How To Find Owner Of A Boat

Are you wondering how to find the owner of a boat? If the boat whose owner you are trying to find was imported or manufactured after November 1, 1972, the boat will have a HIN number. The HIN is the boat version of a car's VIN and can help you find the boat's owner.

  1. Copy the HIN number onto a piece of paper. The HIN will be displayed on the outside of the transom on the starboard side. If the boat does not have a transom, the HIN will be displayed on the starboard side of the hull.
  2. Check the HIN number in a database. The US Coast Guard and a few other web sites will give you the last owner's name and address by using their site. Enter the HIN number where indicated on the site. This can be a free service on some sites, others will charge you a small fee for registration information.
  3. Contact the state's department of motor vehicles. Boat owner information is considered public record. You may be charged a fee for the information.
  4. Contact the state's game and fishing department. They may have information to help you find the current owner of the boat as well as an address.
  5. Use, linked below. Once you obtain the name and address on the registration, use or a similar service to search by name or address for the boat owner's phone number. If the owner has moved since the listing (posted annually), local information should have the address plus a phone number, unless the phone number is unlisted.
  6. If this fails, place an ad in the local paper for the last known address. Many times friends or family will be able to pass on the information.
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