Bottomfish Vessel ID


If you plan to use your vessel for bottomfishing, permits are required. Your vessel must also bear the proper markings. Here are the steps you must take to legally identify your boat as permitted for this activity:

  1. First, register your vessel.
  2. Case 1: State Registered Vessel. If you have an HA number obtained from the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), you must also display the BF on the sides of your vessel. The BF should NOT be displayed right next to or after the HA number. DOBOR does not allow other numbers or letters to be displayed near the HA number. The BF should be put on the sides of the vessel, either on the superstructure (cabin) or the hull well above the waterline.
  3. Case 2: Federal Fishery Permitted Vessel. If you have a Federal Fishing Permit issued by NMFS, you should already have your permit number (probably same as USCG documentation number) painted on the sides of the hull or superstructure of the vessel. in this case, you only have to display the letters BF as a suffix to the existing number.
  4. Case 3. US Coast Guard Documentation Vessel – No Federal Fishery Permit. if you have a documented (not State registered) vessel but don’t have a Federal Fishing Permit, you will have a USCG documentation number. But it will not be displayed on the outside of the vessel. in this case, you must display the documentation number plus the BF on the sides of the hull or superstructure of the vessel.

Bottomfish Vessel ID
DLNR/DOBOR does not supply stickers or paint for displaying the BF designation because the choice of colors is yours. Use block lettering. the characters should be no smaller than six inches high and three inches wide in black or solid contrasting color to the background, and need to be clearly visible and unobstructed.