Vessel Examination

Vessel Safety Check

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will perform a complimentary safety check of your boat, confirming that you meet both federal and state requirements for safety.  Purely advisory, the USCG Auxiliary issues no citations and does not report the results of the safety check to any enforcement agency, but will award a decal to display when your vessel has passed the examination.  This was formerly referred to as a Courtesy Marine Examination. The Vessel Safety Check gives you a quick and easy way to check that you are ready for the coming season.  The items that are checked include but are not limited to:

·Personal Flotation Devices (life jackets) 

·Registration and numbering

·Navigation lights


·Fire extinguishers

·Distress signals (flares, horn, whistles, etc.)

·Battery cover and connections

Note that these same items are required by state and federal laws and, if missing or non-operating, can result in a citation if your vessel is boarded by a Coast Guard enforcement unit.  The Vessel Safety Check offered here gives you a risk-free way to check that you meet the legal minimums. For detailed information go to:

How do you get your boat examined? In Chicago, sign up for an appointment with your
harbor master or catch a member of the USCG Auxiliary at your Marina. You may also email us at:

Please include the following information:

Name and phone #
Where is your boat located?
What is the best time to contact you?