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HIN wrong on title

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  • HIN wrong on title

    I picked up a 16' aluminum boat today, it was given to me by someone who had it given to them. The title is from PA, but the boat has been down in MD for 10 years or more being used unregistered on a farm pond. I'd like to register it here again but I noticed that one digit of the HIN is wrong on the title, the title reads 646 where it should read G4G in the middle of the number. The boat still has it's PA registration numbers on it, those match the last registration card, which was issued in 1985. PA didn't title boats back then, so the registration card is all that's used to reassign ownership. My question is do I try to get the title fixed or forget it and just take the old registration and the bill of sale and register it as is? If I do, the numbers on the hull won't match my registration. Unless you look really close, you could mistake the Gs for 6s but they're definitely Gs and not a 6s, and the manufacture varified the number and year for me as well. The problem is that I never knew the original owner, nor did the last owner, the signed registration card has been passed down hand to hand with the boat for 24 or years now though several owners who never registered it. I can't go back to the original owner, he may even be dead by now, who knows, a web search turns up nothing.

    What should I do with this thing?

    Forget I noticed it and just go register it and use it? (Any idiot can tell it's a mistype).

    Rip off the numbers or scrub the wrong digits so it's not readable on the hull plate? Remove the hull plate all together? I know if I fill in the registration forms with the correct numbers and letters as they appear on the boat they it will throw up a red flag and they won't register it. It's too nice to just forget about, and I'm sure no one's registered it all these years for this reason. There's got to be a way to fix this without jumping through hoops. It's not like the number is totally different, its obvious that someone looked too quickly and mistook the G's for 6's. The time to have fixed it would have been back then but now, 24 or more years later I'm sure it's going to be a nightmare.

    Any half intelligent person can see that the Gs were mistaken for number 6s, theres several 6's and G's in the HIN, they are very hard to tell apart. The HIN is hand stamped on a plate which is riveted to the hull. The numbers are all crooked and of different stamping depths too. But I've seen this on these before. It looks like they use individual stamps for each letter, and the set isn't completely all of the same size or brand or the stamper had a heavier hand on some numbers but not on all.

    I am afraid of all the red tape trying to get this fixed will create.


  • #2
    Re: HIN wrong on title

    I don't think it'll be a huge deal to correct. I had a similar situation with my 14' Jon boat trailer from NY. Take a good picture of the HIN plate, then take it and all the paperwork to your notary. They'll know what to do. It might involve a "re-assignment" of the title. It probably wouldn't hurt to take the boat with you, too. That way they can confirm the HIN with their own eyes.
    "Winter Dream"
    Silverton 34C
    White/Green

    Wellcraft 23 Nova XL

    Lowe 1448 BigJon
    w/Evinrude 25HP

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    • #3
      Re: HIN wrong on title

      I would let the DMV catch it, I can't imagine anyone would ever even look at it on the actual boat.

      I have been on the water for years and years and never had anyone check the hull number, only that it is registered and the tag is current.

      You DO NOT want to alter the serial number plate at all, if it is ever checked that will cause you all kinds of greif, leave everything as it is and just forget you ever found the mistake.

      I would get a bill of sale from the guy you got it from with the correct hull number on it, give him a dollar for the boat just to make it official then if there ever is a problem you have someone to back you up
      GO IRISH!!!!

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      • #4
        Re: HIN wrong on title

