How to Run a Boat HIN / HULL ID Check Instantly

How to Run a Boat HIN / HULL ID Check Instantly

Did you know that boats come with a unique code called the Hull Identification Number or HIN?

If you were to run a boat HIN / HULL ID check instantly, you would find essential information about the vessel’s manufacturer and owner. It is also possible to perform a boat owner lookup by HULL number.

Simply put, this number is significant as it gives identity to a boat and connects it to its owner.

Let’s find out about the HULL identification numbers of boats.

What are HULL Identification Numbers?

The HULL Identification Number of a vessel is a 12-digit ID number.

It is an alphanumeric combination encoded by authorities with additional encryption for essential data security that links a vessel to its owner and manufacturer.

 So, every vessel’s HIN is unique. HIN distinguishes one boat from another.

One can run a boat HIM / HULL ID check instantly in the system to decode all the information it contains.

One might want the information about a boat for legal purposes or return a lost boat to its owner. Manufacturers link vessels to two types of HIN – the primary HIN and the secondary HIN.   

Additional Important Information about HULL IDs

The HIN is the nautical equivalent of the Vehicle Identification Number of a car.

It is like a serial number that reflects on all paperwork, like the certificate of manufacture, registration, title, or legal documents.

For a boat owner lookup by HULL number, anyone can use online services or contact local authorities.

If you have a boat, note down your boat’s HIN and keep it with you. Don’t place it in the boat, as you’ll need it if your boat goes adrift, gets stolen, or a warranty issue occurs.

If you have a custom boat or a handmade vessel, you can apply for your HIN by contacting the Department of Vehicle Regulation.    

Where is the HIN Located?

The locations on the boat where the primary HIN is located include the following –

  • Boats with transoms: the HIN is placed on the starboard outboard side about 2 in. of the lowest among the transom, hull/deck joint, and gunwale.
  • Boats without transoms: the HIN is found on the starboard outboard side in the aft, within 1 ft. of the stern, and 2 in. of lowest among the transom, hull/deck joint, and gunwale.
  • Pontoon boats and catamarans with easily replaceable hulls: the HIN is placed in the aft crossbeam within 1 ft. from the hull attachment on the starboard.

Usually, the HIN should be placed near the starboard outboard side. Not exceeding 2 in. from the hull/deck joint, transom, or gunwale, whichever is lowest for the boat.

This is particularly true if any accessory, like the rails, will likely obscure the HIN. 

As for the secondary HIN, it should be kept unexposed inside the boat. It can also be kept under a hardware item or fitting.

If the primary HIN is not found, the manufacturer can help find the secondary HN, though the Coast Guard prefers the usage of the original HIN.  

Proper HIN Placement

For the proper placement of the HIN on the boat, you need to ensure that its affixation process is permanent.

For that, methods like carving, burning, embossing, molding, stamping, or bonding can be used. This will ensure that number cannot be defaced.

Even if you want to put the number on a separate plate, this plate must be fixed to the boat in such a way that removal will not be easy.

Any attempt to do so will scar and damage the surrounding area. Make sure not to attach the HIN to a removable part of the boat. 

Decoding HULL Identification Number

There are two formats of HIN, depending on the time when the boat has been manufactured. The first method of encoding information in the HULL was created for vessels made between 1972 and 1984.

This type of HIN has three types of information.

The first three characters represent the manufacturer’s ID code or MIC, while the next five characters include the serial number of the boat.

The final four characters, all of which are numbers, show the month and year of manufacturing the boat.

In the second method, the HIN can be divided into four parts. While the first two parts are the same, the third part consists of two characters representing a month and a date.

The fourth part shows the year of manufacturing the model. This method of encoding is used in boats built after 1984.   

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What’s Included in Your HIN Background Check

It is essential to run a boat HIN / HULL ID check instantly if you are planning to buy a used boat. By performing a boat owner lookup by HULL number, you will get all information about the boat that the owner might have hidden from you. These include: 

  1. Accident Record: Information about the vessel’s history of accidents that led to injuries, deaths, disappearances, damage, etc.

  2. Pollution Incidents: A record of the boat’s disposal of chemical washing, raw sewage, garbage, wastes like discarded fishing nets, plastic, metal, ashes, etc.

  3. Theft Check: The stolen record of the boat registered with the state maritime authority, i.e., whether the boat is stolen or not.

  4. Salvage and Loss: Whether the boat has been recovered from a shipwreck, abandonment, or other situation, along with the revenue loss or the cost of space.

  5. NMVTIS Check: Whether the boat’s title information is accurate, legitimate, or valid in all title-holding states.

  6. Safety Recalls: Whether the boat or its accessories have safety issues.

  7. Auctioned Vessel: Whether the boat has been up for auction – and its current status.

  8. Lien or Claims: Whether there is a privileged claim on the boat. 

  9. Previous Boat Names: Record of whether any name has been previously documented.

Most importantly, a background check helps to decode the HIN to verify and cross-check the documentation numbers, date of manufacturing, the value of the boat, and more.  

Run a Boat HIN / HULL ID Check Instantly: Final Thoughts

Performing a boat owner lookup by HULL number can be necessary for legal reasons, to return a lost boat to its rightful owner, and to know about the status of the vessel if you want to buy a used one.

Legal authorities in your state can perform this check to inspect suspicious activities. You can also reach out to online services to run a boat HIN / HULL ID check instantly.  

How to Run a Boat HIN / HULL ID Check Instantly