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. Additional boat registration and titling resources can be found by visiting our State page as shown in the above menu selections. Boat registration services, supplemental forms, and historical research data  are also available from our Services, Forms, and Database pages.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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Alabama Department of
 Natural Resources

Boat Registration Statistics There are approximately 265,626 boats registered in the State of Alabama. This accounts for 2.2% of all nationwide registrations.
Boat Registration Numbering The boat registration number prefix for the State of Alabama is "AL".
Boat Registration Agency Boat registrations are administered by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Boat 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.
Boat Title Requirements Alabama is a registration only state and does not issue boat titles.
Conditional Boat Registrations Alabama does not have provisions for 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 procedures for dealing with derelict boats or vessels.
Boat Registration Records Boat registration records are maintained indefinitely by the State of Alabama. Instructions, forms, and contact  information on obtaining boat registration records from Alabama can be found by visiting our Database page link as shown above.
Boat Tax Requirements Sales or use tax applies to boat sales and transfers in Alabama.
Boat 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.
Boat Lien Records Liens and security interests on non-documented boats located in Alabama are filed with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code recordings. If the vessel is Coast Guard documented, these must be recorded as preferred mortgages on its abstract of title. Information on how to conduct lien research in Alabama can be found by visiting our Database page.
Boat Ownership Designations Joint ownership terms are not defined on boat recordings in Alabama.
Boat Residency Requirements Non-residents may apply for a registration if the boat is located within the State of Alabama.
Boat Reporting Requirements Transfer, abandonment, theft, or destruction of an Alabama registered boat must be reported to the Marine Police Division within 15 days.
Boat Hull Inspections The boat must be inspected by an Alabama law enforcement official if there is a discrepancy with the hull identification number.
Outboard Boat 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.
Boat 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.
Boat Operator Licensing Personal licensing is required for boat operators in Alabama.
Alabama Boating Directory Boat Registration Information
Abandoned Boat Information
Boat Registration Forms
Boat Registration Renewal Online
Boat Registration Laws
Boating Rules & Regulations
Notary Public Information
Sales & Use Tax Information
Alabama County Directory

The internet's largest collection of maritime databases all rolled into one convenient search interface.
   ▪  Salvaged boat database.
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   ▪  Boat accident database.
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   ▪  Documented vessel database.
   ▪  Factory recall database.
   ▪  Manufacturer database.
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Visit our services page for a complete listing of state level titling and registration services for every type of boat or watercraft. Your option of economical self-service kits or convenient full-services.

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