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New federal law to affect the 2018 boating season

Hull Identification Numbers (HIN) must be verified before hitting the open waters
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By Ryan Watts
News from Commonwealth of KY Transportation Cabinet

FRANKFORT, KY (23 Mar 2017) -- The Kentucky Department of Vehicle Regulation is alerting boaters of a recent change in federal law regarding the registration and renewal process for vessels.

Beginning January 2018, boat owners will need to verify all Hull Identification Numbers (HIN) when renewing or applying for new registrations. All HIN registrations must be valid and formatted correctly in order to be compliant with the new law.

If a HIN is missing or not formatted properly, a boater must apply for a new HIN. Boaters are required to complete the TC 96-169 application for a hull identification number and attach the ownership documents as instructed.

Boaters can submit their applications by mail, email or in-person at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's One-Stop-Shop.

"This new law streamlines the boater registration verification process and establishes federal standards to help prevent identification theft and fraud," said Stephanie Williams, director of the Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing.

Renewal postcards for 2017 will be also mailed to Kentucky boat owners notifying them of the new requirement and required compliance by the 2018 renewal period.

When registering or renewing a HIN in 2017, a message attached to the registration or receipt will notify individuals that they will not be able to renew their registration in 2018 without a valid HIN. Boaters are encouraged to visit for more information.

All boats registered in Kentucky must have a HIN recorded in the state's title and registration database. All boats imported or manufactured on or after November 1, 1972 are required to have a HIN. These identification markers may be molded into the hull or marked by an engraved metal plate located at the vessel's stern.

The Department of Vehicle Regulation has been working with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife in order to conform to this new requirement.

To find out more about valid HINs and the actions that boat owners must take in order to comply with the new law, visit or contact for more information.

This story was posted on 2017-03-23 08:46:06
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