        It's fairly common practice here for the Coast Guard to check your paperwork against your boat. Both for max weight compliance and hull numbers. They board your boat several times a year for 'safety checks', especially in the bay.
        They started doing it more often since 9/11.
        They seam to check older boats more often. I've always had old boats, I've been hassled about not having a Coast Guard plate before, on boats which were far too old to have ever had one.
        I have also had boats on which the CG plate numbers didn't match the HIN from the factory, most likely a case where someone just didn't get a number or two right. The procedure here would be the same as if you didn't have a title at all, you would have to haul it to the marine police station headquarters, they then do an investigation to verify its not stolen and then issue you a new title. This takes months to complete and I am told that there is a substantial fee for this now. It used to be free with only a title fee in the end.
        I'm not sure about PA.
        I've got a similar situation with a boat from PA, it was bought for parts but if I decided to fix it, the registration that came with it has two wrong digits, NJ won't fix it, they say the seller much get it fixed, and to transfer it to NJ I need a signed, notarized bill of sale. I have no idea who the original owner was, the boat came from Erie, PA, over 800 miles away from me here, and it was last registered in PA back in 1982. Its also an aluminum hull. The DMV here will do nothing, they want no parts of it, the marine police look at is as an invalid registration and insist that it must be fixed by PA by the original owner who had that registration. That would mean hunting down the last owner, or next of kin, talking a total stranger into jumping through hoops to take ownership of the boat and fix the title, it would mean towing the boat back to PA for an inspection, then getting that person to sign over the corrected registration to me. The chances of that happening are slim.
        I would think that the minute they type in the mistyped HIN, the computer would come up as it being an invalid number, I've had problems before with older boats which had shorter hull numbers than the computer would recognize, the computer would kick the application if the hull number was less than 17 digits, an intelligent person just adds a string of zeros to the front end of the number to satisfy the computer but most of the time they insist that you copied the numbers wrong. The problem is that none of them have any idea about boats or that older boats didn't follow modern HIN format.

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        • #5
          Re: HIN wrong on title

          Dont bring it to anyones attention, just register it with the paperwork you have. I know what I am talking about. Had a ford tempo in PA. Numbers were mixed up with its twin that wound up in N.J. where a used car dealer caught it. What a hassel, no one wants to help. People were about as helpful and friendly, including the state police who have to get involved, as the state employees working in the licquor stores.
          Must add that at that time, 90s, there was a form that you could fill out if only 1 or 2 nbrs. were off, might have been simple. My nbrs. were way off, considered letting the thing disappear in CAMDEN but the daughter totaled the thing in the meantime. Since then I work around the system if I have to. BTY, my boat nbrs. are bogus. FRED

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          • #6
            Re: HIN wrong on title

            One more comment, you said any half intelligent person can tell its a typo. Dont count on people seeing it your way. Unfortunately a lot of paperwork people are not allowed to or cant think for themselves. Might be an ego thing of having authority while typing in the computer system. FRED

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            • #7
              Re: HIN wrong on title

              register like it is then call them later and tell them they made a mistake and blame them and tell them they need to correct their mistake

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              • #8
                Re: HIN wrong on title

                I think it depends on a couple things as to what to do. Where your going to use the boat and if you want to risk getting caught with it wrong.

                If your going to use the boat only on inland lakes register it as it is or go to one of the SEC of State offices and try to explain and correct the mistake. Take the boat with you.

                If that Sec of State will not correct the registration and register the boat. Go to another Sec of State office and register it as is.

                Whatever you do. Take the last registration and if you can get a bill of sale
                as suggested above for $1.00 take that too.

                Just my two cents. I always like to be legal when possible. helps me sleep better.
                Chuck
                "OWN-IT II"
                1986 Four Winns Horizon 190
                1982 Aqua Patio
                50 Hp Two stroke

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                • #9
                  Re: HIN wrong on title

                  I would find an independant title clerk who has long term relationships at your local DMV. They are often good at sorting this stuff out.

                  I think you are OK, because its obvious that a simple mistake was made. If the actual HIN and what is on the title were completely different, it would be obvious that you have a bogus title. In that case, I don't think you would have much chance of getting the boat properly titled and registered.
                  Please don't PM me on advice issues - let's keep that in the forums, so that everyone can benefit. Please note that I do not email PDFs, etc. I have a bandwidth limited aircard for internet access. My avatar does not mean I have any offical link to iboats. I just like it!

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                  • #10
                    Re: HIN wrong on title

                    Jersey DMV is state run, no title clerks or other involved.
                    PA is uses notaries to handle MV registrations. I'm not very familiar with PA procedures these days, It's been a while since I lived there.
                    I think I'd be all for just registering it with the number on the old reg from PA, then if complain later. The boat would most likely die with me, and if I've looked long and hard to find one and if it will only see a few local ponds or the river, no one will every likely check.
                    Most boats I've looked at here didn't have any numbers, they were removed or never had them.

