We describe the design and implementation of an on-line identification scheme for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). The proposed method estimates the dynamic parameters of the vehicle based on a global derivative-free optimization algorithm. It is not sensitive to initial conditions, unlike other on-line identification schemes, and does not depend on the differentiability of the model with respect to the parameters. The identification scheme consists of three distinct modules: a) System Excitation, b) Metric Calculator and c) Optimization Algorithm. The System Excitation module sends excitation inputs to the vehicle. The Optimization Algorithm module calculates a candidate parameter vector, which is fed to the Metric Calculator module. The Metric Calculator module evaluates the candidate parameter vector, using a metric based on the residual of the actual and the predicted commands. The predicted commands are calculated utilizing the candidate parameter vector and the vehicle state vector, which is available via a complete navigation module. Then, the metric is directly fed back to the Optimization Algorithm module, and it is used to correct the estimated parameter vector. The procedure continues iteratively until the convergence properties are met. The proposed method is generic, demonstrates quick convergence and does not require a linear formulation of the model with respect to the parameter vector. The applicability and performance of the proposed algorithm is experimentally verified using the AUV Girona 500.