Got a question? The answers to the questions Alabama boating students most frequently ask can be found below.

Price and Payment

How much does the online boater exam cost? How much does the Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification cost?

The online course fee is $29.50. Additionally, when you present the Alabama Boating Course Certificate of Completion at your Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Examining Office, there is an additional one-time application fee of $5, plus a $23.50 issuance fee for the license.

What is the total price to get my Alabama Boating License?

The total is the $29.50 course fee plus the $28.50 DPS fee for the license, which comes to $58 total.

Is it safe to enter my credit card information online?

Yes. You can enter your credit card online with confidence on our secure server. This charge will appear on your credit card statement as “Safety Courses 18008302268.”

Why is there a charge to “Safety Courses 18008302268” on my credit card statement?

This is the charge for your course fee and card purchase. “Safety Courses 18008302268” is what appears on your card statement.

Taking the Boat Alabama Course

How long will it take to complete the course?

Typically it takes about 3 hours to go through the online course, excluding quizzes/tests, and any re-studying that you may choose to do.

Do I have to complete the online course all at once?

You may complete the course at your own pace. The course can be completed in one sitting or completed a little at a time over several days.

After passing the course, how long do I have to wait to go out on the water in my boat or PWC?

Your Alabama Boating Course Certificate of Completion will be mailed to your home within 2-3 weeks after you pass the exam.

What is the minimum age to obtain the Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification?

The minimum age to take the online boating safety exam is 12 years old.

Do I have to get the Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification (Alabama boater’s license)?

The Roberson/Archer Act of 1994 requires that every person who operates a motorized vessel (including PWCs) on the waters of Alabama must first obtain an Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification. This requirement does not apply to operators of sailboats, rowboats, or canoes.

If you are under 12 years of age:

You may not obtain your Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification, and you may not operate a vessel under any circumstances.

If you are 12 or 13 years of age:

You may obtain your Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification. After obtaining the certification, you may operate a vessel legally only if supervised on board by a person who:

  • Is at least 21 years of age and…
  • Carries a valid proof of his or her Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification and…
  • Is in position to take immediate physical control of the vessel.
If you are 14 years of age or older:

After obtaining Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification, you may operate a vessel without supervision legally.

Course Authority, Recognition, and State Acceptance

Is this course approved by the State of Alabama?

Yes, this course is approved and accepted by the Alabama Marine Police Division and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Also the course is approved and accepted by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard.

How does this online course compare with the classroom course?

The online Boat Alabama Course uses the same curriculum and course material as the Alabama boating basics classroom course.

Other States, Territories, and Provinces

Is my Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification accepted in all states, territories, and provinces?

Yes. All states that have mandatory boater education requirements, along with the District of Columbia and Canada, will recognize the Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification. Through an agreement between Canada and NASBLA, we have reciprocity for United States boater education cards that are issued by states that meet NASBLA requirements and Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Cards that meet Transport Canada’s requirements.

Boating License Certification Exam

What is the Boating License Certification Exam?

The Boating License Certification Exam is the exam you take at the end of the online course. After reviewing all units, you must take and pass the Boating License Certification Exam covering all the course material. You must score at least 80% on the Boating License Certification Exam to pass. You have unlimited attempts to pass the Boating License Certification Exam.

What if I fail the Boating License Certification Exam?

You must score at least 80% on the Boating License Certification Exam to pass. If you should fail the Boating License Certification Exam, you may immediately take it again.

Do I have to complete the Boating License Certification Exam in one session?

No, you can log out without completing the exam. When you log in later, you will be taken to the first unanswered question of the exam.

About the Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification

What is the Alabama Vessel License?

The Alabama Vessel License (also known as the Alabama boating license or boater’s license) is proof that you have met the mandatory boat safety education requirements for the state of Alabama. The Alabama Boating License appears as a “V” class on your Alabama driver’s license.

I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the Alabama Boater License?

Yes, if you don’t have an automobile driver’s license, a “Vessel Only” license will be issued.

Who Needs the Card?

The Roberson/Archer Act of 1994 requires that every person who operates a motorized vessel (including PWCs) on the waters of Alabama must first obtain an Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification. This requirement does not apply to operators of sailboats, rowboats, or canoes.

