Is a Hull ID (HIN) the Same as a Vessel’s Serial Number?

Yes. For all intents and purposes, a HIN (Hull Identification Number) can be thought of as a boat’s serial number. Similar to a VIN that you would find on a car, a HIN is a unique 12 to 14-character number which identifies a boat. 

Every boat that was manufactured or imported on or after November 1st, 1972 must have a HIN. Any vessels that were imported or manufactured before that are not required to have one. 

To find a HIN, check the boat’s transom, on the starboard side within two inches of the transom’s top. Should the vessel not have a transom, you will most likely find the HIN on the starboard outboard side of the hull, within a foot of the stern.