A Hull Identification Number (HIN) signifies that the vessel is certified and meets all the standards required by law for production.

All manufactured craft and motor vehicles have identification numbers. USA boat manufacturers use the HIN since 1972 when Federal regulations required recreational vessels to be determined by a numbering system. We will be referring to Personal Water Craft constructed after 1988.

The HIN is used at the Department of Motor Vehicles for sales, transfers, customs and retirement notification of all power craft vessels.

In 2012 the vessel manufacturers petitioned the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to adjust production dates allowing them an extra two months of production to label craft as next year’s model. This helped them with their marine production schedule and subsequent sales for the industry.

Your Hull Identification Number is referred to as a HIN. In some countries it is referred to as a Craft Identification Number (CIN) held to an ISO standard (International Organization for Standardization. In the USA our term will be referred to as HIN.

HINs have 12 digits in the United States including numbers and letters. The European standard will have 14. Each product line has its own unique HIN and location. The HIN will appear on your registration documents and title.



MIC Code: KAW -These will be the first three letters that you see that the United States Coast Guard assigned to the manufacturer; in this example Kawasaki.

SERIAL NUMBER: 12345, this 5-digit serial number is assigned to your Rescue Water Craft (Personal Water Craft PC) by the manufacturer. Sometimes you may see letters and numbers, however Q, O and I will be excluded so they are not confused with numbers.

B is the certification for the month which the construction began

9 is the year of the certification this digit represents the last year the craft was constructed.

19 represents the boat model year.

K38 has advised you in past tutorials and in your training course to write down your HIN and your ESN (Engine Serial Number), and to take photos and place in a file for records.

This is important for the following reasons:

1. Future sale of the Rescue Water Craft (RWC)
2. Theft of the craft
3. Warranty needs
4. Identification of the craft

Country Code – This is an optional addition to the Hull Identification Number. Manufacturers of boats have the option of adding the prefix – i.e. “CA -“ (block capitals and a hyphen) in front of the HIN number. This is a mandatory requirement for manufacturers who are exporting to another country (such as the European community) however this is not a part of the accepted mutual recognition of Hull Identification Numbers between the US and Canada.


Character nine if the last numeral of the Year during which construction or assembly began. Use the letter designations for each month as follows:

January – A
February – B
March – C
April – D
May – E
June – F
July – G
August – H
September – I
October – J
November – K
December – L

Character itemized on the HIN representation will be the last numeral of the Year during which construction or assembly began.

Characters used in the example; one and nine are the last two numerals representing the Model Year for which the boat was built.


Your HIN on your Kawasaki Ultra LX Jet Ski® will be located on the starboard quarter side astern on top of the re-boarding deck. It will appear on an angle up against the rear facing foot rest on the outside edge of the Hydroturf traction deck pad.

HIN's can be damaged if a Towable Aquaplane Device (TAD) is improperly installed is the friction between the two surface can damage or break off the HIN tab.

Hard strikes, accidents or moored up against docks with bock wakes drawing the gunwale and re-boarding deck below the dock can damage the HIN.

Please take a photo of your HIN and place in your craft documents.
Refer to all maintenance records using the HIN.

If you need to look a HIN up there are lots of online resources from the manufacturers, you can conduct an online search.

Keep your records and maintain the database on all your craft. It will help you when it come stime to conduct online orders and sale of the craft. Most people are not aware of the age of the craft. Its simple!

Walk to the back of your Rescue Water Craft and observe the last 2 digits!

Posted: June 23, 2019

Content Creator of Rescue Water Craft and Personal Water Craft boating international education standards: Shawn Alladio is the world’s foremost authority and leading subject matter expert. She cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.


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Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

Posted in Maintenance, Program Development.