United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 28, 2020
General eligibility requirements
Except as otherwise provided, a certificate of documentation for a vessel may be issued under this chapter only if the vessel is—
wholly owned by one or more individuals or entities described in subsection (b);
at least 5 net tons as measured under part J of this subtitle; and
not documented under the laws of a foreign country.
For purposes of subsection (a)(1), the following are eligible owners:
An individual who is a citizen of the United States.
An association, trust, joint venture, or other entity if—
each of its members is a citizen of the United States; and
it is capable of holding title to a vessel under the laws of the United States or a State.
A partnership if—
each general partner is a citizen of the United States; and
the controlling interest in the partnership is owned by citizens of the United States.
A corporation if—
it is incorporated under the laws of the United States or a State;
its chief executive officer, by whatever title, and the chairman of its board of directors are citizens of the United States; and
no more of its directors are noncitizens than a minority of the number necessary to constitute a quorum.
The United States Government.
The government of a State.
Notwithstanding subsection (a)(2), the Secretary may issue a temporary certificate of documentation for a vessel before it is measured.
cite as: 46 USC 12103