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State Registration Search - Databases
Hull Number Verification - Resources
Find a Boat Owner - Guidelines
Vessel Identification System - Definitions
Owner Privacy Restrictions - Definitions
State Boating Requirements - Resources



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Boat Registration Search Guidelines


How to conduct state boat registration database search lookups.

BoatWiki - Guidelines

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Jan 3, 2024 - State boat registration agencies will as a general practice offer boat registration database search lookup resources from within their respective websites. Although the location of which is sometimes difficult to ascertain, given a lower priority for boats and owner privacy restrictions. The following guidelines will provide step by step instructions on how to determine whether a boat is state registered and how to obtain current and historical records.

Step 1 - Determine Whether the Boat is State Registered.

Boats are sometimes exempt from state registration if they are U.S. Coast Guard documented or foreign registered (WikiTags). The best way of knowing is by determining whether state registration numbers are displayed on the bow or if state tabs are affixed on the forward part of the boat. States that require registration of documented boats will not show the registration numbers, but do require the tabs. Visit WikiTags on how to find a boat owner for further information in this regard.

Step 2 - Gather the Identification Numbers

State boat registration databases can not be searched by owner names, boat names, boat types, builders, models or tab sticker numbers. Although some will accept an official USCG documentation number, this not usually the case. You will accordingly need either a state registration number or hull identification number. Be sure to use the hull number verification lookup in WikiTags to make sure it is properly formatted or you may strike out.

Step 3 - Access the State Database Resources

There is no nationwide system for accessing state registration databases other than the Vessel Identification System (WikiTags). However, this is only available to law enforcement and other governmental agencies. You should, therefore, navigate to the respective state registration database page in BoatWiki which can be found in WikiTags. This will provide insights on how to go about conducting searches and where to obtain record printouts for every state and U.S. territory.


Some states are reluctant to provide boat registration information for the general public due to owner privacy restrictions (WikiTags). Although there are ways of getting around this, especially if you have due cause or an owner's written release authorization.

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Jan 3, 2024 - Page revised.



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