How to Find a Boat Owner in Michigan by Boat Registration Numbers

By David Sarokin
Boats are registered in Michigan if they meet size or motor criteria.

Larry Mayer/Creatas/Getty Images

You must register your boat in Michigan if it has a permanently affixed motor or if it is longer than 20 feet. You must also display the registration number on your boat if you are required to register. Michigan has no online search service to identify the owners of boats by registration number, but you can send a query to the Michigan Secretary of State's office to request identification of a boat owner by registration number.

Print out or access an online a copy of the "Michigan Department of State Record Lookup Request."

Fill out Section 1 of the form with your personal information: full name, address and phone number.

Fill out Section 3 with the registration number of the boat in the "License Plate or Registration Number" area. Include additional information, such as the type of boat make and model, if available. Enter the hull identification number (a unique number provided by the boat's manufacturer) if known.

Check the "Current Vehicle Owner" box in Section 3 to request a search of the boat's present owner. You can select other searches as well, such as the boat's complete title history.

Select an appropriate "Permissible Purpose for Obtaining Records" in Section 4. Permissible purposes include business purposes, providing legal notice and for research. You must check at least one box in this section.

Enter payment information in Section 5. As of November 2010, Michigan charges $7.00 for each record you request.

Provide an explanation of why you need personal information in Section 6 and sign the form. You must complete this section and send payment for your request to be processed.

Print and mail the completed form to the Michigan Department of State Record Lookup Unit at 704 Crowner Drive, Lansing, Michigan 48918-1540.

About the Author

David Sarokin is a well-known specialist on Internet research. He has been profiled in the "New York Times," the "Washington Post" and in numerous online publications. Based in Washington D.C., he splits his time between several research services, writing content and his work as an environmental specialist with the federal government. David is the author of Missed Information (MIT Press, 2016), a book exploring how better information can lead to a more sustainable future.

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