View Full Version : How do I get a hull # assigned on boats I'm building?
02-13-2004, 10:11 AM
I am building 2 strip canoes and I want to get a HIN # assigned to them. I have called Wisconsin Department of natural resources and they don't know. Called Coast Guard and the people who know are all at the Miami Boat show.
Does anyone here know?
These boats do not have to be registered in this state but I want a HIN# should they be sold to a buyer in a state where registration is required.
02-13-2004, 10:15 AM
My first boat is #000001. The next one will be #000002.
02-13-2004, 10:38 AM
This site has the info for all of the states
coast guard (http://www.uscg.mil/d8/mso/louisville/WebStuff/comdtpubp16761_3b.pdf)
02-13-2004, 11:59 AM
When I registered canoes in Pennsylvania, the PA Fish and Boat Commission assigned HINs. I assume the same is true in most states. The format of the HINs is specified by the US Coast Guard. You can register a boat even if you do not plan to use a motor on it.
In reality, you do not need to affix the registration numbers to the bow of the canoe (if that offends your aethestics) in most states unless you want to use a motor; otherwise, no one would ever know that the canoe is registered and needs numbers.
John E Hardiman
02-13-2004, 12:24 PM
First, you're going to need to get a manufacturer ID #, which is given by CG Headquarters. So you'll have to wait.
Here is a concise summary
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE BOATING LAW ADMINISTRATORS RESOLUTION NO. 2003-2
In support of 17 character Hull Identification Numbers (HIN)
WHEREAS, the United States Coast Guard has moved from the Department of Transportation
to the Department of Homeland Security; and
WHEREAS, the new fields in the 17 character HIN will prevent fictitious registration of
vessels with the check or verifying digit; and
WHEREAS, the new fields will quickly identify correctly registered vessels by the type of
vessel, hull material, length of vessel, propulsion, fuel type; to aid in proper
identification of suspicious vessels located in security zones; and
WHEREAS, the 17 character HIN will provide the aforementioned additional information to
verify and describe the boat in the Boating Accident Reporting Database (BARD),
allowing identification of developing safety trends involved in boating accidents;
WHEREAS, the 17 character HIN will verify or provide accurate missing data of boats
involved in an accident as to make, model, length and other descriptions of the
boat or boats involved; and
WHERAS, Public Law 100-710 requires the United States Coast Guard to establish the
National Vessel Identification System (VIS) that utilizes a unique identification
WHEREAS, 33 CFR Part 173 Vessel Numbering and Casualty and Accident Reporting,
section 173.29 requires notice within 15 days of not only address changes and
destroyed or abandoned status, but also the theft and recovery of vessels; and
WHEREAS, 33 CFR 173.57, regarding the content of boating accident reports to include:
(y) The manufacturer’s hull identification number, if any, of the reporting
operator’s vessel; and
WHEREAS, 33 CFR Part 174 – State Numbering and Casualty Reporting Systems, section
174.19 Contents of a Certificate of Number subsections,
(8) Make of vessel.
(9) Year vessel was manufactured.
(10) Overall length of vessel.
(11) Whether the vessel is an open boat, cabin cruiser, houseboat, or other type.
(12) Hull material.
(13) Whether the propulsion is inboard, outboard, inboard-outdrive, or sail.
(14) Whether the fuel is gasoline, diesel, or other.
requires the information requested in the new HIN format on the certificate of
WHERAS, subsection (b) of 33 CFR 174.19 allows subsections (8) through (14) to be
omitted on the certificate of number if it has a manufacturers assigned hull
identification number which indicates this information should be captured by a
HIN as requested in the new 17 character HIN; and
WHEREAS, this information can not currently be captured in the 12 character HIN; and
WHEREAS, the new 17 character HIN would then capture this information and tie it into the
BARD and VIS databases being developed; and
WHEREAS, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) has
unanimously passed resolutions in 1990, re-affirmed that resolution in 1998 and
in 2001 again asked the United States Coast Guard to finalize this public request
and petition after 13 years; and
WHEREAS, the Natio nal Boating Safety Advisory Council has repeatedly and unanimously
requested the United States Coast Guard to proceed with the 17 character HIN.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association of State Boating Law
Administrators, meeting on this 29th day of October, 2003 in Virginia Beach,
Virginia, does hereby request that the United States Coast Guard proceed with the
implementation of the 17 character HIN as it will significantly increase efforts to
insure homeland security, allow an increased ability to identify boating accident
safety trends, and conform to current regulatory requirements in the Casualty
Reporting Requirements of 33 CFR parts 173 and 174.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Rear Admiral
Jeffrey J. Hathaway, Chief of Operations Policy (G-OP), for their consideration of
the repeated requests and need for this action from the boating public, boat
manufacturers, and state boating law administrators.