If you are under 12 years of age:

You may not obtain your Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification, and you may not operate a vessel under any circumstances.

If you are 12 or 13 years of age:

You may obtain your Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification. After obtaining the certification, you may operate a vessel legally only if supervised on board by a person who:

  • Is at least 21 years of age and…
  • Carries a valid proof of his or her Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification and…
  • Is in position to take immediate physical control of the vessel.
If you are 14 years of age or older:

After obtaining Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification, you may operate a vessel without supervision legally on Alabama waters for up to 45 days per calendar year.

Who is exempt from getting the Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification (License)?

You do not require an Alabama boater license if:

  • You hold a valid U.S. Coast Guard Motorboat Operator’s License
  • You submit a valid certificate of successful completion of an Alabama Marine Police Division-approved safe boating course, or a course offered by U.S. Power Squadrons or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
  • You were 40 years old or older as of April 28, 1994
What is the minimum age to obtain the Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification?

The minimum age to take the online boating safety exam is 12 years old.

Getting the Card

How do I get my Alabama Boat Operator’s Certification (Alabama boater’s license)?
  1. Study & Pass the Alabama Boater Safety Course
  2. Receive the Alabama Boating Course Certificate of Completion in the mail
  3. Go to DPS Driver’s License Examining Office

The Department of Public Safety

You will receive your Alabama Boating Course Certificate of Completion from the Alabama Marine Police Division by mail within 2-3 weeks. To obtain Alabama Boater Safety Certification, you must go to the Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Examining Office in your county of residence and present your Alabama Boating Course Certificate of Completion.

Then take the proper form to a Probate or License Commissioners office to have the “V” endorsement placed on your automobile driver’s license. (If you do not have an automobile driver’s license, you will be issued a “Vessel Only” license.)

How long is the boat safety course and boater license good for?

The boater license is good for life. It is renewed automatically with your state driver’s license.

Replacement of Lost or Damaged Cards and Certificates

How do I replace my boating license if I’ve lost it or it has been damaged?

A duplicate boating license can be issued for $5.

System Requirements

What are the minimum system requirements to access this course?

The minimum system requirements to take this course are:

  • A computer with Internet access and a current Internet browser
  • A mouse or pointing device
  • Cookies enabled in browser
  • JavaScript enabled in browser

Recommended:

  • A soundcard
  • Speakers or headphones
  • A printer to print your Course Completion Certificate
Can I access the course on my iPhone or iPad or other mobile device?

Yes, this course and all its boating safety content is designed to work on any mobile device as well as your desktop computer.

Username and Password

How do I choose a username?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to find a username that has not already been taken by someone else taking the same course.

Try to pick something that is easy to remember but is also unique. One trick is to use a variation of your name that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to associate with your name. For instance, you could use your middle name and spell it backward. Another way to find a unique username that is easy to remember is to compound your name with a favorite hobby, food, TV show, movie, or a character from a movie or TV show.

Logging In/Out

Do I have to complete the online course all at once?

You may complete the course at your own pace. The course can be completed in one sitting or completed a little at a time over several days.

I am afraid to log out of the course, but I don’t have all day to take it. Will I lose everything if I log out?

No, when you log out, your progress is recorded so that when you log in again, you can pick up where you left off. When logging back in, you will be taken to the Course Contents page where you can see the progress you have made. You can click on a link for the last page viewed to go back to that part of the course.

How many times may I log out and in?

You may log in and out as many times as you wish. Your progress is monitored and saved.

Video

What’s required to play the videos in the course?

Our course videos should play in all browsers. If a video is not showing up, your browser may require Adobe Flash to play them. You can download the Flash plugin for your browser at Adobe’s site.

If you are still having trouble, you might be able to find help at Vimeo’s FAQs. (Vimeo is the video player we use in the course.)

Error Messages

What does the message “Your session has expired due to inactivity” mean?

If you have not been active within the course for more than 15 minutes, you will automatically be logged out of your session. A notice stating, “Your session has expired due to inactivity” will appear at the top of the course on a blue background. Log back in, and you can continue interacting with the course. Your progress will have been recorded, and you should be able to continue where you left off in the course.