How do you check if a boat is stolen?

Did you know that if you buy stolen property, law enforcement can take it from you without any consideration for the money you’ve spent to purchase it? If it’s a small item, it might not hurt as much. But what if you spent $15,000 or more on a boat, only to have it “stolen” from you to return to its rightful owner? You are now out your money and your boat!

If you are trying to determine whether a boat or jet ski is stolen, you should contact your local law enforcement agency to check their national database.  Before doing that, we recommend running a report from Boat History Report ( to verify the HIN format and registration details.  If you ask local law enforcement about a boat but provide the wrong HIN, you’re going to get the wrong information.  A report from Boat History Report will also include insurance losses due to theft, and even active thefts. 

We have partnered with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) as their strategic partner in the boating industry to aid in recovering vessels actively listed as stolen.  Boat History Report is the only organization in the boating industry that partners with the NICB in this capacity.  

Additionally, we also work with law enforcement directly to aid in identifying and recovering stolen vessels. In addition to law enforcement, we have partnered with the International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI) and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) to assist with boat thefts, fraud, and accident investigation.

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