October 29, 2003 Alvin Taylor, President
John E Hardiman
02-13-2004, 12:43 PM
The actual Law
Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 33, Volume 2, Parts 125 to 199]
[Revised as of July 1, 1999]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
CHAPTER I--COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED)
PART 181--MANUFACTURER REQUIREMENTS--Table of Contents
Subpart C--Identification of Boats
Sec. 181.31 Manufacturer identification code assignment.
(a) Each person required by Sec. 181.23 to affix hull
identifications numbers must request a manufacturer identification code
in writing from the Recreational Boating Product Assurance Division,
2100 Second Street SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001. The request must
indicate the manufacturer's name and U.S. address along with the general
types and lengths of boats that will be manufactured.
(b) For boats manufactured outside of the jurisdiction of the United
States, a U.S. importer must obtain a manufacturer identification code
as required by paragraph (a) of this section. The request of an
importer, as defined in Sec. 181.3 of this subpart, must indicate the
importer's name and U.S. address along with a list of the manufacturers,
their addresses, and the general types and sizes of boats that will be
imported. If a nation has a hull identification number system which has
been accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard for the purpose of importing
boats, it may be used by the importer instead of the one specified
within this subpart. To request a list of those nations having such a
numbering system, write to the Recreational Boating Product Assurance
Division, 2100 Second Street SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001.
(c) Persons who are required to identify boats under Sec. 181.23(b)
must obtain the required hull identification number from the State
Boating Law Administrator of the State where the boat will be
principally used, or, if the State Boating Law Administrator does not
assign these numbers, from the Coast Guard District office in the area
of principal use.
[CGD 79-013, 48 FR 40718, Sept. 9, 1983, as amended by CGD 88-052, 53 FR
25122, July 1, 1988; CGD 96-026, 61 FR 33669, June 28, 1996]
I will add -since I use to sell canoes- and the last canoe I transferred was 3 years ago. That canoes and kayaks do not have titles, but only bill of sale or receipts.Most states do not require canoes or kayaks to carry and display registration numbers, and there use to be only about 6 states that did require registration numbers to be displayed and a fee paid of course.Canoes that where manufactured all came with hull numbers somewhere embossed into the hull, the numbers where assigned at the factory, by what ever means they decided. Then a receipt was issued to the buyer, with the numbers on it. The buyer would take the reciept to the state watercraft division and they would assign registration numbers that had to be displayed on outside of bow, in ohio that was for a 3 year period, and then renewed with same registration numbers.So as the builder you can assign whatever hull numbers you wish, such as your initials and 101 & 102 to the canoes and then just issue a receipt to the buyer when you sell.This only applies to canoes, and kayaks, does not apply to boats, Homebuilt boats have to be taken to the division of watercraft and inspected, and then the division of watercraft will issue hull numbers that have to be installed on boat, then you take their paperwork to the title division that will issue a title and then you take your tile to the watercraft division that will issue registration numbers to be displayed on outside of bow.Some states allow you to send off for hull numbers for a homebuilt, ohio has decided you have to actually bring the boat in to be looked at. And that is where the guideline for homebuilts from the coast guard has come from as appears above in a post. Hope this helps, bottom line being you can assign your own numbers for a canoe and just transfer with a bill of sale.
02-13-2004, 06:19 PM
Rubbish I say. Rubbish from almost all.
The only federal requirement for canoes and kayaks is a hull ID number. All canoes and kayaks need them. Page 4 of the document referenced by Ken.
