Boat Operator Vessel License

Who Must Be Certified?

All Alabama residents 12 years of age and older who operates a motorized vessel on Alabama waters. If the vessel license is acquired after January 1, 2002, and the operator is under 14 years of age, then a person 21 years old or older with a valid operator’s license must be on board and in a position to take immediate physical control of the vessel if necessary. 

Proof Of Age:

All minors must furnish to the state drivers license examiner a certified copy of their birth certificate and social security card. 

Cost Of Certification

A one time fee of $5.00 (five dollars) cash is charged by the driver’s license examining officer as an application fee.

How To Obtain Boat Operators Certification:

1. Applicant may apply and be tested as necessary at the Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Examining Office across the State. (To view State DPS office locations click here.)

2. Make application and pay fee ($5.00).

3. Answer medical questions.

4. Successfully complete written/oral exam, or show proof of exemption. (To view or download boat operator’s handbook click here.)

5. Pay license fee. If you are a non-resident or non-licensed driver, the cost is $36.25 for the initial driver’s license. If the applicant is requesting changes on his non-expiring driver’s license, the duplicate fee is $31.25.

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 or Alabama Marine Police Division approved boating course (Alabama Boating Basics Course or (Alabama Boating Education Online Exam).
D. Any boat operator who was 40 or older on April 28, 1994.

NOTE: Boating course certificates or motorboat operator’s license must be submitted to the Driver’s License Examiner at the time of making application.

NOTE: The operator license must be in possession at time of vessel operation. Additional Information concerning ‘Rules Of the Road’ related to operating a boat in Alabama waters can be obtained by contacting the office below: Alabama Marine Police Division, 64 N Union St., Montgomery, Alabama 36130; 334-242-3673

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