The American Vessel Documentation Association was formed in 1995 to fill a void because of the consolidation of Coast Guard documentation offices in major U.S. coastal and inland ports to a single East Coast location.
In the 20 years since, the AVDA has helped boat owners access the important government service. Marking the group’s 20th anniversary, members continue to facilitate initial documentations and provide renewal and change services when vessels change hands, move, or are renamed or financed.
"Keeping up with the operational and regulatory changes during the past two decades has been challenging for our members," AVDA president Marie Hayward said in a statement. "While the documentation process has aimed for simplification, the cutbacks in federal resources has shifted much of the responsibility for correct filings and follow-ups to us and the owners.”
Vessel documentation can be cumbersome and understanding the process reduces the effort and time involved. AVDA members have trained personnel to weave through some of the intricacies of the preparation and filing of paperwork or online forms.
The documentation process has seen a number of changes over the years. The latest ones include the resolution of problems with the switchover to a new computer operating system, as well as the implementation of a new federal payment program.
The AVDA is a national non-profit professional organization providing vessel documentation and marine titling services to recreational and commercial boat operators in all coastal and inland ports.
Members work with marine lenders, brokers and the Coast Guard Documentation Center to simplify and expedite the issuance of mortgage and lien recordation.