Frequently Asked Questions - Bahamas Yacht Registration

Can any national apply for the BAHAMAS yacht registration?

According to the laws of The Bahamas, only Bahamian citizens or permanent residents are allowed to own and operate boats or watercraft within the country's waters. Non-residents are required to obtain a pass from immigration and customs to access the waters. This pass is typically valid for a specific period and may have certain restrictions or conditions attached to it.

What paperwork is necessary to register the yacht?

We need the following documents to proceed:

  • A copy of passport / Identification card
  • A copy of bill of sale 
  • Evidence of Customs Duty Payment (Applicable if the yacht wasn’t purchased in Bahamas)

Can I register in the Bahamas as a commercial or bareboat charter?

Yes, it is possible to register a boat or watercraft in the Bahamas as a commercial or bareboat charter.

Do you accept paperwork in any language?

It is recommended to submit all documents in English, as the official language of the Bahamas is English. However, if you have a document that is in another language, it will likely have to be translated into English by a certified translator. We can help you with it.

What is the estimated time it will take for my yacht to be registered in BAHAMAS?

The process of registering a boat in the Bahamas typically takes around 4-6 weeks to complete. This can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the registration and the availability of required documentation.

How does the registration document look like?

A boat's registration and compliance with all relevant safety and navigational requirements are attested to by a certificate of registration, an official document issued by the Bahamas government. The Bahamas' flag and other identifying details about the vessel, like its name and registration number, are often printed on premium paper. The certificate should always be kept on board and shown to authorities upon request as it is necessary for operating in Bahamian waters.

How long is the BAHAMAS registration valid for?

It is valid for a year.

Is inspection needed?

Inspection may be required as part of the process of obtaining a provisional boat registration in the Bahamas. The inspection may be done by authorized personnel from the government agency responsible for registering boats.

What flag do I need to fly on my yacht once the registration is done?

Once a yacht is registered in the Bahamas, it is required to fly the Bahamian flag (also known as the "ensign") when operating in Bahamian waters. The Bahamian flag is blue with the national coat of arms in the center, which features a yellow shield with a ship sailing on blue and white waves, a yellow rising sun, and a yellow scroll with the national motto "Forward, Upward, Onward Together" written in black. The ensign must be flown from the stern of the yacht when it is underway and from the starboard spreader when it is at anchor or moored. It is important to ensure that the flag is in good condition and is the correct size for the yacht.

Is there a possibility to register a jet ski?

Yes, you can register a jet ski.

Do you help with the MMSI license?

Yes. To apply for a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) in the Bahamas, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of vessel registration. This can include a certificate of registration or a bill of sale.
  • A valid insurance certificate for the vessel.
  • A radio station license if the vessel is equipped with a radio communication device.

What payment methods are accepted?

We accept all payment methods.

What kind of license is required to sail?

A license is not typically required to sail a vessel in the Bahamas, as long as the vessel is registered and in compliance with all necessary safety and navigation regulations. However, certain types of vessels and operations may require specific certifications or licenses.
For example:
A captain or skipper operating a commercial vessel, such as a charter boat, may be required to have a Merchant Mariner's Credential (MMC) or other professional certification.
A vessel equipped with a radio communication device, such as a VHF radio or AIS transponder, will need a radio station license and a unique Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number.
Vessels over a certain length and/or carrying a certain number of passengers may be required to have a Passenger Vessel Safety Certificate.
For commercial vessels, there are several different types of licenses depending on the type of operation, such as a fishing vessel license, a cargo vessel license, and a passenger vessel license.

How may the owner of a valid BAHAMAS registration be changed?

The new owner would need to provide the following documents:

  • A Bill of Sale, which is a legal document that transfers ownership of the vessel from the previous owner to the new owner.
  • A copy of the previous registration certificate
  • A completed form for change of ownership
  • A valid insurance certificate for the vessel
  • A valid radio station license, if the vessel is equipped with a radio communication device

How can I cancel the current BAHAMAS registration?

Typically, the process of cancelling a registration involves:

  • Submit a written request for deregistration.
  • Provide the registration certificate, and any other relevant documents, such as a bill of sale if the vessel has been sold.
  • Inform the agency of the new ownership if the vessel has been sold to another party.
  • If the vessel is being scrapped or dismantled, provide proof of this.

All International Payment Methods Accepted