State boaters required to get new hull ID numbers

PORT ORCHARD — The state Department of Licensing is reminding more than 19,000 Washington boat owners that they are required to get new hull identification numbers.

The requirement is due to new safety and enforcement rules adopted by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Washington’s licensing department sent notices in late March to boat owners affected by the new standards for identifying vessels. The Coast Guard made the change to enhance its enforcement capabilities and improve safety and security on the water, according to Kitsap County’s licensing division.

The new 12-digit identifier must be no less than ¼ inch high and be affixed permanently on the boat near the existing number so the old number also remains visible.

Boat owners can apply for the new certificate of ownership that generates the compliant hull identification number, or HIN, in person at their local licensing office. Nearest to South Kitsap residents is the County Administration Building, 619 Division St., Port Orchard. Other locations can be found online at

Make note, boat owners: The new numbers are not available online.

“I want to emphasize that there is no title transaction fee involved for solely issuing a compliant HIN,” said Dolores Gilmore, Kitsap County auditor.

Boat owners with questions can contact the state Department of Licensing at 360-902-3770 or visit The email address there is