Indiana Boat Registration

Indiana Boat Registration History Report

Example where to find the Boat Registration Number and title Decal sticker
Example where to find the Boat State Registration Number and title Decal sticker. State letters differ.

Indiana boat registration FAQs are found below and can be downloaded as PDF. We have written this page to inform boater about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of Indiana. We also cover the titling fees if applicable.

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 boats in Indiana 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 IN.

Podcast: Indiana boat registration

Where are Indiana Boats Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. Indiana issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the IN STATE Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) in Indianapolis. Outboard motors are not titled or registered in Indiana. Boat trailers must be registered in this state. Boat titling is required on boat trailers weighing over 3,100 lbs.

Did you know that 250,000 boats registered in the State of Indiana make up 2% of all USA vessel registrations?

Chart: Indiana Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year
Chart: Indiana Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year

For more boating statistics see: Volume of Recreational boating vessels in the U.S.

Indiana Boat Registration Numbers

Indiana boat registration numbers begin with a “IN“. The IN 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 WY 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 “INZ” are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Hull number inspections are not required in Indiana unless there is a discrepancy. (use HinDecoder.com to validate your HIN formatting is good)

See more information in the PowerPoint presentation here.

Order engraved HIN Tag ID Plate from ebay here.

Sample HIN Tag ID Plate
Sample HIN Tag ID Plate

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 Indiana

Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) in IN. These will be shown on both the registration and title certificates if there are any. 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.

Indiana Boat Title Search

Boat title and registration records in Indiana are maintained by the BMV. This agency does not facilitate online searches on their website but you can search the boat-alert.com database.

Indiana 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 Indiana

  • TITLING
    • REQUIRED: Yes EFFECTIVE DATE : 7/1/1986
    • VESSEL TYPES: All motorized watercraft are required to be titled. This includes sailboats that are equipped with a motor or engine.
    • EXEMPTIONS: Watercraft documented with the Coast Guard. A non-resident of Indiana who has a title issued in another state and registering the watercraft in Indiana. Any watercraft exempt from registration (see registration exemptions below). Prior to 7/1/2016, the following watercraft were exempt from titling; (1) watercraft purchased prior to 1/1/1986, (2) homemade watercraft, and (3) watercraft valued under $3,000 when new. A person who owned one of these watercraft prior to 7/1/2016 are permitted to continue to register without obtaining a title. However, once ownership changes, a title is required.
    • FEES: Title Issuance = $15.00 (includes issuance of a new, amended, or duplicate title); Application for HIN = $10.00; Application for a Speed title = $25.00; Delinquent Title = $30.00
    • DUPLICATE FEE:
    • TRANSFER FEE:
  • REGISTRATION
    • VESSEL TYPES: All motorized watercraft principally used on Indiana waterways are required to be registered and display valid watercraft decals.
    • EXEMPTIONS: Non-motorized watercraft. Watercraft legally registered in another state and being operated, stored, or docked in Indiana for 60 consecutive days or less. Watercraft moored on the Indiana part of Lake Michigan for 180 consecutive days or less. A ship’s lifeboat. Watercraft owned by the federal government.
    • USCG DOCUMENTED VESSELS REQUIRED: Yes
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: 60 days
    • FEES: Registration Fees; 0’ to 12’ = $15.00; 13’ to 25’ = $18.00; 26’ to 39’ = $21.00; 40’ or more = $24.00; PLUS Fee based on Class: Class 1 to 2 = $5.00; Class 3 to 5 = $10.00; Class 6 = $15.00; Class 7 to 8 = $20.00; Class 9 to 14 = $25.00; For boat registration renewal, the fee is based on the Excise Class of the boat: Class 1 & 2 = $10.00; Class 3, 4 & 5 = $15.00; Class 6 = $20.00; Class 7 & 8 = $25.00; Class 9 = $30.00
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: $9.50
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: $9.5
    • TRANSFER FEE: See Registration Fees
    • LATE FEE: None
Infographic: Indiana Boat Registration
Infographic: Indiana Boat Registration

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