Return the original Certificate of Documentation to the National Vessel Documentation Center along with a brief note that you sold the vessel. Your Certificate is nontransferable and should NOT be given to the new owner. When the sale is finalized it is suggested you complete a US Coast Guard Bill of Sale (CG-1340) that can be used by the new owner should he wish to document the vessel. Documentation requires that the new owner send in one signed original and one copy of the USCG Bill of Sale with an Application for Document (CG-1258) and fees. The buyer should also be able to use the bill of sale form as evidence of the transfer of ownership to obtain state registration and/or title if he chooses not to document the vessel with the US Coast Guard.
If you have an outstanding mortgage of record against your vessel, please make sure the mortgagee (the lender) completes a Satisfaction of Mortgage form and mails an original and one copy to the National Vessel Documentation Center. Your vessel cannot be removed from documentation with an outstanding mortgage.
Documentation forms and fee schedules are available for downloading at this web site.

A Certificate of Documentation is valid for one year from the date of issue, providing there are NO CHANGES other than a change of owner's address. The Certificate must be renewed on an annual basis. Even though it is up to the owner to assure the document does not expire, the Coast Guard will send a Notice of Renewal to the managing owner approximately 45 days prior to expiration. There is no fee for the yearly renewal. See the instruction letter Renewal of Certificate of Documentation elsewhere at this site regarding renewal procedures.