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The Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a 12-character, 1/4-inch high, permanently attached number that is unique to each boat. It serves the same purpose as a vehicle identification number (VIN) on a car.

Hull identification number
  • Hull Identification Numbers are engraved in the fiberglass or on a metal plate permanently attached to the boat. The HIN can be found on the upper right of the boat's transom or, for boats without a transom, on the starboard side within two feet of the stern. Pontoon boats have a HIN on the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard hull attachment.
  • Owners of homemade boats, vessels without a HIN, and vessels lacking a 12- or 17-character HIN must contact a Division of Watercraft office. An appointment may be necessary to inspect the boat and assign a HIN.
  • Be cautious when buying a boat to ensure that it is not a stolen boat. Match the HIN listed on the title to the one attached to the boat. Before purchasing the boat, inspect the HIN to be sure it has not been altered in any way.