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Freedom of Information Request - Guidelines
Databases - Category
State Boating Requirements - Resources
National Vessel Documentation Center - Profiles

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Freedom of Information Act


BoatWiki - Definitions

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JUL 2, 2023 - The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can be defined in boating terms as a legal right to certain federal information or records related to a particular boat. This includes registration, titling. documentation and other respective data. Such privilege may, however, be qualified by rights of privacy, national security, and law enforcement. The Freedom of Information Act is typically invoked as a matter of federal legislation. However, most states and local jurisdictions have instituted similar rules and statutes when it comes to accessing their own records.

Federal Context   

The most commonly requested records about boats or vessels subject to federal jurisdiction are openly available from the respective agencies. Available databases and informational sources can be found in Wiki Tags. There are however, various kinds of records that are only available by submitting a special FOIA request letter or form.

State Context

Boating records on the state level are typically available from applicable recording agencies within each jurisdiction. However there may be circumstances that require special public record access requests. These may involve archived records, tax lien records, enforcement records and those not typically available online.

FOIA Requests

Freedom of Information Act and state level public records must be requested in writing and addressed to the applicable agency. Most have request forms available online but a hand drafted letter will also suffice if identified as such and it contains the appropriate information. Visit the FOIA Request guidelines in WikiTags for additional information.


Most agencies are very responsive about honoring FOIA or public records requests as they are bound by the statutes to comply within a reasonable period of time. Their will, however, likely be fees involved for attaining such services.

Credits and References

JUL 2, 2023 - Page revised.



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