Hawaii Boat Registration (updated 2021)

Hawaii Boat Registration History Report

Hawaii boat registration FAQs are found below and can be downloaded as PDF. We have written this page to inform the boating community about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of Hawaii.

We will cover information about the Boat Registration Agency in this state and if you are wondering about Registration and marking requirements we have an overview of that as well. We also talk about Registration Requirements for boat in Hawaii along with things you need to know about boat Ownership and Liens so you can better perform Boat Title Searches or boat history lookups in HI.

Where are Hawaii Boats Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. Hawaii issues registrations and not titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. But, New vessel titling policies and procedures are planned to go into effect July 1, 2021. These are administered by the HI STATE Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) in Honolulu. This state does not issue titles or registrations for outboard motors or Boat trailers. There is no sales tax on boats. For up to date changes see https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/vrt/.

Did you know that boats registered in the State of Hawaii make up 0.1% of all USA vessel registrations?

Boat Registrations by year in the State of Hawaii (source: Nasbla) - Motorized vs. Non motorized recreational boats.
Boat Registrations by year in the State of Hawaii (source: Nasbla) – Motorized vs. Non motorized recreational boats.
Infographic Hawaii Boat Registration
Infographic: Hawaii Boat Registration

Hawaii Boat Registration Numbers

Hawaii boat registration numbers begin with a “HA”. The HA designation is followed by four numbers and then two letters like in most states. You will have to display these as shown above if your boat is non-documented at the USCG. Put the HA boat registration sticker tab next to it. The state reg. number should not be confused with the 12 character Hull ID (HIN).

All boats manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with the letters “HAZ” are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Hull number inspections are not required in Hawaii unless there is a discrepancy.

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Exceptionally, a Coast Guard documented vessel does not need to display the state registration number but instead they would display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. The USCG Official documentation number must also be affixed on other location on the boat: interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.

Boat Liens Database In Hawaii

Hawaii does not issue boat titles therefore security interests in non-documented boats are recorded through Uniform Commercial Code filings. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or USCG documented are recorded with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender’s security interests will be recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) and are indexed on the boat’s abstract of title. This is different from state registration lookups and can be ordered at boat-abstract.com.

Tax liens may be flagged on boat registration records, recorded as UCC filings, shown on state revenue records, or filed with a county clerk’s office. There are no provisions for recording mechanic’s liens or other non-secured claims against state titled boats. Uniform Commercial Code searches are available online from the Secretary of State.

Boat Alert History Report · Hawaii Boat Registration

Hawaii Boat Registration Number Search Website

Boat registration records in Hawaii are maintained by the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. This agency no longer allows searching on their website since July 2021 when titling was implemented

Hawaii Boat Registration Lookup

The Boat-Alert.com database combines 70+ nationwide databases into a single place so you can search in a matter of minutes. These include records for stolen boats, marine lien claims, boating accidents, pollution incidents, auctioned boats, factory recalls, and boat manufacturers.

Search a Boat Hull ID history report with Boat-Alert.com
Click to Order a HIN Report

Titling & Registration Requirements in Hawaii

  • TITLING:
    • REQUIRED: YES EFFECTIVE DATE : July 2021
    • VESSEL TYPES: NA
    • EXEMPTIONS: NA
    • FEES: $20
    • DUPLICATE FEE: Na
    • TRANSFER FEE: NA
  • REGISTRATION:
    • VESSEL TYPES: Any vessel operating in Hawaiian waters that are not documented operating with a motor of any kind. Also, sailboats over 8″.
    • EXEMPTIONS: Documented vessels, vessels that have proper documentation of being titled/registered in another state or country that is here for less than 60 days, race vessels.
    • USCG DOCUMENTED VESSELS REQUIRED: No
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: 60 days per calendar year
    • FEES: $30 new reg for vessels 20 feet and over $18 new reg for vessels under 20 feet $30 new for dealers and manufacturers
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: $10
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: $10
    • TRANSFER FEE: $10
    • LATE FEE: 10% of the registration fee

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Get this article as PDF: https://www.boat-alert.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Hawaii-Boat-Registration-_-Boat-Alert-Reports.pdf


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