Tennessee Online Help System

Apply For or Renew Your TN Vessel Registration Online!


  • Persons who wish to register any vessel must complete a certified Application for Boat Certificate of Number, acquired through a TN Clerk's office or from the TN boat dealer. This will include a yellow temporary registration for 60 days after date of certification to allow for processing.

Click Here for Additional Registration Details

TN County Clerk Requirements for New or Used Vessels:

  • Complete Bill of Sale that includes:
    • Date of sale
    • Price
    • Full description of vessel including- year, make, model, and HIN (unless built prior to 1973).
    • Name, address, phone number and signature of both buyer and seller.
  • If built after 1972 and the HIN is no longer affixed to the vessel or not in proper Coast Guard format, photos will be required. Please see below for details.

TN County Clerk Requirements for Out of State Transfers:

  • Documents to prove the vessel was registered to the customer in another state.
  • Proof that they paid sales tax in another state in order to receive credit for taxes paid.
  • Taxable basis is fair market of the boat as of the date it was moved to TN.

For questions regarding TN County Clerk requirements, please contact your local County Clerk.

What is a Hull Identification Number (HIN)?

The Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a 12 character serial number that uniquely identifies a boat and is formatted according to US Coast Guard standards. The HIN is similar to a VIN on a car. Vessels manufactured or imported before 1973 are EXEMPT because they often do not have a HIN. All boats manufactured or imported after 1972, must have a HIN, and this HIN must be identified during the boat registration process. HIN numbers are typically located:
  • On sport and fishing boats, they can be found on the back right outside corner.
  • On pontoons, they can be found on the right side of the frame above the pontoon, but below the deck.
  • On personal watercrafts, they can be found under the seat as well as on the lip of the foot rest.

If you are unable to locate the HIN number in any of these locations, photos of these areas of the vessel will be required.