All you wanted to know about Hull ID Numbers | Boat Alert Blog
All you wanted to know about Hull ID Numbers
Hull identification number – Hull Serial Number
What is a Hull Identification Number?
All pleasure boats made or imported into the USA must have a Hull Serial Number (HIN) attached or affixed to different parts of the hull
in both visible and hidden locations. It should be large and the HIN characters must be no less than 6 mm (height & width). The HIN is
thus a serial number on the vessel and it helps law enforcement identify a lost or stolen boat! You can also use the HIN to find out about
recalls. The format of the HIN is important and has changed over the years. The most important thing to know is that is must be 12
characters long. Think of a HIN like a VIN for your your car. A HIN hull number is often confused for a State registration number. The
State Reg number is typically displayed on the bow of your boat. Instead, think of the State reg number like a car license place.
What is the format of a HIN? What does a HIN look like?
The first three letters are the Manufacturer’s Identification Code (MIC). For example, YAM would be for Yamaha. You are not expected to
know all the codes and you can in fact look them up on the HIN Decoder MIC Search page. The MIC is followed by the serial number
and then the month and year for that model and manufacture date.
Example HIN: YAM12457G304
Where is the location of the Hull ID Number tag?
The HIN must be placed in clearly visible location on the boat such that it is visible even when the vessel is in the water. Look for the HIN
on the upper starboard quarter of the outside surface of the transom. Another location to look for it is on the uppermost starboard side
at the aft end of the hull.
You must never alter or remove a hull ID number. If for some reason your boat does not have one or it is a homemade boat, you should
contact the STATE or the USCG to get one issued.