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/

87 thoughts on “How to Check HIN & PPSR

      • David garwood says:

        hi looking at a trailer sailer which is claimed to be a Roberts but it is not – HIN is AUABS000001Q13 can you help please?

        • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

          Hi David,
          The HIN number you provided has as manufacturer’s id code ABS which stands for AIR BOAT SERVICE INC which is an American based company located in Miami.
          I couldn’t find any Australian manufacturer that uses the same id code.
          Hope this helps you.

          Regards,
          SeaWorthy Inspections Team

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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

      • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

        Hi Lucas,
        My best guess would be:
        FX = Agent code
        I believe the last digit is the number 0 not the letter O. so I’d say this boat was issued in 2000.
        If the last digit is the letter O, this HIN number varies from the standard formats known to this date. To check this HIN go to PPSR if the boat is registered in Australia and do a boat HIN check.
        I hope this helps 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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  29. Donna says:

    Hi are you able to help me with the year of my boat please as i am not able to use the above methods to decode the HIN number.
    My HIN is AUWWA065770BJ9
    Thank you.

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Dona, AU- WWA065770BJ9 – AU – Country code, WWA – manufacturers ID, 065770 – serial number, BJ – agent code, 9 – the year of issue.

      This boat was issued in 2009.
      I hope this suits you well.

      Regards Seaworthy Inspections Team

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Phil, AU-TWA065281EMO – AU – Country code, TWA – manufacturers ID, 065281 – serial number, EM – agent code, O – the year of issue.

      If the last digit is the number 0, this boat was issued in 2000. If the last digit is the letter “O” 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

  30. Mel says:

    Hi. I’m getting ready to sell my boat and am trying to figure out the year it was made. I’ve found your article useful, but can’t quite pinpoint the date. After the manufacture’s code is this…046100C07. I’d appreciate your help in figuring it out. Thanks.

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    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Mike, I’d read as: AU – Country code, TWA – manufacturers ID, 056036 – serial number, DH – agent code 4 year of issue.

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Eugenio, if you’d wish to subscribe to our newsletter please go to https://seaworthyinspections.com.au/ scroll down to the bottom of the page and add your email on the area “JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER” and you’ll be automatically added to our newsletter.

      Regards,
      SeaWorthy Inspections Team

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  37. Jordan says:

    Hey mate, really appreciate the post. It was very informative. I’m just trying to get bit more clarity on the subject. When it comes to the manufacturers ID, is there somewhere we can figure how who the ID belongs to? Same with the first letter of the agent code, I’m under the impression that is for year of manufacture and the very last number is merely when the HIN number was issued?

    Could you please give how you read AU-TWA012686AM2

    Cheers mate

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Jordan, It really doesn’t have much information on the web when it comes to manufacturers id code in Australia. For manufacturers in the US, I check on this website: https://www.uscgboating.org/content/manufacturers-identification.php. For Australian ones is a bit more complicated. The options you have are: Contact PPSR and do a check on your HIN number with them, they might charge you some dollars to do it but it is legit.
      Second option: Enter forums about the topic which can help you or make it worse. and lastly, I’ll give it a shot here and try to decode your HIN number hopefully I can give you some clarity.
      AU = Australia
      TWA = After some research, I believe the manufacturer’s Id code on your HIN stands for one of the two options: Transport Western Australia or Tiede & Sons Fbgls Co which is currently Out of Business.
      The prefix WWA means manufacturers unknown/no longer in business and normally stands for Waterways Authority, as in inspected by said Authority which leads me to believe the second option above is the correct one for your MIC.
      012686 = Serial number
      AM = Agent code
      2 = year of issue. I’d say it is 2002 the year of issue.
      I hope this helps you.

      Regards,
      SeaWorthy Inspections Team

  38. Shannon says:

    G’day I have just purchased a boat in WA its an older runabout probably 80’s vintage and I’m trying to work out the year an manufacturer of this boat. I was told by previous owner that its a WA built boat. The ways I’ve read to calculate the HIN don’t seem to work out with mine. The HIN is, AU-TWA038904AM6. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Shannon.

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Shannon, I’ll give it a try here to decode this HIN. I’d say that your boat was issued in 2006 by TWA which stands for Transport Western Australia. This probably happened due to the original manufacturer of the boat being no longer in business or being unknown.
      Therefore, the TWA authorities would have issued this boat a different HIN. The only way to discover the real age of your boat is by contacting Transport Western Australia and ask for previous information on the boat.
      Hopefully, this helps you.

      Regards,
      SeaWorthy Inspections Team

  39. Saunders says:

    Hi There,
    I’m wondering if you can help with the following HIN number as it doesn’t make sense to me. There is a commissioning plate inside the boat which says commissioned in Oct 1992, but the HIN is this:
    AU-WWA185752KG5 which would suggest 1995??

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi there,
      I believe the hin number you presented suggests that the boat was built or reissued in 2005.
      The prefix WWA means manufacturers unknown/no longer in business and normally stands for Waterways Authority,
      I’d assume this boat was reissued in 2005.
      Hope this helps you.

      Regards,
      SeaWorthy Inspections Team

  40. Joe says:

    This article is great and heaps of info about HINs, and good to see great comments as well. One thing that’s not really covered any details on ‘The Official Number’ which is a five or six digit number that is part of The Australian Register of Ships which was established on Australia Day, 1982. From this day, for the first time since European colonisation, ships owned by Australians could be registered in this country instead of being added to the British registers kept in Australia, the registration of a vessel under this system is via an ‘Official Number’. You can search for a HIN or Official number on https://www.vinner.com.au/boat.html and pay by credit card or PayPal, along with doing VIN number and Chassis searches.

  41. Rob says:

    Hi, I have an aluminium runabout but has a hin number with no letters,
    46000950804. The boat does not have a manufactures plate attached.
    Would appreciate your help. Cheers.

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hey Rob, unfortunately, your hin number does not match any of the conventional formats. To discover more details about the vessel you will have to contact the authority that issued the hin number. They would be able to tell you more about the boat.
      Hope this helps you.

      Regards,
      SeaWorthy Inspections Team

    • SeaWorthy Inspections Team says:

      Hi Ian, The prefix WWA means manufacturers unknown/no longer in business and normally stands for Waterways Authority.
      Hope this helps you.

      Regards,
      SeaWorthy Inspections Team

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