Illinois Boat Registration

Illinois Boat Registration History Report

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Illinois boat registration resources are found below and you can also obtain the Boat Alert History Check for your Hull ID number. Boaters should know about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of Illinois. View this info in PowerPoint format.

Wondering what the Boat Registration Agency is in Illinois? How about the Boat Registration and marking requirements in Illinois? Read the overview below to learn more as we also cover Registration Requirements along with things you need to know about boat Ownership and Liens in Illinois so you can better perform Boat Title Searches in IL.

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Where are Illinois Vessels Registered?

Illinois issues registrations and also titles for all (non-exempt) boats that operate in its jurisdiction. These are administered through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Springfield. You should note however that Outboard motors are not titled or registered in Illinois while the Trailer registrations are handled through the DMV.

Did you know that there are 300,000+ boats registered in the State of Illinois?

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

There are sales taxes on boats in Illinois that you need to be aware of.

Infographic: Illinois Boat Registration
Infographic: Illinois Boat Registration

Illinois Boat Registration Numbers

Boat registration numbers in Illinois begin with the two letters “IL” followed by four numbers and then two letters. The registration number should not be confused with the Hull ID number. You must display the registration number on all non-documented boats next to the registration sticker. On the other hand a Coast Guard documented vessels may not display the state registration numbers but must display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port.

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In the case of a USCG documented boat, the official documentation number must also be affixed to a visible interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull. You can get a boat abstract of title for your boat’s official number from boat-abstract.com.

All vessels manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. Illinois “State-assigned” hull numbers would have a special manufacturer code of “ILZ” at the beginning of the 12 digit HIN. This is issued for home-made boats and those without factory designations. Note that some states will require you to inspect the hull number and make sure it is valid.

Boat Liens Database In Illinois

Claims or liens (Security interests) in registered boats which are non-documented must be recorded with the Department of Natural Resources in Illinois. Look for these on the registration certificate and title before you buy a pre-owned boat.

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 are sometimes flagged in the state’s registration database but there are no provisions for recording mechanic’s liens. This is always a risk so you should try to find as much information about a boat before you buy it.

Illinois Boat Registration Number Lookup Website

Boat title and registration records in Illinois are maintained by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR does not have any web portal to search free HIN or Registration lookups for the general public due to strict privacy laws. However, record printouts may be obtained by an owner or otherwise qualified party by submitting a boat record request form. You can get some information from Illinois on the Boat-Alert history report as well using the Hull ID Number.

Where is the Boat History Database?

The Boat-Alert.com database combines 68+ 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

Non-recorded maritime liens may also be a factor when conducting boat title research in Illinois.

Yacht brokers, documentation companies, and attorneys do not warrant or guarantee titles so the boat owner has to certify such claims in writing. A thorough boat background search is important.

Titling & Registration Requirements in Illinois

  • TITLING:
    • REQUIRED: Yes EFFECTIVE DATE : 1/1/81
    • VESSEL TYPES: Watercraft over 21 feet in length
    • EXEMPTIONS:
    • FEES:
    • DUPLICATE FEE:
    • TRANSFER FEE:
  • REGISTRATION:
    • VESSEL TYPES: Every watercraft other than non-powered watercraft on waters within the jurisdiction of this State shall be numbered.
    • EXEMPTIONS: Sailboards A canoe or kayak owned by a nonprofit organization An unpowered vessel operated on a private lake A vessel owned by the federal or state government Vessels properly registered in another state and using Illinois waters for less than 60 consecutive days Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard and using Illinois waters for less than 60 consecutive days
    • USCG DOCUMENTED VESSELS REQUIRED: No
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: 60 days
    • FEES: Class 1 – All powered Watercraft less than 16 ft. except non-powered – $28.00 Class 2 – 16 ft. to less than 26 ft. – $60.00 Class 3 – 26 ft. to less than 40 ft. – $160.00 Class 4 – 40 ft. and over – $210.00
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: $7
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: $7
    • TRANSFER FEE:
    • LATE FEE:
Illinois boat registration | IL boat VIN Check from Boat-Alert.com

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To learn more about Boat-Alert.com History Reports for used boats and boat history visit: www.Boat-Alert.com


About Boat-Alert.com®
Boat Alert History Reports© exists to aggregate boat databases so that shoppers can search and buy a used boat safely while saving time and money researching a used boat's history. We began in 2015 and constantly adding more boat alert hin check data for USA and Canada to ensure that your boat has a clean history. We are happy to offer a 60-day money back guarantee and proud to have served more than 15,000 customers with their boat HIN Search History needs. free hull id number search ©. Two percent of all proceeds go to charity. We value fair treatment of employees, customer satisfaction, having the most databases possible, and fast customer service at the core of our brand. View our LinkTree.