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Alabama Boating License

Alabama Boating License

All boat operators in Alabama must have a valid, state-issued boater’s license before operating a motorized vessel on Alabama waters. To obtain your license, you must successfully complete an approved Boating Education Course. Click here to see Alabama's Boating Education Requirements.

Your Boating License

Your Alabama Vessel License, also known as the Alabama boating license or boater's license, is issued on your Alabama Driver’s License. The Alabama Boating License appears as a "V" class on your Alabama Driver's License. If you do not have an Alabama driver's license you will be issued an Alabama "Vessel Only" license by the Department of Public Safety. Your boater's license must be in your possession whenever you are operating a motorized watercraft on Alabama waterways.

How to Obtain Your Boat Operator's Certification in Alabama

1. Go to Alabama's Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Examining Office your county of residence.
2. Complete an application and pay the one-time application fee of $5 cash.
3. Answer medical questions.
4. Successfully complete written/oral exam or show proof of exemption.
5. Take the proper form and the license issuance fee* to the Probate Judge or License Commissioner’s office. You will receive a “V” class on your driver’s license. If you have no Driver’s license you will be issued a “Vessel-Only License”.

Note: All minors must bring a certified copy of their birth certificate, their original social security card and a certified statement from the superintendent of their school, which includes the student's name, date of birth and address.

If You Lose your Boat Operator's Certificate /License

Mail a written request for a duplicate boater’s license, along with $5 cash, certified check or money order to:

Alabama Marine Police
64 North Union Street
Room 438
Montgomery, Al 36130.

Please include name, social security number or birth date, date of class (if known; approximate year of class if date not known), location of class, and mailing address.  Your replacement license will be mailed to you with a few days.


States which have mandatory boater education requirements will accept an Alabama Boat Operator’s License / Certification. Likewise, Alabama accepts Licenses / Certificates / Cards issued by those states whose courses meet the minimum requirements set by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

NOTE: Since some states require all boat operators to carry proof of having passed a NASBLA approved boating course and since the Alabama-issued card never expires, you might want to keep your card regardless of your age.