How To Mark Property


    An etching pen and an electric engraver can be used to mark property. Most models are relatively inexpensive. Relatively large and durable items like radios, cameras, tools, DVD players and the like are ideal for etching or engraving.


    Precious or delicate items like jewelry, antiques, artwork and heirlooms would not be items ideal for etching or engraving. A jeweler can make fine engravings for very small items like jewelry. An alternative to marking would be photographing the item and having it professionally appraised.


    There is an identification product called Data Dots that is available. Data Dots are about the size of a grain of sand. This technology allows identifying information to be embedded into the Data Dots. Multiple Data Dots are applied to an item. They are not easy to detect. Complete removal of the product is extremely difficult.  Specific tools are used for Data Dot detection and viewing.


    Expensive clothing can be marked with a contrasting permanent magic marker. A UV (ultraviolet) marker could also be used to mark property.  The mark is only visible with a black light or ultraviolet light.


    The marking being used can your name, date of birth, address or phone number. Your driverís license number is probably the best option. Make sure you have a state assigned driverís license or identification number. Never use your social security number.  This number is a unique and confidential number. Use the abbreviation of the state your driverís license was issued (for most it will be MA) followed by the license number.


Mark the number on your property is this fashion:




    Massachusettsís driverís license holders are required to notify the Registry
of Motor Vehicles (RMV) if their address changes. So your address will be known as long as you keep your address current with the RMV and continue living in Massachusetts.


    The number should be placed in a conspicuous and permanent place. Donít mark an area that can be removed from the main part of the property. Try marking near the product serial number.  For clothing the marking could be placed on the inside label. You could also place a secondary marking in a location that is less obvious.