Vessel Operators License

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Statewide licensing of boat operators began in all Alabama counties July 17, 1997, under the Boating Safety Reform Act. Effective January 1, 2002, the minimum age for Boat Operators is 14. 

 A written examination is required for applicants, except those who were 40 or older on April 28, 1994, or those who have successfully completed boating courses given by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadron or the Alabama Marine Police "Boating Basics" course. This legislation, which also provides sanctions for drunken driving and other offenses, has been hailed as the toughest boating act in the country.

Study book available.Please click here.

Your driver’s license will have a "V" added to indicate your "vessel" license has been added. Your driver’s license must be with you when you operate the boat.

Required Documentation

Certified Birth Certificate
Social Security Card

If you were born on or before April 28, 1954, you will be exempt from written test. You are also exempt from the written test if you have a boating certificate. You are still required to have the "V" endorsement on your driver’s license.

If you were born after April 28, 1954, a written test is required.

Certifications can consist of the following:

  • Exam by State Troopers, 1115-A Church Street, Huntsville-Appointments are preferred; walk-ins are seen on a first come first serve basis.  To schedule an appointment click here.
  • Coast Guard Certification - 256-883-5275 or 256-883-2431
  • Marine Police Certification - 256-582-1099 or 1-888-903-7659 Cost Guard Auxiliary Certification

Anyone 14 years of age or older must have "V" license. (Age changed 1/1/02)


$5 cash to State Troopers for paperwork to add Vessel to license, take eye exam.
$31.25 for duplicate license to add endorsement
$36.25 for 1st time license