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Boater Safety Education Programs in the United States

In the USA, 36 states have taken the important step of mandating some form of educational requirements for operating a boat or PWC on state waters.

By completing and passing a state–approved online boating license course, you will have satisfied the educational requirement for your state.

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Who Needs the Card?

Boating safety education certificates requirements vary from state to state.

Choose the course for your state, to find out more about your state's boating education requirements.

Carry the Card Vessel operators who are required to have a Boater Education Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer.

Age Restrictions

Many states have a requirements related minimum age restrictions for operating a vessel or PWC legally on state waters.

Choose your state's course to find out how age restrictions may effect you.

Penalty Not carrying your Boater Education Card when one is required can result in a fine.

Good in Other States

All states that have mandatory boater education requirements will accept your state's Boater Education Card. Likewise your state will accept boating education cards that are issued by states that meet NASBLA requirements. (This is known as "reciprocity.")


State law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the laws and guidelines.

For More Information

For details about the boater education law, who is exempt from the education requirement, which courses are approved, the equivalency exam visit your state government's website.

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Is the Boating Card the same as a Boating License?

A state's Boater Education Card is proof that you have successfully completed an approved boating safety course. Since the boater education card does not expire and does not need to be renewed, it is not called a Boating License.

State Boater License

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