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Changes to Registration Process for Boats

Attention Idaho Boat Owners:

The U.S. Coast Guard is making changes to the vessel registration process that will impact the registration and renewal process for all vessels and owners in the United States, including Idaho.

Frequently Asked Questions

I. Why do I need to be concerned with U.S. Coast Guard regulations?
Idaho Boating Law is based on U.S. Coast Guard Code of Federal Regulations

II. What are the changes to the U.S. Coast Guard regulations?
The U.S. Coast Guard changes concern:

  • Mandatory verification of your hull identification number (HIN)
  • New requirements for unique identifiers for all boat owners

III. What is a unique identifier? 
As you would imagine, a unique identifier is a number that identifies only you. It can be one of two things:

  • Your driver’s license and date of birth (Idaho residents only) OR
  • Your tax identification number which can be your social security number OR employer identification number OR an individual tax identification number.

**Please be advised that beginning with the 2017 sticker year we must collect individual unique identifier information for every owner listed on the title or bill of sale.**

IV. Why is the U.S. Coast Guard making these changes?
The U.S. Coast Guard is making changes in order to:

  • Improve boating safety efforts
  • Enhance law enforcement capabilities
  • Promote the U.S. Coast Guard’s strategic goals of maritime safety and security

V. What is a hull identification number (HIN)?
Similar to a VIN on a vehicle the HIN is the number stamped on your boat by the manufacturer. It is not the number you put on the bow of your boat when you initially registered. The HIN is 12 characters long. (See example, image right)

VI. What should I be concerned about regarding my HIN?
The first thing you should do is to compare the HIN on your boat to the HIN on your renewal card or your registration from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation AND the HIN on your title, issued by the Idaho Department of Transportation. THEY SHOULD ALL BE THE SAME.

  • If the HIN on your title is incorrect call ITD Boat Titling staff at 844-834-2446
  • If the HIN on your title starts with US and does not contain spacing between the US and the next characters you will need to contact ITD Boat Titling Staff at 844-834-2446
  • If the HIN on your renewal or registration is incorrect, call 800-247-6332  

VII. What types of new/additional information will be collected on my boat?
The U.S. Coast Guard requires us to collect different information on hull types, boat propulsion types, boat engine drives, and boat vessel types.

VIII. What are the next steps?
You will need to work with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, the Idaho Department of Transportation, or your local DMV to update your records before you will be able to register your boat for 2017.

THANK YOU! We hope to spend the 2016 boating season working with all our valued customers to make this as smooth a transition as possible. We understand it is inconvenient and we thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.