All vessels registered and titled in Florida must display three types of identification:
- Florida registration number
- Hull identification number
- Registration Decal
The Florida registration number issued to a vessel is permanent and remains with the vessel as long as it is operated or stored in Florida, even though ownership may change. The Florida registration number is used for identification purposes and must be painted or permanently attached to both sides of the bow (forward half) in block letters and numbers at least three inches high. The number must read from left to right, contrast in color with the vessel and be maintained in readable condition (see image below).
Hull Identification Numbers
All registered and/or titled vessels operating on Florida waters must display the assigned hull identification number (HIN), which is usually branded into the vessel by the manufacturer.
Vessels without a manufacturer’s HIN and homemade vessels built or assembled by the owner will be assigned a HIN by FLHSMV. The HIN must be permanently affixed to the outboard side of the transom or, if there is no transom, the outermost starboard side at the end of the hull, above the waterline. The characters of the HIN must be of no less than 12 numbers and letters and no less than ¼ inch high (see image below).
A decal identifying the year that the vessel registration is valid will be issued with each registration certificate. The decal must be displayed on the port (left) side of the vessel, immediately before or after the registration number (see image below). Decals from expired registrations must be removed from the vessel.