New Procedure for Boats Returning to the U.S. with the CBP ROAM App

Enjoy more time cruising in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. It’s now quick and easy to check in with Boarder Patrol upon returning to the United States. Download the CBP ROAM app to get registered today!

Recently, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol launched a new application to simplify the process for boats returning to national waters. The CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile application is now the required method for checking in with the agency upon reentry to the country. 

The application makes it quicker and easier for both U.S. and foreign boats to check in from any location. Here’s a quick review of the old process, the advantages of the CBP ROAM app and some helpful information for using the new reporting system.

Replacing the Small Vessel Reporting System Process

Florida boaters used to be required to register in advance at a local CBP station, file a form online and call the designated “1-800” number when returning from the Caribbean or the Bahamas. The Small Vessel Reporting System, also known as the Local Boater Option, was a long and not very convenient process. 

As of September 5, the SVRS is no longer in service and float plans are no longer accepted. Boaters are now required to use the CBP ROAM app. Current SVRS, Local Boater or Registered Traveler numbers are still valid. If you already have one, it will save you time getting the CBP ROAM app set up.

Advantages of the CBP ROAM App

The application is a huge development for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol checks for four main reasons:  

  • The application works for boaters entering all U.S. coastal waters, the Great Lakes, and U.S. territories in the Caribbean, near Texas and California.
  • Everyone can use the CBP ROAM app - U.S. citizens and foreign citizens. 
  • The app can be used to check in on a pleasure boat registered in any country - boats registered in the U.S. and with foreign flags.
  • With the CBP ROAM app, downloaded on a single device, users can easily register every person on the boat.

How to Get Started with the CBP ROAM App

The app is free to download and use. It can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play Store for Android directly to your smartphone or tablet.

Once you have downloaded the CBP ROAM app, the first step requires you to create an account through Next, you will fill in your user information, boat registration details and itinerary for entry into U.S. waters. If you don’t have a Trusted Traveler number already, the app gives you the option of enrolling as a “Verified Traveler,” which will make the registration for future boating excursions much quicker.

This information is submitted to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for review. Then, the CBP may request a video interview through the application to complete the process. Confirmation that your trip was registered correctly is sent via app notification and email. Otherwise, the CBP will notify you of any further requirements to complete registration.


For a more detailed step-by-step guide, see the illustrations on how to make a account and setup the CBP ROAM app.