Hull Identification Number (HIN) and Boatcode

To get, maintain and transfer registration in NSW, you need to know the vessel’s unique HIN. Here's how to locate it, and why it matters.

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What's an HIN (Boatcode)?

The Hull Identification Number (HIN) – also known as Boatcode – is a series of letters and numbers.

The HIN identifies things like country, manufacturer, serial number and date of manufacture.

The HIN is normally permanently attached to the vessel’s hull. See Where to find and display it below.

Always write down and keep a copy of your HIN in case you need it.

An HIN is useful because it:

  • makes it easy to identify each vessel
  • distinguishes one vessel from another
  • deters vessel theft and helps in recovering stolen vessels.

Before you buy a second-hand vessel, you can search its HIN at Personal Property Security Register. This way you can check there's no money owing on it.

When you need to provide it

You’ll be asked to provide the HIN:

Where to find and display it

The HIN is attached to the hull on most boats.

In newer boats it’s put there permanently during manufacture.

It may be engraved in a plate permanently attached on or near the right (upper starboard) side of the transom. This is so you can view it above the waterline.

In older boats, a Boatcode Agent (see below) can help you get an HIN. The agent can also get you an HIN Boatcode Certificate.

HIN Plate
Sample plate showing Hull Identification Number (HIN). The HIN is attached to or moulded into the Hull

Get an HIN from a Boatcode Agent

Boatcode Agents in NSW can validate existing HINs and affix HINs to vessels. They can also provide you with an HIN Boatcode Certificate.

Find a Boatcoat Agent in NSW.

See Fees for current costs.

Exemptions from HIN requirements

  • Any commercial vessel or a regulated Australian vessel.
  • A vessel regulated under the Navigation Act 2012 of the Commonwealth.
  • A vessel registered to a beneficiary of a will, or to the estate of the late owner or within a family following the death of the registered controller.
  • An expired registration when there is no change of ownership and renewal fee is paid.
  • White water rafts.
  • Dumb barges and lighters where an engine is not attached.
  • Hire and Drive vessels (except high powered and PWC).
  • Vessels in chains (vehicular ferries).

Call 13 12 36 for details.

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