A number can be obtained from the state. Page 49 of the document referenced by Ken. DO NOT APPLY FOR A MANUFACTURER'S PREFIX.
State numbers begin with the postal abbreviation and a "Z".
Do not make up a number. You may wind up using someone else's number and then you have all sorts of problems.
Ken did a good job.
02-13-2004, 06:40 PM
For no constructive reason, here is my experience with getting Prairie Islander registered and licensed.
First I called the local USCG office and was refered to a number in Washington. They refered me to a number in St. Louis from whom I was refered to a number in New Orleans who gave me a number in the 402 area code. Hey wait a minute! That's where I started. Anyway the number was the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. They sent me a form. I sent them the completed form and $30. They sent me two strips of aluminum from a dymo tape writer with a number on them, my HIN. That was the easy part.
The only reason for registration is as a form of tax collection. I was sure I would be dinged sails tax for all the stuff I had ordered from out of state. Tax on the engine alone made me shudder. Well it turns out at the local county anyway they make the asumption that taxes have been paid on materials for any home built boat. I didn't argue. Whew! So now I have the official UGLY numbers defiling the lines of my beautiful gaff rigged cutter just like some common ole thirty thousand dollar bass boat. Yuck!
Each state is a little different, lawyereze not withstanding.
02-13-2004, 11:26 PM
I wanted to register a small boat in the state of New York. First I was told only that I needed to fill out some forms at the DMV. Then it was added that I needed to furnish photos and documentation of the type and cost of materials. Then I was told that I needed to have it inspected. Then I was told that I needed to have brass plates manufactured, engraved with the appropriate numbers, and affixed to the hull in specified locations. I only wanted to put an electric trolling motor on it! So I gave up and just used oars.
When you find out what your state division of watercraft says as to - hull numbers , title , registration , post the answer, for all of us to see and know.
02-14-2004, 02:16 PM
Here are the internet sites for Louisiana and Texas. It takes a bit of prowling around to find what you need.
Louisinana Homebuilt Registration (http://www.wlf.state.la.us/apps/netgear/page52.asp)
Texas Registration (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boat/requirements_for_transactions.phtml)
I will add that going to a local county tax office in Texas (actually it was an even smaller sub-office) made the entire process most agreeable. By all means, save every receipt with sales tax listed. All of the sales taxes paid during construction were deducted from the total due.
02-16-2004, 04:32 PM
I don't have the regs in front of me but here's what I remember about Texas law:
-Canoes and kayaks, or other "manually driven" craft don't need to be registered. Sailboats 14 feet and over do need to be registered. Powerboats, both the hull itself and the engine, need to be registered.
-If it's a homebuilt boat, keep all the receipts during the building process. The boat needs to be inspected by a Parks and Wildlife official (I assume they know what they're looking at?) and at that time you show them all the receipts to verify it's a homebuilt. I think you also have to sign an affidavit attesting that you built the boat. The inspection costs $25, on top of the registration fee.
02-16-2004, 05:16 PM
That sums up what I did at the Wood County sub-office in Hawkins. The difference being my boat wasn't home built.
02-16-2004, 07:52 PM
Well now that we have told you about every state in the Union but Wisconsin, alteran I guess it is up to you to contact:
Department of Natural Resources
124 South Webster Street
Madison, WI 73707
According to the USCG they are the authroity in WI that issues the HIN. But you knew that 'cause Ken gave us that information way back last week. What'd they tell you?
02-16-2004, 10:44 PM
Wisconsin is checking and has not called back. Coast Guard guy is back from the Miami boat show tommorrow and is supposed to call me.
I'm coughing up cedar dust, looking at my right hand and wondering why I didn't wear at least one glove when I was spreading epoxy.
02-17-2004, 01:40 PM
Ok. This thread makes me think (which I haven't been doing too much of lately...). I am building a small cedarstrip/fg canoe (~12'). From what I read in the Coast Guard pdf it appears I'm supposed to have a HIN (assigned by the state). Where on the a stripper have people put numbers? How? I don't want to put a metal strip with punched numbers. Perhaps a ricepaper printout under the glass?
What have others done?
