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Probate office announces change to boat registration

Recent changes from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources concerning boat registration could affect local citizens.

Earlier this week, Butler County Probate Judge Steve Norman received a memo detailing the changes.

“While conducting a thorough cleansing of information in our database, we have discovered a considerable amount of registrations with invalid or incomplete vessel information,” the release said.

All vessels manufactured after 1972 are required by federal law to have a 12-digit hull identification number, but if the vessel was manufactured before that date, there may be fewer than 12 digits.

In order to register the vessel, the owner will have to bring a pencil etching/tracing to the probate office if the number has less than 12 digits.

“We’re just trying to get the word out and prevent folks from having to make a trip home,” Norman said. “Make sure you check your registration before you come here to renew, and make sure you’ve got the right number of digits. Maybe we can save people some travel time.”

The probate office will also collect all vessel information, including hull identification numbers, motor serial numbers, and make and year of the vessel from the owners regardless of the type of transaction.

If a customer is unable to provide a 12-digit hull identification number, please contact the Marine Police Division of Registration and Records at 1-800-272-7930.