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State Educational Requirements - Note the following key terms:

Disclaimer: All information is provided as a service. All information is, to the best of our knowledge, correct, as of October, 2007. To be absolutely certain regarding the specifics of boating laws in your state, please contact your local Boating Education or Department of Natural resources office.

Note:  Links can change frequently - please report any invalid or inoperative links to Ray Viloria.  Thank You.

Click on your state to access it quickly. take_course.gif (1135 bytes) more_state.gif (1180 bytes)

Alabama Colorado Hawaii Kansas Massachusetts Montana New Mexico Oklahoma South Dakota Virginia
Connecticut
Alaska Delaware Idaho Kentucky Michigan Nebraska New York Oregon Tennessee Washington
Arizona District of Columbia Illinois Louisiana Minnesota Nevada North Carolina Pennsylvania Texas West Virginia
Arkansas Florida Indiana Maine Mississippi New Hampshire North Dakota Rhode Island Utah Wisconsin
California Georgia Kansas Maryland Missouri New Jersey Ohio South Carolina Vermont Wyoming

Note:  Links can change frequently - please report any invalid or inoperative links to Ray Viloria.  Thank You.


State Requirement

Education is mandatory. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course, or an equivalency exam at a Division of Motor Vehicles office.The minimum age for certification is 12. State homepage address: http://www.dcnr.state.al.us/mp.html

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/boating/index.htm

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: http://www.state.az.us/gf/welcome.html

Education is mandatory for minors. State homepage address: http://www.agfc.com/education/boating_education_details.html

California
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No mandatory educational requirementsUnder a new law which went into effect on January 1, 1998, any person convicted of operating a motorboat under the influence of drugs or alcohol must be ordered by the court to take a boating safety course approved by the Department of Boating and Waterways. For more information visit:
h
ttp://www.dbw.ca.gov/Pubs/Abc/Index.htm

Education is mandatory. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course. The minimum age for certification is 14. State homepage address: http://parks.state.co.us/boating/

Connecticut










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Education is mandatory. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course. There is no minimum age for certification. Anyone who has a Boating Safety Certificate may operate any boat (except personal watercraft PWC), except that someone under age 12 may operate a boat over 10 hp only with an 18 year old or older (who also must have a Boating Safety Certificate) aboard. In order to operate a personal watercraft (PWC), one must have a Personal Watercraft Operation Certificate. Anyone who has a Personal Watercraft Operation Certificate may operate a pesonal watercraft (PWC). Someone under age 12 may operate a personal watercraft (PWC) provided he or she has a Personal Watercraft Operation Certificate and is accompanied by someone 18 years or older, who also has a Personal Watercraft Operation Certificate, aboard the PWC. Boaters from another state who have a boating safety certificate must still take the Connecticut course to operate a PWC in Connecticut - there is no reciprocity. For more information, contact the Connecticut Department of Environmental protection at (860)434-8638. State homepage address:
http://dep.state.ct.us/rec/boating/boatfaq.htm

Education is mandatory. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course. No minimum age. State homepage address: http://www.dnrec.state.de.us/dnrec2000/Boating.asp

District of Columbia

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Education is mandatory - Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. Homepage address: dcpages.ari.net/

Education is mandatory - Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. As of October 1, 1996, all persons born on or after September 30, 1980 must complete a boating safety course. Homepage addresses:
http://floridaconservation.org/law/boatsafe/default.htm

Education is mandatory - Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. Homepage address: http://www.ganet.org//dnr/wild/boating/boat1.html

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dbor/bor_info.htm

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: http://www.state.id.us/fishgame/fishgame.html

Education is mandatory. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course. The minimum age for certification is 12. State homepage address: http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/education/SAFETY/boat.htm

Education is mandatory - Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. The minimum age for certification is 15. Upon completion of a boating safety course, persons 15 years of age must obtain a boater I.D. card from their local Bureau of Motor Vehicles before they may operate a vessel. For information on how to obtain a boater I.D. card, contact your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles Office, or the state boating education office at (317)232-4010. Homepage address: http://www.in.gov/dnr/lawenfor/boating/

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: www.state.ia.us/government/dnr/organiza/fwb/enforcmt/safe-ed.htm

Any person born on or after January 1, 1989 must complete an approved boater safety education course in order to operate a motorboat or sailboat on public waters in Kansas. This requirement does not apply to a person operating a motorboat or sailboat accompanied by and under the direct and audible supervision of a person over 17 years of age who either: possesses a certificate of completion of an approved boater safety education course, or is legally exempt from the requirement. This requirement does not apply to anyone 21 years of age or older, regardless of their date of birth.

Also, anyone age 12-15 who wants to operate a personal watercraft alone is required to successfully complete a boating safety course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law
Administrators (NASBLA) and recognized by the United States Coast Guard.

Out of state boaters who boat on Kansas waters must comply with these education requirements. All states provide a NASBLA standard that will also be acceptable in Kansas.