02-17-2004, 02:43 PM
Here's what I had to do in Florida last December. All boats require a HIN, provided by the state. If the vessel is longer than 16', then an inspection by the Fish and Game Commission is necessary. Under 16', then it is left to the discretion of the DMV. Being "homebuilt" you have to either supply receipts showing sales tax paid, or pay it at the time of licensing. I engraved the HIN into the transom, upper starboard corner.
That's all folks........
02-17-2004, 03:40 PM
here in NJ you have to have the boat inspected and show sales slips for all of the materials used. If you are cannabalizing an old boat for mechanicals etc you have to supply a notarized letter to that affect and pay sales tax on all those items that you had shipped in from elsewhere. I checked on what was needed in Mass where I may use the boat and it was pretty much the same thing. You must make an appointment with the Mass Finance Dept for an inspection, and once again the receipts for all that went in to it. They suggested that if I was to use the boat out of Mass for more than 60 days that it should be documented by the Coast Guard (a $300.00 fee) and then it could be used anywhere. But you still have to go through the State BS. I asked what would happen if I didn't have all the receipts, but, they suggested that we could face that issue at a later date!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had the package of papers sent from the NJ folks, and we will go from there. Roger
02-17-2004, 04:40 PM
Here is the rest of the story.
After Wis. DNR didn't call back I called Coast Guard again. They sent me back to Wi. DNR. Gave me a name and phone # and said this was THE guy in charge at DNR. He would know.
Called. He had retired 5 months ago. Secretary referred me back to the DNR person I talked to 4 days ago who didn't know and promised to call back and had not called back. I called her again. She was kind of bewildered but decided I could do 1 of 2 things. Register the boat for a fee of $9.75 [a boat that is small and unmotorized so it does not need to be registered] and she could then issue a hull # and a registration #. She said this is the only way to get it "into the system".
Or she said I could go back to the Coast Guard and get a manufacturers # for my boat building business and then assign my own boat my own manufacturers #. She didn't know if there is a CG fee for this or not. [I'll bet there is, but I didn't bother checking.]
So... I'll not put on hull #s at all. If I sell it out of state I'll let the buyer take care of it in his state with my bill of sale.
The DNR lady tried and was polite but sometimes I just have to shake my head and wonder...
Think you made the right choice. I did notice how many of the posts stated that the state did want to see sales receipt with tax paid, or pay us the tax from items you bought out of state.Think the internet has them worried about loosing a tax dollar..
02-17-2004, 09:58 PM
U.S. Department of Transportation
United States Coast Guard
HULL IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS
All boats must bear two Hull Identification Numbers (HINs). The HIN is like a serial
number. It is a unique number that identifies your boat. The HIN is not the same as
the State registration number which may also be required to be displayed on the bow
of your boat. DO NOT CONFUSE THESE TWO NUMBERS. The HIN is a Federal
requirement; your boat’s registration number is a State requirement similar to the
license plate on your car.
When you start to build your boat or while you are building it, write to your State
boating agency (their addresses appear at the end of this pamphlet), tell them that you
are building a boat and that you need a Hull Identification Number (HIN). You can also
inquire about your registration number at the same time. Not all State agencies issue
HINs, but those that do not will probably refer you to the nearest Coast Guard District
Office (their addresses also appear at the end of this pamphlet).
When you receive your HIN it will look something like this:
The first two letters are an abbreviation for the State in which you live. The “Z”
indicates that the first two letters indicate a State and not an abbreviation for the name
of a commercial manufacturer. The next five characters (numbers or letters) are a
serial number which uniquely identifies your boat. The last four characters represent
the month and year your boat was built. In the HIN above the boat was built in May
TWO HINS MUST BE PERMANENTLY DISPLAYED ON YOUR BOAT
THE PRIMARY HIN
On boats with transoms: The primary HIN must be affixed to the starboard (right) side
of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale or hull and deck
joint, whichever is lowest.
On boats without transoms or on boats on which it would be impractical to use the
transom: The primary HIN must be affixed to the starboard (right) outboard side of the
hull, aft, within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of the hull side,
gunwale or hull and deck joint, whichever is lowest.
