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American Samoa Boating Requirements


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May 18, 2023 - This summary is designed to inform the boating public about title options, registration requirements, recording methods, record searches, tax rules, and operational guidelines for the American Samoa The data is maintained as an open wiki forum where readers are encouraged to participate by sharing knowledge and experiences with this particular jurisdiction. Simply click on the above "Wiki-Share" link to contribute further details or suggest a revision.

Registration and Titling

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific. As such, its boat registration practices coincide with those of a typical state. American Samoa issues boat registrations but not titles. These are administered by the Department of Port Administration in Pago Pago.

All vessels must be registered except: (1) a vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the Bureau of Customs of the United States Government or any federal agency successor thereto; (2) already covered by a number in full force and effect which has been awarded to it pursuant to federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state; provided, that such vessel shall not have been within this Territory for a period in excess of 90 consecutive days; (3) a vessel from a country other than the United States temporarily using the waters of this Territory; (4) a vessel owned by the United States, the Government of American Samoa, a state or a subdivision thereof; (5) a ship’s lifeboat:(6) a vessel belonging to a class of vessels exempted from numbering by the department of port administration after said department has found that the numbering of vessels of such class will not materially aid in their identification; and, if an agency of the Federal Government has a numbering system applicable to the class of vessels to which the vessel in question belongs, after the Department of Port Administration has further found that the vessel would also be exempt from numbering if it were subject to the federal law.

A visitation period of 90 consecutive days is allowed for boats that are registered in another state, Coast Guard documented, or registered in a foreign country. A certificate of number is invalid 60 days after the day on which the vessel is no longer principally used in the territorial waters of American Samoa where the certificate was issued.

There are approximately 108 boats registered in American Samoa. This accounts for 0.0009% of all nationwide registrations.

Numbering and Marking

The boat registration number prefix for American Samoa is "AS". These must be displayed on all non-documented boats along with registration sticker tabs. Coast Guard documented vessels may not display the state registration numbers. However they must display an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. An official documentation number must also be affixed to a visible interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull. All vessels manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. Owners with vessels manufactured prior to 1972 or those with no identification numbers may apply with the Fish and Game Commission for a hull number assignment which will be prefixed with the letters "ARZ". Hull number inspections are required from the Game and Fish Commission whenever there is a discrepancy.

Recording Methods

American Samoa is a registration only jurisdiction and does not issue boat titles. Personal property liens including those for non-documented boats are filed with the Office of the Territorial Registrar of American Samoa. Ownership, mortgage, and lien search recordings for USCG documented vessels can be obtained by ordering an abstract of title and a copy of the certificate of documentation from the National Vessel Documentation Center.

Data Bases - Record Searches

Boat registration records in American Samoa are administered by the Department of Port Administration. This agency maintains a searchable database that is accessible to owners and qualified parties. Information on how to go about obtaining such data can be found in WikiTags.

Ownership, mortgage, and lien search recordings for USCG documented vessels can be obtained by ordering an abstract of title and a copy of the certificate of documentation from the National Vessel Documentation Center.

Taxes and Insurance

Information about boat taxes is available from the American Samoa Tax Office. A link to their website is available in the above WikiTags.

Operating and Safety

An operator in American Samoa of any vessel 40 feet in length and under, but not less than 16 feet, shall have in his or her possession a license to operate vessels of this design and length, or a marine board license covering vessels of not more than 15 tons.


The information contained herein is subject to change without notice and may contain errors or omissions. Be sure to check with the respective government agency before taking action on any such data. More detailed information about all of these topics can be found in the above WikiTags.

Credits and References

May 18, 202 - Revised.
May 29, 2022 - Page initiated by Team BoatWiki.



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