Hull Identification Number (HIN) and Inspection Form

What is a HIN?
  1. All boats manufactured or imported on or after November 1, 1972 bear a HIN.  The HIN is a 12 alpha-numeric character that uniquely identifies a boat.
  2. The HIN is a Federal requirement; a boat’s registration number is a State requirement similar to the license plate on a car.  The HIN, however, is required to be shown on the State certificate of registration.
  3. It is illegal for anyone (manufacturer, dealer, distributor, or owner) to alter or remove a HIN without the express written authorization of the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.
  4. The regulations prescribe the format of the HIN. The first three characters are a MIC (Manufacturer Identification Code) assigned by the Coast Guard to the manufacturer or the person importing the boat; characters four through eight are a serial number assigned by the manufacturer; the last four characters indicate the month and year the boat was built, and the model year. Prior to August 1, 1984, the manufacturer had the option of expressing this in the form of a model year designation.
  5. Individuals building boats for their own use or boat owners registering a boat that does not have a manufacturer HIN must obtain a 12 character HIN from their State boating agency.

How does the owner obtain a State assigned HIN?
  1. The owner of the watercraft shall apply to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department on a form furnished by the Department for the application/registration of State issued HINs.
  2. The form shall contain a complete description of the watercraft, name and address of the owner, and any other information as required by the Department.

How is the State Assigned HIN Issued?
  1. Under authority granted by the United State Coast Guard, the Department shall assign HINs beginning with the letters WYZ followed by consecutively assigned numbers.
  2. The Department shall not register any watercraft with an invalid/nonconforming HIN except for renewals.

Where is the State Assigned HIN placed?
  1. The primary HIN must be permanently affixed (so that it can be seen from outside the boat) to the starboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest.  On boats without transoms or on boats on which it would be impractical to apply to the transom, the HIN must be affixed to the starboard outboard side of the hull, aft within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of hull side, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest.  The starboard outboard side of the hull aft is the preferred HIN location for many manufacturers.  On catamarans and pontoon boats the HIN must be affixed on the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard hull attachment.
  2. The character size of each HIN must be no less than one-fourth of an inch high.  A duplicate secondary HIN shall be affixed somewhere on an unexposed location inside the boat or beneath a fitting or item of hardware.  The purpose is to help authorities identify a boat if a thief or vandals remove or damage the primary HIN on the transom.

HIN/VIN - Inspection Form
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