On catamarans and pontoon boats which have readily replaceable hulls: The primary
HIN must be affixed to the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard (right) hull
IF THE HIN WOULD NOT BE VISIBLE BECAUSE OF RAILS, FITTINGS OR
OTHER ACCESSORIES, IT MUST BE AFFIXED AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE TO
THE LOCATIONS DESCRIBED ABOVE.
THE SECONDARY HIN
A secondary HIN must be affixed in an unexposed location inside the boat or beneath
a fitting or item of hardware.
For example: On a dinghy you could place the secondary HIN on the inside surface of
the hull beneath a seat or thwart or underneath the rubrail. On runabouts the
secondary HIN could be placed on the inside surface or the hull up forward under the
forward deck, behind the remote controls, or underneath a cleat. The idea here is to
place the secondary HIN in a place that is unexposed that someone would not
normally be able to find unless they really looked for it closely. Do not put the second
HIN on a part of the boat that is easily or normally removable.
The secondary HIN will help the authorities identify your boat if a thief removes or
damages the primary HIN you affix to the transom.
Each of your HINs must be permanently affixed. They must be carved, burned,
stamped, embossed, molded, bonded or otherwise permanently affixed so that
alteration, removal or replacement would be obvious. If the HINs are on separate
plates, the plates must be fastened in such a way that their removal would normally
cause some scarring of or damage to the surrounding hull area. For example, if you
use a separate plate, use wood screws or pop rivets and epoxy to affix it to the hull.
The letters and numbers in your HIN must be at least ¼ inch high. They can be larger,
but not smaller.
02-17-2004, 10:05 PM
Meerkat, went over that with the CG last week.
They refer you to the state. State refered me to them.n And on and on....
I think the confusion is over the word BOAT.
Canoes and kayaks are not BOATS, they have their own classification, called, believe it or not -canoes & kayaks - They do not carry titles, and in all but 6 states are not required to be registered. If the state does not require registration, then they will not assign a hull identification number ( UNLESS YOU DECIDE TO REGISTER IT).The coast guard refer canoes and kayaks back to the state and let's the state decide what is required.They could care less, because no one has been killed lately by a canoe.Yes you may have to have hull id. if operating upon federal waterways,but again the coast guard refer you back to the state, they don't care about canoes and kayaks. I have been inspected by coast guard in a canoe, and all they cared about was that you had a lifejacket, have a nice day. Maybe somewhere a new coast guard recruit will read the fine print, and the games will begin. Who comes first, the coast guard or the state they keep referring you back to.??
All manufactured canoes, and kayaks come from the factory with hull id's that where assigned by the manufacture as coast guard required.
But homebuilts are different. I could just see someone like alterman registering a canoe, in a state he does not have to, just to get a hull i.d. and then letting the registration lapse and getting a ticket for EXSPIRED REGISTRATION-, which wasn't required to begin with. And if you pay the coast guard for a manufactures license"s so you can put your hull number on your canoe, that gives them the right to stop by anytime they want and inspect your work and materials.
Gee where does it end? It is just a canoe.
I just went thru this on a homebuilt boat trailer 3 months ago.Went to the license burea and exsplained i had a home built boat trailer i wanted to license. I expected it had to be inspected, but they could care less. The rate is based upon weight, and it had to be weighed by one of their approved weigh stations.There are no titles for trailers in ohio, except maybe over 3 tons, as i remember. Took it to the weigh station, and weigh master asked for a serial number, told him story and he said, Believe me and trust me, just give me a serial number and i don't care if it is 01, If all the blanks on the form are not filled out, they will send you back to me, and then we will make up a serial number. So my trailer is serial number 01..no problem. except $40 a year for a little boat trailer.
02-18-2004, 07:32 AM
Keep talkin'. Living in Nebraska does have it's advantages, sounds like.
02-18-2004, 07:54 AM
Hull numbers? We don' need no steenkin' hull numbers! :D
I think that I will put a nice little brass plaque on my Catspaw with my name, and a 1 engraved nicely into it on the stem post and let any damn coast guard junior bureaucrat that has nothing better to do than hassel a guy out for a nice sail figure out what to do about it.
