Frequently Asked Questions

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No, they may not. Coast Guard policy and federal regulations 14 U.S.C. § 639 prohibit use of Coast Guard markings and symbols in ways that imply endorsement of a commercial entity or activity, regardless of non-profit status.
Political candidates may accurately state they have served their country and address questions related to their military service. However, they are not authorized use of any Coast Guard trademarks in their campaign materials. The use of the Coast Guard emblem, mark or name on any printed material would falsely mislead the audience to believe the service endorses the political candidate or party.

The Coast Guard established a formal trademark and licensing program in 2010. If you have a permission letter that dates before this time, you will need to reapply and obtain a license.

All license agreements have different terms and conditions. The term will define the relevant time period during which the license agreement shall remain in effect.

If you are interested in obtaining a license with the U.S. Coast Guard, you need a licensing application. An application can be downloaded (Application). Please be sure to follow the steps addressed in the application or your application will be delayed.

Coast Guard members and their immediate families have an implied limited license to use the Coast Guard Emblem for noncommercial personal uses such as on printed materials, clothing, literature, briefings, coins and food. The Coast Guard Emblem shall not be used in a manner or context that reflects unfavorably upon the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or any of its components or which will disparage the Coast Guard, DHS or the United States Government. Designs containing the Coast Guard Emblem must be approved by CG-09232.

If your product is for personal use and not commercial retail, no further action is necessary.

No. Incorporating Coast Guard trademarks into that of another individual, association, partnership, or corporation may lead the public to believe that it is endorsed, authorized, or approved by the Coast Guard. Federal law prohibits this kind of endorsement of a private activity even when its mission is patriotic in nature or otherwise is "positive" for the Coast Guard.
No Coast Guard trademarks, alone or with other letters or words, can be used as a business name.
No. You may factually list or state that your company does business with the United States Coast Guard, but you are not authorized to use Coast Guard trademarks in your marketing materials. Using the Coast Guard trademarks in corporate marketing material would imply endorsement of a commercial entity or activity. Please see the Coast Guard's advertising policy regarding the use of Coast Guard images
All products must be approved by the United States Coast Guard trademark and licensing office in accordance with federal law 14 U.S.C. § 639. Failure to obtain a license or approval would be grounds for the seizure of all non-approved merchandise bearing USCG marks. It also could result in legal action.
All products using a Coast Guard trademark need to be licensed or receive an approval letter. Federal law and Coast Guard policy restrict individuals, associations, partnerships, or corporations from falsely representing that their projects, businesses, or products have been in any way endorsed, authorized, or approved by the Coast Guard.
Any mark, logo, symbol, nickname, letter(s), word(s) or combination of these that points to and/or can be associated with the United States Coast Guard qualifies as a trademark. This would include the Coast Guard Emblem, the Coast Guard Mark and the combination of letters "USCG" or "USCGR"; the words "Coast Guard," "United States Coast Guard," "Coast Guard Reserve," "United States Coast Guard Reserve," "Coast Guard Auxiliary," "United States Coast Guard Auxiliary," "Lighthouse Service," and "Life Saving Service." The Official Coast Guard Seal is reserved for official use only.
Use of a disclaimer is appropriate in instances where Cost Guard insignias are used to describe goods or services, or otherwise as a reference. In such cases, the following disclaimer must be posted in a prominent place; 'Neither the United States Coast Guard nor any other component of the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed, or authorized this product (or promotion, or service, or activity)'.

Please visit DOD and DHS Websites for a full listing of trademark licensing contacts.

Commandant (CG-09232)
Trademark Licensing Program
U.S. Coast Guard
2703 Martin Luther King Ave SE Stop 7501
Washington, D.C. 20593-7103

Anyone wishing to use a Coast Guard trademark in association with their goods and/or services must obtain a license.
The Coast Guard trademark licensing program protects and promotes the positive images associated with the Coast Guard by ensuring that Coast Guard trademarks are used in a consistent manner and in good taste both externally and internally. Official Coast Guard licensed products will be indentifiable with a hang-tag that states the product has been reviewed by the United States Coast Guard.