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Old 04-18-2017, 08:21 AM   #1
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Documentation renewal

Just a reminder to all you owners of documented boats, when it comes time to renew, only go to the CG documentation website and renew for $26. If you get a reminder letter and it gives you a website address and they want $75, that is not the CG website but a private documentation service. The letter looks very official and fools many people into thinking it came from the CG. It even has a West VA return address even though it was mailed from CAL.
BEWARE!
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:25 AM   #2
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Thanks! Good info.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:19 AM   #3
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The letter I got was from uscgdocumentation.us. Thinking that these guys might be authorized agents, I took the letter to the local USCG office, who said it was a scam.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:37 AM   #4
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The letter I got was from uscgdocumentation.us. Thinking that these guys might be authorized agents, I took the letter to the local USCG office, who said it was a scam.
Well, it's not a scam. They are a legitimate documentation service. I fell for it thinking I was dealing with the CG. Paid my $75 and I did get my renewal document.

Legal, probably yes. Ethical...no way. The reminder letter and website are both designed to make people think they are dealing with the CG.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:40 AM   #5
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Here's the legitimate CG web site. Only use this.

https://www.uscg.mil/nvdc/
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:04 AM   #6
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It may be worth paying a service for your original documentation. It's certainly not for renewal. They send you a letter, you sign it and send it back with the fee (now $26, it used to be free).
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:42 AM   #7
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It may be worth paying a service for your original documentation. It's certainly not for renewal. They send you a letter, you sign it and send it back with the fee (now $26, it used to be free).
I agree that under certain circumstances, it might be prudent to use a service for the original documentation. I only did once because I didn't know anything about documentation and the yacht broker handled it. Since then, I've always done it myself.

As far as renewal goes....it's like changing a burned out light bulb. I can do it myself for the cost of the bulb or I can pay an electrician $100 to do it for me.
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:29 AM   #8
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Here's a press release from BOAT US about this.

https://www.boatus.com/pressroom/release.asp?id=1280
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:39 PM   #9
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Bump. I want to alert as many people as possible.
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:21 AM   #10
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Probably the same people who masquerade as the USPS address change site and charge you $20 for the same service the USPS charges $1 for.
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Old Yesterday, 04:37 PM   #11
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File a complaint with the Postal Inspectors

Here is some information from the Postal Inspectors website. Don't know if what you described is "over the line", but it sure seems close.

https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/i...vtSchemes.aspx

Schemes that Charge Money for free Govt. Services
A variety of false representation schemes involve mailed solicitations that offer for a fee certain services available free of charge from the government. Often the company's name and mailing design deceptively imply that the company is or has ties to a government agency. If you receive such a solicitation, you should call the government agency that maintains the information being sold by the promoter and ask if it is available for free from that agency.

If you have been victimized in one of these schemes, or if you have received a suspicious solicitation in the mail, report your experience to your local postmaster or nearest Postal Inspector.
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Old Yesterday, 04:53 PM   #12
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Probably the same people who masquerade as the USPS address change site and charge you $20 for the same service the USPS charges $1 for.
And the only reason the USPS charges the dollar is to verify identity.
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Old Yesterday, 04:56 PM   #13
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The problem isn't the service itself, even though I don't think the particular company mentioned adds any value. Others who handle documentation do. The issue is that they attempt to make it appear they're the USCG agency. A real title and documentation service makes it clear what the USCG charge is and what they charge and the extras they provide.
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Old Yesterday, 06:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck34 View Post
Just a reminder to all you owners of documented boats, when it comes time to renew, only go to the CG documentation website and renew for $26. If you get a reminder letter and it gives you a website address and they want $75, that is not the CG website but a private documentation service. The letter looks very official and fools many people into thinking it came from the CG. It even has a West VA return address even though it was mailed from CAL.
BEWARE!
Damnit! They fooled me!

Kevin
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Old Yesterday, 10:14 PM   #15
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Damnit! They fooled me!

Kevin
Sorry they got you too, tallswede. Tell everyone you know about this. Best way to stop these people is by spreading the word. Once enough people find out, the company will find the little bit of income they get, won't pay the expense of mailing out the reminder letters.
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Old Today, 02:47 AM   #16
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Same thing happens with the ESTA online process for a visa to enter USA. There is the official site, and a heap of others, charging more, pretending to be the official site, clipping the ticket for $ while doing zip.
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