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Vestavia Hills - Register a Boat

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Registering Your Boat[edit]

  1. Download and fill out the Application Form.
  2. Submit the form to your local Probate or License Commissioner's Office, or to the Marine Police Division Office in Montgomery.
  3. Make sure that you bring along with you all documents needed to register your boat such as previous registration, bill of sale, and proof of payment of sales tax.
  4. Pay all applicable fees.
Note:Boat registrations may be completed at any Jefferson County Revenue Department location or may be mailed in (renewal), contact the Jefferson County for more information.

Homemade Vessels[edit]

  1. Download and fill out an Application for a state-assigned hull identification number.
  2. File your application at the Marine Police Division.
  3. Pay the inspection fee.


The Alabama boat registration system is on a staggered basis. The first letter of an individual's last name determines the month of renewal:

  • January: A, D
  • February: B
  • March: C, E
  • April: F, G, N
  • May: H, O
  • June: M, I
  • July: P, L
  • August: J, K, R
  • September: Q, S, T
  • October: U, V, W, X, Y, Z and all registered under company names. All dealers and liveries.

Selling your boat[edit]

  1. Notify the Marine Police Division within 15 days of sale of vessel, specifying the name and address of the new owner and the registration number assigned to the vessel.
  2. Give the last registration certificate and issue a bill of sale to the new owner.

Abandoned, lost, destroyed or stolen boats[edit]

Notify the Marine Police Division within 15 days when your boat is abandoned, lost, destroyed or stolen.
You will also need to inform the Marine Police Division of any changes in your address.


Required Documents[edit]

  • For new boats: Bill of sale. No title is required for boats in the State of Alabama.
  • For used boats: Bill of sale and the last boat registration certificate. No title is required for boats in the State of Alabama.
  • State, County, and/or Municipal sales taxes may be due when registered. All bills of sale must be notarized or have two witness.

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Jefferson County

Jefferson County Courthouse
716 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205) 325-5300

Bessemer Courthouse
1801 3rd Avenue North
Bessemer, AL 35020
Phone: (205) 481-4110

Center Point Satellite
2651 Center Point Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35215
Phone: (205) 714-7175

The Jefferson County Courthouses Office Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm (Monday-Friday)

Alabama Marine Police Division
64 N Union St.
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Phone: 334-242-3673
District Offices
Email - Boat registration: [email protected]
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Website



All mechanically propelled vessels, sailboats, and boat for hire must be registered.


  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 the 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 the 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).


Class 1:

  • Registration Fee: $18.00
  • Mail Fee: $2.00
  • Total (if mailed): $20.00

Class 2:

  • Registration Fee: $23.00
  • Mail Fee: $2.00
  • Total (if mailed): $25.00

Class 3:

  • Registration Fee: $73.00
  • Mail Fee: $2.00
  • Total (if mailed): $75.00

Class 4:

  • Registration Fee: $98.00
  • Mail Fee: $2.00
  • Total (if mailed): $100.00

Transfer with Registration:

  • Registration Fee: $3.00
  • Mail Fee: $2.00
  • Total (if mailed): $5.00


  • Registration Fee: $3.00
  • Mail Fee: $2.00
  • Total (if mailed): $5.00

Transfer fee plus proper Class registration fee.

Replacement Registration:

  • Registration Fee: $3.00
  • Mail Fee: $2.00
  • Total (if mailed): $5.00

Homemade Vessels- Inspection fee: $25.00
Applications are submitted to the Marine Police Division.


Your boat registration must be renewed annually.

Documents to Use[edit]


Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 



Length of the vessel

When you register your boat, it is important that you list the exact length of the vessel on the application form. 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 motors brackets, rudders and other attachments are not to be included in this measurement.

Boats are divided into four (4) classes:

  • Class I: Boats measuring less than 4.9 meters (16ft)
  • Class II: Boats measuring between 4.9 meters (16ft) and 7.9 meters (26ft)
  • Class III: Boats measuring between 7.9 meters (26ft) and 12.2 meters (40ft)
  • Class IV: Boats measuring 12.2 meters (40ft) and above

Where to apply

Boat owners (resident and non-resident) may register, renew or transfer ownership of the vessel by applying at their local county Judge of Probate or License Commissioner's Office. They may also register or renew their vessel's registration (with proof of payment of sales and use tax) at the Marine Police Division office in Montgomery, Alabama.

If sales tax has not been paid, there is no documentation showing proof of payment of sales tax, or a transfer of ownership is taking place,then registration can only be accomplished at the local Judge of Probate's office or the office of the License Commissioner.

All dealer and livery (rental) must register with the Marine Police Division office in Montgomery, Alabama.

Liveries (rental) and dealer licenses can only be issued from the Marine Police Division office in Montgomery.

When to apply

  • For new vessels: Owners have a 72 hour grace period to register their new boat.
  • For used boats currently registered in Alabama: New owners must transfer the vessel under their name within 15 days.
  • For used boats with an expired registration: The boat must registered first before it is used.
  • For boats that was used for rental purposes: The old number will have to be removed from the boat and a new one will be issued. No transfer will be necessary in this case.

There is no grace period for a used boat.

Documented Vessels

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 trailers are not required to be licensed in Alabama.

Homemade Vessels

All homemade boats must have a hull serial number.

Owners of homemade vessels shall apply with the Marine Police Division to obtain a hull serial number, the number must then be affixed to the transom of their boat. Owners must give the date when the vessel was completed.

There will be a $25.00 inspection fee for any homemade vessel requiring a hull identification number.

Required Information[edit]

  • Name of owner
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Telephone number
  • Address
  • City, state, zip
  • Description of boat:
    • Make of boat
    • Year built
    • Hull identification number (for boats built after Nov. 1972)
    • Length
    • Make of motor
    • Horsepower
    • Serial number
    • Hull material
    • Propulsion Use
    • Fuel
    • Type of vessel


Need for the Document[edit]

Following are procedures on how to register a boat in Vestavia Hills.

Information which might help[edit]

Vessel Number

The permanent registration number appears on the right- hand side of the certificate preceded by the letters AL. The number contains 1 to 4 digits plus the 2-letter suffix following the number. This number remains with the boat regardless of change of ownership within the state.

Displaying the the Vessel Number:

  • The registration number must be placed on each side of the bow of the vessel for which it was purchased, in such a position as will make it clearly visible at all times.
  • The number must be displayed in three parts with a hyphen or space separating each part, example: AL-1234-AA
  • The number must be written in a color that contrasts with the background of the boat