10th 2015. Of course that letter states that any additional documentation submitted to clear up the deficiency will be placed in the queue along with other paperwork received on that date. Translation? Hey you! To the back of the line!

So the countdown began anew…. tick tick tick. So after checking the processing dates all winter long on the National Vessel Documentation Center website all winter, our date finally appeared today! (March 11th 2016) Yes! Finally! I thought. Then I figured a phone call couldn’t hurt, so I called. The person on the phone said that “yes they were processing those dates but couldn’t process our application since they hadn’t received any additional information from us”. Huh? Wait, I sent that! WTF! Of course I didn’t share that sentiment over the phone, I was polite.

I searched through my sent mail while I was on the phone with them and found that yes indeed I had a copy of the message that I sent in my sent mail folder. The person on the other end of the phone then asked if I ever received the automated response mail from them confirming receipt of said documentation. Uggghhh!!!!!  You’ve got to be kidding! “Nope I hadn’t” said I, “but I’ll be happy to re-submit my original email right now”. “Well”, said the person on the other end of the phone, “we would be happy to receive that paperwork, however all submission on this date (March 11th, 2016) shall be processed along with the other applications received on this date”. Another words, to the back of the line go I!

Thirty (30) seconds after re-submittal I received the automated email confirming receipt and I printed out ten copies!

So the countdown watch for our processing date begins anew. Uggghhhhhhhhhhh!

Note To Self: when submitting paperwork via email to the National Vessel Documentation Center, always make sure you receive the confirmation email confirming the submittal. Do Not Assume that they received it!

So why does this matter to me?

One of the most attractive features of Coast Guard documentation is that it is a national form of vessel registration, recognized internationally and administered by the federal government through the Coast Guard as part of Homeland Security.

Secondly, because a Certificate of Documentation is an internationally recognized title document, vessels that intend on traveling in international or foreign waters hold certain rights, privileges and protections not afforded to a state titled, or non-U.S. flagged vessel. An owner of a documented vessel must be a U.S. citizen and, by extension, the vessel is protected under the same U.S. flag. And we do intend to travel to foreign ports.

Lastly, a vessel that is documented with the Coast Guard should not hold a state title, and, therefore, it does not display state registration numbers on its hull. We do not desire to have these numbers on our hull.

Tick… tick…. tick….

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