Merchant Vessels of the United States

Access and Disclosure:  The Merchant Vessels of the United States

On June 12, 2017, the Coast Guard removed certain personally identifiable information (PII) from the Merchant Vessels of the U.S. file.  In accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 552a, the Coast Guard may not publicly disclose PII via publication of the Merchant Vessels of the U.S. unless a request for the information is listed as a routine use under the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) System of Records  or the Homeport System of Records.  System of Records Notices may be accessed at


The public may request certified copies of a vessel’s Certificate of Documentation or an Abstract of Title via the National Vessel Documentation Center at  Requests for any other associated documents or data would require a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.  FOIA requests may be submitted by following the instructions at  Please note that personally identifiable information may not be disclosed if it meets any of the exemptions established under FOIA.   The public may continue to access the Merchant Vessels of the U.S. at the link below and may also access vessel information via the U.S. Coast Guard Port State Information Exchange at   Numbering and titling, Registration, and Law Enforcement Personnel of state and federal agencies are directed to the Coast Guard’s Vessel Identification System (VIS) at:


NOTE:  Per Title 46 U.S. Code 12138 (b), the Coast Guard is obligated to publish certain data for vessels greater than 200 feet in length with a capability to lay, maintain, and repair submarine cable.  This includes the publication of the name and address of the person to whom inquiries regarding the vessel may be directed.   

 Merchant Vessels of the United States is a data file of merchant and recreational vessels documented under the laws of the United States by the U.S. Coast Guard.  The source for this file is the U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) and Vessel Documentation System (VDS) databases, a comprehensive system serving many Coast Guard marine safety units, including the National Vessel Documentation Center. The data file of merchant vessels has been specifically prepared from several data tables contained in MISLE and VDS. 

The data file consists of vessel particulars and managing owner identification information. Vessels in this file have a valid Certificate of Documentation.  Foreign vessels are not contained in this file.  The file contains information through June 5, 2024.  Additional details about the file and data is provided in the following Readme File:            


The data file is provided in three formats:  Text (*.txt), MS Excel, and MS Access.  The Text format comes in two versions.  The Tab Delimited version uses tab stops as field separators while data in the Fixed Width version is arranged in fixed width fields.  All file types are compressed using WinZip® utility to conserve space and support downloading.  Click the appropriate link below to download the data file in the specified format:


Tab Delimited           Excel Format          Fixed Width          Access Format


Last Modification:  Effective June 12, 2017, in regards to Vessel Owner information, the following columns have been removed:  Person First Name, Person Middle Name, Person Last Name, Person Name Suffix, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, Address Line 3, and Address Line 4.