vessel documentation and boat registration


Alabama Boat Registration Summary

          Alabama boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the State of Alabama. More detailed information, forms, guidelines, and other resources are obtainable by downloading our boat registration kit for this state. You will also find an extensive listing of supplemental boat, trailer, and outboard motor titling or registration forms on our forms page.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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Alabama Boat Registration
Marine Police Division

Boat Registration Statistics There are approximately 265,626 boats registered in the State of Alabama. This accounts for 2.2% of all nationwide registrations.
Registration Numbering The boat registration number prefix for the State of Alabama is "AL".
Registration Agency Boat registrations are administered by the Alabama Marine Police Division.
Registration Requirements       Alabama registers all mechanically propelled vessels, sailboats, and boat for hire. Exceptions are : (1) A vessel operating under valid temporary certificate of number. (2) A vessel already covered by a number in full force and effect which has been awarded to it pursuant to federal law or a federally applied numbering system of another state, provided, that such vessel shall not have been within this state for a period in excess of 90 consecutive days. (3) A vessel under registry from a country other than the U.S. temporarily using the waters of this state. (4) A vessel owned by the U. S., or a state, county or municipality. (5)  A ship's lifeboat. (6)    A vessel not propelled by machinery, except sailboats and boats for hire (rental).
     Vessels documented with the U. S. Coast Guard as commercial are not required to be registered with the state. Vessels documented as pleasure are required to register, however, they do not have to display the Alabama registration number on the bow. The current year decal should be placed in a conspicuous location on the vessel and the certificate shall be on board when in operation.
Title Requirements Alabama is a registration only state and does not issue boat titles.
Conditional Registrations Alabama does not have provisions for bonded boat titles or conditional boat registrations where sufficient proof of ownership is not otherwise available. Under these circumstances, ownership will need to be established through an award from a court of proper jurisdiction.
Abandoned Boats Alabama does not have special provisions for registering abandoned boats. However, the state does have regulations for dealing with derelict boats or vessels. Additional information on derelict or abandoned boats can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Registration Records Boat registration records are maintained indefinitely by the State of Alabama. Detailed information on how to obtain verbal and printed boat records from Alabama can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Tax Requirements Sales tax applies to new boat sales and transfers.
Loan Perfection Security interests on non-documented boats in Alabama are perfected with a UCC recording. If the vessel is Coast Guard documented, a preferred vessel mortgage must be recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center.
Lien Records Liens and security interests on boats located in Alabama are filed with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code recordings. If the vessel is Coast Guard documented, these will be recorded on its abstract of title. Information on how to conduct lien research in Alabama can be found in our boat registration kit for this state.
Ownership Designations Joint ownership terms are not defined on boat recordings in Alabama.
Residency Requirements Non-residents may apply for a registration if the boat is located within the State of Alabama.
Reporting Requirements Transfer, abandonment, theft, or destruction of an Alabama registered boat must be reported to the Marine Police Division within 15 days.
Hull Inspections The boat must be inspected by an Alabama law enforcement official if there is a discrepancy with the hull identification number.
Outboard motors Titling and registration is not required in Alabama for outboard boat motors. However they can be optionally listed on a boat registration application.
Boat Trailers Titling and registration are not required for boat trailers in Alabama.
Notary Regulations Alabama notaries must affix their seal on notarized forms.
Boat Dealers Alabama does not require professional licensing for boat dealers and brokers.
Visitation Period A visitation period of 90 consecutive days is allowed for boats that are registered in another state, Coast Guard documented, or registered in a foreign country.

The internet's largest collection of maritime databases all rolled into one convenient search interface.
   ▪  Salvaged boat database.
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