Federal Licenses and Endorsements

The U.S. Coast Guard is the federal regulating authority for recreational boats.  The Coast Guard has jurisdiction or law enforcement rights over recreational boating in U.S. waters.  Under federal law, a certificate of documentation with a recreational endorsement may be issued for a vessel that is eligible for documentation.  The Coast Guard issues boating safety recommendations and ensures the proper compliance with federal boating safety laws and equipment requirements.  Every boater is responsible for knowing and adhering to Coast Guard boating laws and regulations and laws specific to the state in which the vessel is registered or operated.  Boating safety requirements are enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard and the local and state agencies.


Inside Federal Licenses and Endorsements