Send To A Friend

Boating Links

Alabama Boating Registration

As the owner of a mechanically-powered vessel, you are legally required to register your boat before launching it on Alabama’s waterways. All motorboats must be registered in the state of Alabama. You can register your boat in the County Clerk's Office of the county of your residence or where the boat is most used. All registered vessels must also be titled in Alabama.


  • Non-motorized vessels
  • Vessels registered in other states are exempt unless they intend to use KY waterways for more than 60 days.
  • US Coast Guard Documented Vessels

Boat Classifications

Your boat's classification is determined by its length and type of propulsion. The class will determine applicable laws, required equipment and the registration fees you will pay upon initial registration and at renewal.

To find your boat's length, measure the straight line distance from the foremost part of the boat (bow) to the rearmost part of the boat (stern), excluding any protruding attachments. Your measurement must be exact.

Registration Fees:

Class I Vessels less than 16’ $18.00 $2.00
Class II Vessels 16’ to less than 26' $23.00 $2.00
Class III Vessels 26’ to less than 40' $73.00 $2.00
Class I Vessels more than 40’ $98.00 $2.00

The above costs do not include property taxes, or any other applicable charges.

Registrations must be renewed annually.  Renewal dates are staggered throughout the year as determined by the owner's surname.

Duplicate Certificate of Registration - $3.00 plus $2.00 issuance fee (if certificate has either been lost or destroyed)

Transfer/Renewal - $3.00 plus $2.00 issuance fee and the correct class fee. Applies to vessels with no current registration that need to be transferred into new owner's name

NOTE: If your vessel is brought into Alabama from another state, there will be no transfer fee charged. A new Alabama number will be issued. If previously registered in another state, please surrender last state registration.

Numbering Your Vessel

Once your boat has been assigned a registration number and decals, you must display them on your boat correctly. The registration number must be displayed on each side of the bow, read from left to right and in a position to be distinctly visible. The letters and numbers must be of a plain BLOCK design, at least three (3) inches tall and of a color that contrasts to the color of the hull. There must be a letter size space or hyphen between letter and number groups:
Correct: AL 1234 YZ or AL-1234-YZ
Incorrect: AL1234YZ

Registration decals are to be placed within six inches before or after and in line with the registration number.

Upon renewal every year, old registration decals are to be removed and the current ones applied.

Home-Built Vessels

Before you can register your homemade boat, you must first apply for a Hull Identification Number with the Alabama Marine Police Division. The application must be accompanied by the date construction was completed and a $25 inspection fee.The state-assigned hull identification number is to be affixed to the transom of the boat.

How to Renew Your Boat Registration

Alabama boat registrations must be renewed every year. A New Registration, Transfer & Replacement Application can be completed online prior to registering at the appropriate office in your county.  Along with your application, be sure to bring all required documentation, which includes your previous registration, bill of sale and proof that use and sales taxes were paid.

All boat owners (resident and non-resident) may register, renew or transfer ownership at their local county Judge of Probate's office, the office of the License Commissioner or at the Marine Police Division office in Montgomery.

Reporting Changes

If you sell your boat or if it's lost, abandoned, stolen or destroyed you are required to notify the Marine Police Division within 15 days.

If you sold your boat, you must provide the name and address of the new owner and the registration number assigned to the vessel. You are also required to provide the last registration certificate and a bill of sale to the new owner.

Any change of address should also be reported.