Operator Age and Education Requirements
The Roberson/Archer Act of 1994 requires that every person who operates a motorized vessel (including personal watercraft or PWC) on the waters of Alabama must first obtain an Alabama boater safety certification. This requirement does not apply to operators of sailboats, rowboats, or canoes.
Age to Operate Legally on Alabama Waters
- No one under the age of 12 years may operate any motorized vessel (including PWC) under any circumstances.
- Persons under the age of 12 years are not eligible for Alabama boater safety certification.
Boater Safety Certification Requirements for Alabama Residents
- If you are under 12 years of age: You may not obtain your Alabama boater safety 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 boater safety 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 boater safety 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 boater safety certification, you may operate a vessel without supervision legally.