Alabama Regulatory Guide for Boat Rentals

Alabama has regulations related to the operation of vessel, including boats used for leasing. These regulations cover various aspects of vessel operation, such as equipment requirements, safety procedures, and licensing requirements for operators. On this page, we navigate you through everything you need to have in place in order to ensure that your boat rental business is compliant with Alabama’s regulations, along with some other important things to keep in mind.

Boxes you need to tick

These are requirements as defined by law:

Rental Agreement

The rental contract should be on board the vessel while the vessel is in operation

A person, while using a rental vessel from a boat rental business duly licensed by the applicable municipality or county, shall be exempt from the certification requirements of this section if the following conditions are met:

(1) The rental contract specifies that the lessee has been instructed in the proper and safe operation of the vessel by the lessor or the authorized agent of the lessor.

(2) The lessor has complied with the terms of rental contract and all parties sign the contract.

(3) The lessee signs a statement that the lessee is not currently under suspension or revocation of any boater safety certification or vessel operation privilege .

(4) A copy of the applicable rental contract is on board the vessel while the vessel is in operation.

Age Requirement

Individuals under the age of 12 are not permitted to operate any motorized vessel on Alabama's waterways

Safety Equipment Requirement

Each person in boat must have a Coast Guard Approved “Life Jacket”, which is in good, serviceable condition and is approved for the specific activity.

Livery Vessel Registration Requirement

Any vessel offered for rent in Alabama must be registered first with the Marine Patrol Division as a livery vessel.

Keep in mind when renting out boats


Boat Equipment Checklist

Not required

List of Passengers
License Requirement

The information provided is intended to be general and informative, and should not be interpreted as regulatory, legal, or insurance advice. It does not constitute professional advice from a licensed insurance agent and does not establish an attorney-client or insurer-insured relationship. This information should not replace the counsel of a qualified legal, regulatory, or insurance professional. Always consult with a qualified professional for legal, regulatory, or insurance advice pertaining to your specific circumstances.

Boat Rental Accident Reporting

Operators must submit a report within 10 days to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Police Division whenever a boating accident results in:

(1) loss of life or the disappearance of any person;

(2) injury causing any person to remain incapacitated for a period in excess of a seventy-two (72) hours;

(3) actual damage to any vessel, or to any other property in excess of two thousand dollars ($2,000)

The report must include vessel details, operator information, accident specifics, and witness accounts. This regulation applies to all vessels in Alabama waters, except federally documented ones, and those with Alabama registration numbers, regardless of where the accident occurs. It does not exempt vessels licensed in other states from complying with their respective reporting laws.

The Boating Accident Reporting Form can be either mailed to:


PO Box 304115

Montgomery, AL 36130-4115

Faxed to (334) 517-2954, or

Emailed to

Report Accident

Federal Regulation

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) regularly provides updates on recentchanges in regulation and have overviews of specific requirements for boatrental companies

Buoy is your one-stop shop for compliance & insurance

Buoy provides boat rental companies with peace of mind while saving time and money. When using Buoy’s insurance solution, we will help you get fully compliant free of charge.

Get peace of mind
White glove support
Download resources