How Can You Look up a Boat's Registration?

To look up a boat's registration, individuals must contact the appropriate agency in the state in which the boat is registered. In some states, such as California, the department of motor vehicles registers boats. Other states process boat registrations through a division of their parks or fish and game departments.

Using a boat's registration number or hull identification number are starting points for obtaining additional information about a state-registered boat. The United States Coast Guard does not register boats, which it defines as watercraft that weigh less than 5 net tons. State registration rules vary. For example, in Florida, individuals register boats with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles through the county tax collector's office in the county where the owner lives, or where the boat is located.