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Posted on: May 1, 2017

Washington Vessel Owners May Have to Change Hull Identification Number

The United States Coast Guard is beginning to enforce the new federal standard for Hull Identification Numbers (HIN) on vessels.  This may require about 19,000 Washington vessel owners to change the Hull Identification Number (HIN) on their vessels.  

If the vessel’s HIN does not comply with the new federal standard, owners will not be able to register, renew or title their vessel until the HIN is updated. Owners must visit a licensing office for a new title and a conforming HIN. If you believe your HIN does meet the new standards, please provide a photo or rubbing of the current HIN on the vessel. If the current HIN is compliant, the DOL record will be updated.

Vessel owners assigned a new HIN will be required to permanently affix the new HIN to the vessel. Under this new requirement, both HINs must be permanently affixed to a vessel with a non-conforming HIN.   It is recommended that the original HIN not be removed or covered up but that the new assigned HIN should be applied adjacent to the original HIN.  You must use methods (such as decals, engraved plates, embossing) that permanently affix the new assigned HIN to the vessel.


For additional information, contact the Licensing Division at the Auditor's Office at (360) 778-5100.



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