Compliance Notice

Outboard vessel of not more than 6m. Inboard or stern-drive vessel of not more than 6m. Pleasure craft of more than 6m.

Pleasure craft made in Canada, or imported into Canada, after August 1, 1981 must have a Hull Identification Number (HIN) marking. The HIN should be located on the outside of the transom on the starboard side.

The HIN provides a uniform method for identifying:

  • Any specific
  • A lost or stolen
  • The construction standards that apply to that specific
  • Vessels subject to a manufacturer’s defect

The HIN shall be located where it is clearly visible when the vessel is in the water, namely, on the upper starboard quarter of the outside surface of the transom, or if the vessel has no transom, on the uppermost starboard side at the aft end of the hull. The HIN must also be marked in a second location on the hull, that is either beneath a fitting, or an item of hardware, or that is on the interior of the vessel and unexposed. The Hull Serial Number (HIN) consists of 12 consecutive characters (the first two digits indicate the Manufacturer’s Identification Code) and an optional two character country code prefix separated by a dash. This HIN represents when the vessel was built and by whom. If a vessel is not marked with a HIN, the owner shall make a request for such a number to the builder, manufacturer, rebuilder or importer of the vessel. On receipt of a plate or label, the applicant shall permanently attach it to the vessel.

Not sure about your vessel. Courtesy checks are offered free of charge by Transport Canada, and in some areas the Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and other boating and water safety organizations. Visit: for more information.

The RCMP, provincial police forces, conservation officers and other agencies are authorized to enforce these and other rules of the waterways. There are penalties for failure to comply with demands (i.e. demand to stop) from these authorized agencies. Enforcement Officers are also authorized to ask for: ID, proof of competency, pertinent questions and go on board your vessel.