02-18-2004, 08:49 AM
Did you read page 4 of the document that Ken Hutchins linked to in his post?
You might point this link and the following out to the DNR:
"Federal and state law both require a 12 character HIN number on all boats built after 1972. Look for the HIN on the right side of the transom above the waterline. The HIN number must be permanently affixed to the boat or imbedded into the fiberglass. On most aluminum boats, the HIN is stamped onto an aluminum plate which is rivetted with non-corrosive rivets to the transom. If you see rusty rivets or the HIN is on a removable plate attached with screws, be very cautious. If the HIN has been removed, altered or tampered with, contact the DNR Marine Theft Investigator by e-mail or dial (608) 264-8970. Altering a HIN number is a Class E felony."
02-18-2004, 11:00 AM
Damn, looks like I gotta carve another HIN in some obscure spot where no-one would expect to look. :mad:
I understand that the HIN protects me should my boat be stolen and I support the idea. But what exactly do we get for registering our boats and paying the registration fee? Just another revenue generation scheme by the government.
Thanks for letting me vent (and not throwing me to the bilge).
Theoretically I got the straight dope on this hull numbers deal today. I got the hull numbers, title and registration today for a wooden boat I built last year.First step was to take the boat to the Ohio Division of watercraft, where they measured it and checked my i.d. and issued hull numbers. I exsplained the question to the officer, and he told me,all Canoes and Kayaks as well as rowboats under 14ft. do not have titles,and if they are in a state that require registration, as ohio does, any homebuilts will be issued hull numbers when registered.But if they are in a state that does not require registration, they are not issued hull numbers and do not require hull numbers, He also told me, since we are only about 10 miles from kentucky, that kentucky does not require registration, and he sees canoes all the time on the lake with no registration numbers, so he pulls up and ask first thing, where are you guys from, and when they say kentucky, he says fine, have a nice day and moves on.Kentucky canoes and kayaks do not require hull numbers. They also can use the canoe in ohio for up to 60 days before they have to be permanent and go through the registration process. So this is suppose to be the straight dope on hull numbers for canoes, and I have no answer to the coast guard saying all boats have to have hull numbers.I did ask what about the ohio river and lake erie, he said same deal. And as you say the coast guard keeps telling you to go to the state and do as they tell you. For those interested, the hull numbers where free, the title was $7. and registration was $15. for 3 years, not bad considering I paid $40. a year for tags for the little trailer to drag it around on.
06-01-2004, 12:20 PM
I have a HIN followup.
I was getting ready to contact my state (NH) boating safety people for a homebuilt HIN when I read on the CLCboats.com website that they (CLC) supply a HIN (if requested) for all the kits they sell. So, I contacted my kit provider, Newfound Woodworks, to find out if they issue HINs for their kits. As it turns out, they do. They had even gone back a year or two and sent letters to their kit customers with HINs. (I have been dragging my feet on this project, so I purchased just a little before this window). But a quick phone call later and now I have a HIN to place on my boat.
So, if you have a kit, give your supplier a call. They, most likely, will be able to supply a HIN from their own series and save you the trouble of getting a homebuilt HIN from your state.
06-03-2004, 07:58 PM
While Canoes and kayaks are boats, but they are special boats defined in the regs. Most canoes and kayaks do not meet the definition of canoes and kayaks.
According to the definition kayaks and canoes must fall between two lengths (I believe 15' and 18'). The beam to length ratio must be in a certain range. The range depends on length. Most canoes and kayaks fail on one of the two numbers.
While CLC and Newfound Woodworks are good intentioned, I believe what they are doing is not legal.
First, 3 of the digits need to reflect the time period during which the boat is under construction. Technically, those businesses don't have that information.
Second, I believe a manufacturer is allowed to only assign a number to a boat built by them.
06-03-2004, 09:14 PM
That CLC and others could assign a HIN had me puzzled too, as does the requirement that the HIN reflect the period of time the boat is under construction. When I got the number for Prairie Islander I made one up using the USCG criteria and asked the state to assign it. The one I got had no resemblance to any thing meaningful I could discern. Seems to me every state is different. The Department of Motor Vehicles issues HIN's in this state.
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