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Marine Vessel Documentation Service Open For Business

Marine Vessel Documentation Service, a new Osage Beach, Mo.-based business that specializes in United States Coast Guard documentation, titling and registration for powerboats 25 feet and longer, is open for business according to company founder/owner Barb Newlun. The company offers its services in all 50 states.


Specializing in Coast Guard vessel documentation, MVDS is set up to guide its clients in all 50 states through what can be a complicated process. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“At MVDS, we provide the research and information needed for clear transfer of ownership to prepare and process appropriate documents,” said Newlun, who worked for Performance Boat Center for nine years before opening her business. “Prior to the downturn in 2008, and subsequent years after, there were instances of liens not being satisfied by banking institutions. In some cases, liens were discovered two-to-three boat owners later, which caused a lot of frustration and presented challenges resolve.”

“Knowing how to handle these types of situations firsthand gives MVDS clients peace of mind knowing their transaction will be done correctly and protect them from the past,” she added.

Prior to joining Performance Boat Center, Newlun worked in the collection/repossession and legal fields for more than 20 years. Her background and understanding of the importance of proper titling, securing a lien and providing clear title to boat buyers motivated her to start MVDS, she said.

“People often ask should they Coast Guard document or title a boat,” said Newlun. “Basically, it comes down to costs such as taxes, fees and requirements by lenders. In either case, it is an official way to transfer ownership. Coast Guard documentation is a federal process and requires a onetime fee for the documentation with an annual renewal fee considerably far less of a cost than most state registration renewal fees.”

Coast Guard Documentation provides an “official number”—displayed on the underside of a given boat’s engine hatch—Newlun explained. While no state registration numbers are needed, a registration sticker may be required by some states. Some states offer an “in lieu of tax” incentive for Coast Guard-documented boats, which provides a sales tax savings to the buyer, she said.

According to Newlun, state titling is processed by providing a title on a boat with a title fee, sales tax, registration fee with subsequent renewal fees thereafter. (MVDS will help in determining which direction benefits the buyer.) Most lending institutions require Coast Guard documentation to perfect their lien, which is recorded and appears on an Abstract of Title with a Preferred Ships Mortgage.

If a customer requests to title a boat that is currently Coast Guard documented, MVDS will prepare the necessary paperwork.

“It can be a complicated process,” said Newlun. “I’m here to make sure everything goes smoothly.”

The company also offers services to lending institutions and powerboat dealerships.

“Many lenders do not deal with documentation daily, so MVDS can guide them through the sometimes confusing lien and documenting process,” said Newlun. “We also provide services to lending institutions by verifying inventory for floor plans with boat dealerships and provide hull identification confirmation when needed.”

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