|Alabama Boating Courses
Safety Education Requirements
Age and Education Requirements
Alabama state law requires every motorboat operator to be licensed before operating a boat on Alabama waters. The successful completion of a state-approved Boating Safety Education Course is required before you can become licensed.
No one under the age of 12 is permitted to operate a motorized vessel on Alabama waters.
Although boaters who are 12 or 13 years old must obtain their Boater Education Certificate, they may not operate a motorboat alone. A person at least 21 years old, who has their Boat Operator's license on their person, must be on board and in a position to take immediate control of the vessel, if necessary.
Any license holder who is 14 years old or older is permitted to operate a watercraft unaccompanied.
Non-residents who boat on Alabama waters more than 45 days per calendar year must take the course to get a non-resident boater's license.
The Boating Education Requirement is Waived for:
We strongly advise all boaters of all ages to take boating safety courses throughout their years of boating.
You can find many boaters’ education classes online. It's important that the course you choose meets the minimum standards set by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Six to 13 lessons / units comprise most of the online boating courses. At the end of each lesson, a quiz is given. You must pass the quiz with a minimum score of 70% before going to the next unit.
As a boat operator you have a responsibility to keep up-to-date with new boating laws and safety information. In addition to knowing the changes in Alabama, you must also be aware of the rules in the states where you plan on boating.
A data base of all courses approved by NASBLA can be found here.
Skills-based and/or advanced courses involving navigation, piloting, etc., are also available.