How to Check HIN & PPSR

Boat - HIN number

Buying a boat is a huge compromise and often we find some unbelievably good deals online but is it really a good deal? Unfortunately many times these bargains are actually time bombs disguised as your dream boat. In this article, we will break it down what is the HIN and PPSR, how to check each of them and why is so important to check it.

What is the HIN? 

HIN or Hull Identification Number is generally a code of 14 characters containing letters and numbers which determines the country, manufacturer, serial number and date of manufacture.

In Australia is compulsory to have a HIN in your boat and most Australian boats will have it attached or stamped into the hull.  HINs for newer boats are usually provided by the manufacturer. Older boats that do not have a HIN can get one from a boat code provider.

The HIN is usually required to be shown on the State certificate of registration.

What is the PPSR?

The PPSR is the single, national online register that covers the whole of Australia. The PPSR is where you can check if has any finance owing on it before you close the deal. You can also check the motor and trailer separately. When a bank or financier provides secured finance for a boat, trailer or outboard motor, they will usually register their interest on the PPSR.

How to check HIN?

A HIN, sometimes called the boat code, is the nautical equivalent of the VIN (vehicle identification number) on a car. To check your HIN simply inspect your hull, the HINs are commonly located on the back of the boat. The 14 characters should identify the country, manufacturer, serial number and date of manufacture respectively. The HIN format changed through time, boats manufactured after August 1984 use the current format but boats manufactured prior to this date use a different format.

Current HIN format – AU-TRX48119H765

AU-  TRX  48119 C7 65
country of origin   manufacturer’s identity code (MIC)  serial number month and year of manufacture model year
Australia TELWATER (USA) LLC unique identifier March 2007 1965

Example:

HIN image au model

Other HIN formats (12 characters)

Pre August 1984

ABC        12345 1278
manufacturer’s identity code (MIC)  serial number certification date

Example:

hin number location


Pre August 1984

ABC 12345 M78D
manufacturer’s identity code (MIC)  serial number alternative certification date

(the ‘M’ is an indicator that the characters following it indicate year and month of production – so in this case, it would be November 1978)

Example:

hin number structure

Reference letter for each month:

Month Table 1 Table 2
  1972 – 1984 1984 +
January F A
February G B
March H C
April I D
May J E
June K F
July L G
August A H
September B I
October C J
November D K
December E L

How to check PPSR?

To check that there is no existing security interest on the boat you should search the PPSR. 

The PPSR website is easy to navigate and informative, to find out if a security interest has been registered against the boat you will need your debit/credit card information, HIN number and your email address.

  1.  For (watercraft) search: Watercraft PPSR
  2. For (outboard motors) search: Outboard PPSR
  • The PPSR does not list outboard motors as watercraft. If you wish to search for security interests on an outboard motor, you need to search under the name of the person (searching by individual grantors) or by the organisation selling you the motor (searching by organisation grantors).

 If a security interest has been registered against the vehicle, it may not be debt-free and may be repossessed, even after you have bought it.

Inspect your boat/SeaWorthy Certificate

After checking the HIN and PPSR which are precautionary steps, it’s time to check the boat’s condition. Having your boat inspected by a professional inspector will ensure all aspects of your boat are up and running properly. SeaWorthy detailed report will show you all the “love” or “abuse” the boat had previously and give you peace of mind when buying, selling or insuring.

 

“Sell and Buy your Boat with Confidence”

Source: https://www.ppsr.gov.au/

53 thoughts on “How to Check HIN & PPSR

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  6. Anthony Jones says:

    I’m looking at buying a boat HIN AUWWA004789DC6. The HIN doesn’t mee the above convention how do I tell build date?

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Anthony, HIN AUWWA004789DC6 – AU – Country code, WWA – manufacturers ID, 004789 – serial number, DC – agent code 6 year of issue.

      I believe this boat was issued in 2006.

      I hope this helped you.

      Regards Seaworthy Inspections Team

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  12. Stuart H says:

    Hi Guys,
    My HIN is a bit different to your format? I cant find any info on the hull regarding the year of manufacture, etc. HIN is AU-WWA170253HUI.
    Your help would be awesome.
    Stu

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Stuart, HIN AUWWA170253HUI – AU – Country code, WWA – manufacturers ID, 170253 – serial number, HU – agent code, I – the year of issue.

      If the last digit is the number 1, this boat was issued in 2001. If the last digit is the letter “I” this format defers from the standard VIN number structures used so far.
      In this case, contact the previous owner or alternatively do a PPSR search on https://www.ppsr.gov.au/vin-vehicle-identification-number.

      I hope this suits you well.

      Regards Seaworthy Inspections Team

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  14. Morten says:

    Can’t figure out how old our boat is. We were told 1955 but the HIN looks like this: AUWWA101069E43 I am also told its from 69 based on the HIN code. It can’t be 1943v based on the boats condition etc. (unless I am very wrong) any input?

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Morten, HIN (hull identification number) wasn’t required and standardized until the early 1970’s. But I believe we can give it a try here…
      I would read as: AU – Country code, WWA – manufacturers ID, 1010 – serial number, 43 – agent code, E(stands for December) – the month of issue 69 – the year of issue. Again at that time, no standard was set. so another possible way would be the serial number being 43 and the agent code 1010. Alternatively, do a PPSR search on https://www.ppsr.gov.au/vin-vehicle-identification-number.

      I hope this suits you well.

      Regards Seaworthy Inspections Team

      • Glyn says:

        Hi – Found this really interesting and the HIN number above seems to correlate very similar with one off my boat. The problem is, I find it hard to believe the boat I have is that old. I also have done a search and no results were found.

        AU-WWA098865B51

        Based on the above reply; AU – Country code. WWA – Manufacture ID. 0988 – serial number. 65 – year of issue. B51 – Not sure?

        I just can’t believe this boat would be from 1965 is all? But perhaps I’m wrong?

        I’m told its a Haines Hunter 16 r/c, but has had a lot of work done to it over the years.

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  25. Peter says:

    Hi
    How do you tell a 2003 boat from a 2013 or a 2023 if it is only the last digit? And searching the internet for manufacturer number , specifically WWA I found means WhiteWater Maufacturer AR USA. Am I correct that either a hull was imported or manufactured by the AGENT CODE reference eg AP as AU-WWA107621AP3

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Peter, normally boats would have the last two numbers representing the year of production but in some cases, they differ from the conventional format.
      So Ideally a 2003 boat should have 03 on its plate number and the same goes for 2013, 13 and 2023, 23. The WWA prefix is a state supplied HIN and indicates a home-built boat.
      AU – country of issue, WWA – manufactures ID(home-built) 107621 – serial number, AP – agent code, 3 – the year of issue.

  26. Martin says:

    Hi, I am looking to purchase a 2004 Monte Fino boat, currently, it has a commercial certificate of operation showing only registration number in 7 digit format. Boats under commercial permits are not required to have a standard registration so no one is able to locate HIN or Official number. AMSA advised that as of about 3 years ago since they became federal, they do not need to list HIN or Official Number any more. Any thoughts on how do I check for PPSR encumbrances? Or I should have a surveyor inspect the boat and locate the HIN number?
    Thank you

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