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NH Laws: How to Register a Boat or Trailer Without a Hull Number or Serial #

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  • NH Laws: How to Register a Boat or Trailer Without a Hull Number or Serial #

    Lately I have had to register a boat that had no hull identification number and a boat trailer that had no serial # (I thought).

    After going to my town clerk here in NH I was told I had to have a police officer come over to do "VIN Verification." They handed me a blue piece of paper and sent me next door to the police department. There I was asked if I had brought the trailer with me so they could do it right there. Feeling a bit irritated by the question I responded "No, the trailer isn't registered so it's at home." The officer replied "Right answer, you just saved yourself a ticket!" (Duh!)

    Anyway, the police came out and verified the boat had no hull Identification on it and I was able to get it registered and was issued a new number to scribe onto the boat.

    The trailer was a slightly different story. At first I thought it had no serial numbers so after I scheduled the police to come out to look at it and verify there were no serial numbers on the trailer we pulled the trailer out of the woods for them to look at it. As we pulled it out I just happened to notice a painted over plate on the back of the trailer. From my experience the trailer serial numbers can be found near the front but in this case it was all the way on the back of the trailer almost in the center. The plate with the serial number was painted over so we took an SOS pad and cleaned the paint off and there was the serial #. I called the police back and cancelled the VIN verification with them. I went to the town clerk's office to register the boat trailer but was told that I still needed to get the police to come do the VIN verification because I did not have a copy of a previous registration. This didn't sound right to me but I went back over to the police department and told them what had happened and I rescheduled them to come out. The next day an officer arrived and did the VIN verification.

    Hopefully my experience helps anyone who may need to register a boat without a hull ID number on it in New Hampshire or a trailer that has no serial # on it (and/or doesn't have a previous registration) and might just save you a few extra steps.

    Good luck!
    Matt Goodwin
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Name a STATE that NH shares a border with.