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Vessel Identification System WikiLinksWikiShare

BoatWiki - Databases

BoatWiki needs your help in maintaining our vital community resource.
Please WikiShare any comments, suggestions, or corrections regarding this subject.


Jun 26, 2023 - The Vessel Identification System is a  collaborative effort between the U.S. Coast Guard and most states to share vessel documentation and boat registration data. This includes both current and historical information. It is administered by the Coast Guard's Maritime Information Exchange with input from the participating states. Although not yet realized, one of their goals is that of recording preferred vessel mortgages on both levels. It also seeks to advance the standards for acquiring data with respect to damaged or salvaged boats.


Access to the system is thus far limited to government and law enforcement agencies. Given this highly restrictive environment, it almost impossible for the boating community to obtain such data unless engaged in a registration procedure that involves an unidentified, stolen or abandoned boat.


There is a great deal of concern within many of the states about consumer privacy issues. Unfortunately, this places the boating community at a disadvantage when trying to determine the background or history of a particular boat. Team BoatWiki is now in the process of determining whether there is enough interest among boaters to address these issues legislatively. Your WikiShare feedback and opinions are accordingly most welcome.

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JUN 6, 2023 Page revised.

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