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                    • #11
                      Re: HIN wrong on title

                      Originally posted by 5150abf View Post
                      I would let the DMV catch it, I can't imagine anyone would ever even look at it on the actual boat.

                      I have been on the water for years and years and never had anyone check the hull number, only that it is registered and the tag is current.

                      You DO NOT want to alter the serial number plate at all, if it is ever checked that will cause you all kinds of greif, leave everything as it is and just forget you ever found the mistake.

                      I would get a bill of sale from the guy you got it from with the correct hull number on it, give him a dollar for the boat just to make it official then if there ever is a problem you have someone to back you up

                      +1

                      After you get it titled and its in your name, if you really care enough, go to the DMV and show them the mistake.

                      It'll be easier to fix once its yours

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                      • #12
                        Re: HIN wrong on title

                        When I got my last boat reg'd, I noticed they changed an I to a 1, I asked about it, and they said they treat all I as 1's, and all 0 as O, and I think they even mention 6's as G's.
                        2007 230LX 6.2L R.I.P ~ In heaven...

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                        • #13
                          Re: HIN wrong on title

                          Crackedglass: I'm a little confused. Do you live in Pa and want to register the boat there? If so, do you have a good relationship with any one of the private businesses licensed to title autos, like Wiggins Auto Tags here near West Chester? If so go to them and since the boat was never titled, have it titled with the correct HIN.

                          However, There have been hulls that I have changed numbers on just for convenience. Sometimes it just makes sense to go along with what's written on the papers. If you change the numbers of the HIN, remove the capacity plate (if it also shows the numbers) register the boat with no capacity plate and have the state (fish and game) issue one for you--it only costs 5 bucks or so, can be done at the license place, and one form to fill out. Pa seems to lowball capacity though.

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: HIN wrong on title

                            Originally posted by Frank Acampora View Post
                            Crackedglass: I'm a little confused. Do you live in Pa and want to register the boat there? If so, do you have a good relationship with any one of the private businesses licensed to title autos, like Wiggins Auto Tags here near West Chester? If so go to them and since the boat was never titled, have it titled with the correct HIN.

                            However, There have been hulls that I have changed numbers on just for convenience. Sometimes it just makes sense to go along with what's written on the papers. If you change the numbers of the HIN, remove the capacity plate (if it also shows the numbers) register the boat with no capacity plate and have the state (fish and game) issue one for you--it only costs 5 bucks or so, can be done at the license place, and one form to fill out. Pa seems to lowball capacity though.
                            You may have just pointed out part of the problem, I checked the Capacity plate for a HIN and it indeed has one, that number matches the old registration but is badly worn and faded, but it don't match the riveted plate on the transom. I'd venture to guess thats were the problem began. Neither set of numbers look like they were ever tampered with but the CG plate is printed or typed where the specs and numbers are. The rest is a screen printed yellow on foil type decal. The CG plate is applied across a seam in the hull, it's split right across the center and has about a 1/2 strip missing where it never adhered there.

                            The hull ID plate is powder coated along with the rest of the hull and installed with the same type rivets that are all over the hull elsewhere.

                            I called one notary up here and explained the situation, and was told that the best thing to do is just to register it with the old registration number, other wise I need to explain where the hull came from since the state will see that as a different hull than the one depicted on the registration.
                            I'd have to treat it as a found boat in other words and have to show proof of ownership somehow. All I have is a signed registration card from the last owner with the wrong HIN number on it.

                            Its not a title that I'm after, I just want to register it and not be hassled down the road for the paperwork not matching the boat.

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                            • #15
                              Re: HIN wrong on title

                              Originally posted by crackedglass View Post
                              Forget I noticed it and just go register it and use it? (Any idiot can tell it's a mistype).
                              This is my vote.
                              Trying to clean up a beaureaucratic typo is like holding back the tide.
                              sigpic
                              Nothing is so broken that Government can't make it worse.

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