As regards Maryland, I was stopped by the River Police on the Patuxent River in my 14-ft pirogue  because I had a portable fish finder which from a distance bore a resemblance to an electric trolling motor.
Don't the understaffed, underfunded Coasties have anything better to do, say like checking all those cargo containers for drugs, nukes and other nasties? You can etch a brass plack of your own design with ferric chloride available from Radio Shack for etching circuit boards. Hull ID Number Did you ever wonder what that strange series of letters and numbers on the transom of your boat are.
The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries requires a title for ALL watercraft and ALL watercraft must have a HIN in order to acquire a title. Or how about making sure that those cargo ships don't empty their polluted and infested ballast into our rivers? The escape hatch, in case you're caught, is that you've had the boat for less than 30 days.
Well, if you have taken the Nautical Know How course you know they are Hull Identification Numbers (HIN) and that they are required. Or verifying the integrity of 3rd world shippers' fuel tanks?Does it really matter whether a homebuilt kayak has a HIN? But, what do they mean?  All boats manufactured or imported on or after November 1, 1972 must bear a HIN. If I routinely paddle around on a log, does the log need a title too or the tree that it used to be?

John, keep the 'capacity' plate since I will not fasten it to the boat anyhow and I totally refuse to carve a freaking number into this boats transom.Businesses are carrying the ball for the government now with paperwork and compliance with every bureau in the world.
Must have been back in history before government employees decided that what they do will also require a 'fee'.
Now, if a Democrat gets in as President, businesses will be providing healthcare for its employees too. This will be a three character code that identifies you as the manufacturer such as: ABC This is a MIC. It will be the first three characters in the Hull Identification Number (HIN)you place on every boat. It enables manufacturers to clearly identify for boat owners the boats that are involved in a defect notification and recall campaign.
Those who attempt to do something and attempt to build a business must have a very good sense of humor or very deep pockets - and it is going to get worse! A HIN is not the same as a State registration number, which may be required to be displayed on the bow of your boat. For instance, if they build a 30 footer and this is the first one then they would use 30001. The agent will suspect some sort of fraud if the model year is significantly different from the year built. On boats without transoms, that is rounded sterns or pointed sterns (as in canoes), it goes to the right of center if you are facing the stern of the boat.

It must be at least one quarter inch high and (here comes the hard part) permanently affixed.
However, if you think you can build a few boats, sell them and just tell the owner to tell the state it was a backyard built boat, think again.
The reason is that they have their own system of assigning mics and use the same ones the USA uses, so a boat coming in from France may have the same MIC as a boat built in the USA.
A foreign company doesn't have to open a branch office here or send their own agent here. Then the Coast Guard assigns a mic to the agent and all the boats imported by that agent will have that MIC. No person may remove or alter a number required by this subpart unless authorized by the Commandant, U.S. You can write, e-mail or phone the Coast Guard, explain the problem and ask for permission to make the change. Can they send them back to the factory, have them upgraded to this years models, and the factory change the HIN? A salesman looking at the HIN realizes that the last two digits in the HIN are 60 rather than 06.

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