FAQ - Boats

Boat Registration FAQs

Does Alabama issue license plates for boat trailers?
  • No Alabama law does not require boat trailers to be registered.

Should all boats have a hull identification number?
  • All vessels manufactured after 1972 are required by federal law to have a 12-digit hull identification number.  If you are unable to identify the 12-digit hull number on your vessel, you will need to contact the Marine Police at 1-800-272-7930 to obtain a state assigned hull identification number prior to registering the vessel.

Where must I register my newly purchased boat?
  • Initial registration must be made in the county of residence or the county where the boat is domiciled provided the customer owns the property. A marina or storage facility is not acceptable.

Can I register my boat in Alabama if it is located in another state?
  • No, The boat must be housed in Alabama to have a State of Alabama license.

Class / Length of Vessel

It is important that you list the exact length of your vessel on the application for registration. The length is the straight line distance from the foremost part of the boat (bow) to the rearmost part of the boat (stern). Bowsprits, outboard motor brackets, rudders and other attachments are not to be included in this measurement.

Boats are divided into four (4) classes as follows:

  • Class I    -  Less than 4.9 meters (16ft)
  • Class II   -  4.9 meters (16ft) to less than 7.9 meters (26ft)
  • Class III  -  7.9 meters (26ft) to less than 12.2 meters (40ft)
  • Class IV  - 12.2 meters (40ft) and above


First time and Renewal

  • Class I     - $18.00 plus $2.00 issuance fee
  • Class II   - $23.00 plus $2.00 issuance fee
  • Class III  - $73.00 plus $2.00 issuance fee
  • Class IV  - $98.00 plus $2.00 issuance fee

Transfer          - $3.00 plus $2.00 issuance fee

(Applies to vessels with a current year registration but needs to be transferred into the new owner’s name.)

 Duplicate Receipt  - $3.00 plus $2.00 issuance fee

PLEASE NOTE: If your vessel is brought into Alabama from another state, there will be no transfer fee charged.  A new Alabama number will be issued.  Also, if previously registered in another state, please surrender last state registration.