my boat had no hull number when I acquired it here in NY. The boat was last registered in Canada and had been for all of its life except for the 1st year or 2. When I went to get it registered They had me set up an appointment with the Erie county Sheriff. They came to my home and inspected the boat to make sure that it wasn't stolen. Once that was confirmed they issued me a new hull identification number. Then they proceeded to use an engraver to put it on the starboard stern and somewhere inside that was hidden from view. The sheriff told me that I was welcome to stamp the number onto a piece of metal and attach it over top of where they did the engraving.