Documented Vessel renewal services - watch out!

Emerald

Moderator
I just received two pieces of mail today looking extremely official for renewing Emerald's USCG Documentation. They even have a .us email address to add to the official look, fancy logos, and a pseudo watermarked letter. In the "Renew" section, they do disclose there is a fee to use their services, so I won't say this is a scam, but it's a hair away from being one by putting on the appearance of official USCG correspondence with dire warnings of what will happen if you don't renew. There's no need to pay anyone to renew your documentation. It can be done for no more than the basic fee for free here:

The official website:

https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Deputy-for-Operations-Policy-and-Capabilities-DCO-D/National-Vessel-Documentation-Center/

The renewal link that is listed on the left side of the above page:

https://www.pay.gov/public/form/start/1175233
 

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
For most of us documenting a boat is a no brainer DIY job, start to finish. The renewal is even easier. Lots of people spend lots of money to hire people to do it for them, regardless.

It used to be more fun when you had to go to the USCG Documentation officer at your home port, but even then they did most of the work for you.
 

Emerald

Moderator
Yep. These bottom feeders exist, and they are shameless. I wouldn't think twice about a service that clearly identified itself as just that, and sold their product as convenience to you as however they marketed that. It's the approach that's completely based on pretending to be what it is not, an official correspondence with dire warnings if you ignore it.
 

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
...pretending to be what it is not, an official correspondence with dire warnings if you ignore it.
Exactly.

I own a number of domains on the internet. Periodically I get an "urgent" letter indicating that one of my domains is about to expire, and I have only a short time to save it

Invariably, those letters are from a company selling a "privacy service" or some other thing, which has nothing to do with my ownership and the only thing that is about to expire is the "offer" of their service at a claimed price.

I hate those kinds of things (and I especially hate that, even though it has happened time and time again, I still have to open and read those letters to assure myself that they're false.)

B
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
One other thing: pay on time.

Documentation that lags for something like three months past the annual date requires a new application, a new (about) $400 fee, and a wait of nine months.

I know a guy this happened to. He does not wish his name revealed.
 

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
I know a guy this happened to. He does not wish his name revealed.
Better tell that guy not to post any photos or videos. The lack of CF-numbers.... uh, I mean "registration numbers from some unspecified state" would be a dead giveaway...

:egrin:
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
New issue of Sport Aviation just arrived. On page 14 is a large notice warning all aircraft owners about "solicitations they may receive regarding aircraft registration renewals". Sounds just like the same so-called "service" perpetrated on boat owners for may years.
Evidently there are multiple web sites offering this "service".

Same advice from the EAA -deal directly with the FAA and do not pay extra huge dollars for having someone get between the owner and the FAA.
They advise viewing these not-government web sites with a "Healthy dose of Suspicion".
Um. Yeah.
 

rbonilla

"don't tread on me" member XVXIIIII
we get similar scam/bottom feeder letters in Colorado for Business Registration with State / each and every year...
 
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