Boating Education and Operator Certification/License
NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 12 YEARS MAY OPERATE ANY MOTORIZED VESSEL (INCLUDES PERSONAL WATERCRAFT, SUCH AS A SEA DOO, WAVERUNNER ETC.) ON ALABAMA'S WATERWAYS. CERTIFICATION / LICENSE REQUIREMENTS FOR ALABAMA RESIDENTS:
- Must be 12 years old or older to be eligible for a vessel operator's license but cannot operate alone until the age of 14.
- Operators 12 or 13 years old, after obtaining the vessel operator's license, can only operate if there is someone 21 years old or older on board, who also has a vessel operator's license in possession, and is seated in a position to take immediate control of the vessel if necessary.
- Operators 14 years old or older, after obtaining the vessel operator's license, may legally operate without supervision.
NOTE: The operator certification/license must be in possession at the time of operation.
CERTIFICATION / LICENSE REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-RESIDENTS:
Non-residents 12 years old and older, may operate on Alabama waters up to 45 days per calendar year without having to obtain a vessel operator's license. If operating a vessel for more than 45 days per calendar year, the non-resident must get an Alabama Non-Resident Vessel Operator's License. Non-residents who have obtained a vessel certification or license from their home state may use that in lieu of the Alabama Non-Resident Vessel Operator's License. HOWEVER: Non-resident vessel operators 12 or 13 years old, can only operate if there is someone 21 years old or older on board, who either has a valid vessel operator's license in possession or falls under the 45-day exemption period because of non-residency status, and who is seated in a position to take immediate control of the vessel if necessary.
- Non-residents 14 years old or older, may legally operate without supervision.
How to Obtain Boat Operators Certification/License:
- Applicant must go to the Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Examining Office in their county of residence.
- Make application and pay appropriate fee ($5).
- Answer medical questions.
- Successfully complete written/oral exam or show proof of exemption (boating course certificate of completion or age exemption).
- Take the proper form to an ALEA driver license exam office to have the “V” class placed on driver’s license.
Proof of Age: All minors must furnish a certified copy of their birth certificate, their original social security card, and a certified statement from the superintendent of the school which the person attends containing name, date of birth, and address.
Cost of Certification: A one-time application fee of $5.00 cash will be charged. There will be a $36.25 issuance fee for the license.
How To Obtain a Duplicate Boat Operator's Certificate:
Cost per duplicate is $5.00 payable by certified check or money order.
Send written request to: Alabama Marine Patrol P.O. Box 301451 Montgomery, Al 36130 (Attention: Education Section).
Please contact the Alabama Driver License Division, Operator Certification Section at the phone number below to obtain the information you need in order to obtain a duplicate boating certificate.
Make money order, cashier’s check, certified check payable to Alabama Marine Patrol.
You may contact the Alabama Driver License Division, Operator Certification Section @ 1-800-272-7930 with questions on certificates or to verify information on certification database.
Exemptions From Examination Requirements:
1. Holder of a valid United States Coast Guard Motorboat Operator's License
2. Person submitting a valid certificate of successful completion of:
A) United States Power Squadron Boating Course
B) United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Course
C) Any State of Alabama Marine Patrol Division approved boating course:
i) Boat Alabama classroom course
ii) State approved online boating course: Boat-Ed.com and BoaterExam.com
3. Any boat operator who was born prior to April 28, 1954
NOTE: Boating course certificates or motorboat operator’s license must be presented to the license examiner at the time of making an application.
Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Alabama Driver License Division, Operator Certification Section, P.O. Box 301451, Montgomery, AL 36130. Course information can be obtained by calling (800) 272-7930.