State homepage address: http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us/boating/boating.html

Education is mandatory. Boaters are required to complete a proctored, boating safety course. State homepage address: http://www.kdfwr.state.ky.us/boating.htm

Louisiana

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No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: http://www.wlf.state.la.us/apps/netgear/page52.asp

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007Age Restriction: When operating a motorboat with more than 10 horsepower, a person under the age of 12 must be under the immediate supervision of a person located in the boat who is at least 16 years of age. A person under 16 years of age may not operate personal watercraft, which includes jet-skis. (Effective July 9, 1998, the legal age for operating personal watercraft has been changed from 12 years of age to 16 years of age).
State homepage address:
http://www.state.me.us/ifw/rv/boatinglaws2001.htm

Education is mandatory. All persons born on or after July 1, 1972 must complete a boating safety course. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course. State homepage address: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/regulations/bser.html

Massachusetts

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Education is mandatory in the following cases: Massachusetts law requires that youth aged 12 through 15, who wish to operate without adult supervision, a motorboat of any horsepower, pass a state and National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating course. They will then be issued a Safety Certificate which they are required to have in their possession when operating. Youth 16 and 17 years of age who wish to operate a personal watercraft (PWC) must pass a state and NASBLA approved course approved for PWCs. They also will be issued a Safety Certificate which they must carry when operating.
State homepage address:

http://www.state.ma.us/dfwele/dle/dlecours.htm

Education is mandatory. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course.Internet courses are not accepted for Michigan residents. Michigan requires out of state visitors who wish to ride a PWC in Michigan to have a boating safety certificate. All NASBLA approved courses, such as Internet courses, meet the requirements for out of state residents.

State homepage address: http://www.midnr.com/SubPage.asp?sec=boat

Minnesota




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No mandatory educational requirements for persons 18 years old and up.Persons between the ages of 12 and 17 may operate Personal Watercraft (PWC) and/or boats with engine size greater than 25hp as long as they have a valid watercraft operator's permit. This permit is issued upon completion of the Minnesota DNR's home study course. There are no operator age restrictions on boats with engine size 25hp or less. For more information contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at (651)296-3336. State homepage address:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/information_and_education/water_safety/

Mississippi

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Education is mandatory. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course. The minimum age for certification is 12. State homepage address:
http://www.mdwfp.com/lawenforcement_boating.asp

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: www.mswp.state.mo.us

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: http://www.fwp.state.mt.us/recreation/boated.htm

Personal watercraft law for operators under 16 years of age must complete a Boating Safety Course and be in possession of course certificate.  Classes are offered throughout the state. The course is a six-hour course (proctored exam) and you must have 70 percent to pass. Check with any district office for a class schedule.   Reciprocity: Successful completion of boating safety courses certified and recognized by other states will be accepted in lieu of Nebraska Boating Basics Course. Responsibility lies with the operator.

State homepage address: http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/boating/guide.html

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: http://www.nevadasafeboating.org/

New Hampshire

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State homepage address: http://webster.state.nh.us/safety/ss/index.html

New Jersey



























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Education is mandatory. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course. The minimum age for certification is 13.

Mandatory boating safety education & minimum age requirements
effective July 1, 1996:

  • No person under 13 years old may operate any power vessel on NJ waters.

  • Persons 13-15 years old may operate the following vessels after completing an approved boating safety course:
    a. A vessel powered by a motor of less than 1HP or
    b. A vessel powered by a 12-volt electric motor or
    c. A vessel 12 feet or greater in length powered by a motor, or combination of motors of less than 10 total HP.

  • Persons 16 years and older may operate any power vessel in accordance with the following:
    a. Persons born on or after January 1, 1979 must complete an approved boating safety course prior to operating any power vessel.
    b. Persons born on or before December 31, 1978 are not required to complete an approved boating safety course unless they are operating a Personal Watercraft.

  • When a person is required to complete an approved boating safety course prior to operating, they must have proof of course completion in possession when operating.

State homepage address: http://www.state.nj.us/mvs/boats.htm

New Mexico

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No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007. State homepage address: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/nmparks/pages/boating/boating.htm

New York














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No mandatory educational requirements for individuals 18 years of age or older, to operate a vessel. Persons between the ages of 10 and 17 may operate a boat, with the exception of Personal Watercraft (PWC), without adult supervision if they successfully complete a boating safety course. Upon completion of the course, the individual must carry the required safety certificate at all times, while operating the vessel. Education will be mandatory for all Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators, and the course must be proctored. New York State has enacted legislation requiring all PWC operators to complete a course in boating safety by January 1, 2004. Education will be required of operators as follows:

  • As of January 1, 2000 for those born on or after 1/1/81.
  • Between 1/1/01 & 1/1/02 for those born on or after 1/1/78.
  • Between 1/1/02 & 1/1/03 for those born on or after 1/1/75.
  • Between 1/1/03 & 1/1/04 for those born on or after 1/1/72.
  • After 1/1/04 it will be required of all PWC operators.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators must complete a proctored boating safety course. For more information, contact the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Bureau of Marine, Recreational Vehicles at (518)474-0445. State homepage address:

www.nysparks.com/boats

North Carolina

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The N.C. General Statutes require that anyone between the age of 12 and 16 years of age complete a NASBLA approved Boating Education Course and carry a certification card and proof of age in order to operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state.

A personal watercraft (PWC) is a small vessel which uses an outboard or propeller-driven motor, or an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as itís primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on, or being towed behind the vessel, rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel. PWC's are commonly known by their manufacturer names such as, Jet-Ski's, Sea-Doo's and Wave-Runners.

State homepage address: http://www.ncwildlife.org/fs_index_05_boating.htm

North Dakota

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Education is mandatory - Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. The minimum age for certification is 12. Homepage address: http://www.state.nd.us/gnf/boating/

Education is mandatory - Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. No minimum age for certification. Homepage address: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/watercraft/

Mandatory educational requirements for operators under the age of 18.  State homepage address: http://www.boat-ed.com/ok/handbook/

Mandatory education has been enacted. For more information on who is affected, the State homepage address: http://www.boatoregon.com

Pennsylvania


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Education is mandatory for Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators ONLY. These persons must complete a proctored, boating safety course. The minimum age to be certified for PWC operation is 12; the minimum operator age for PWC's is 12. State homepage address: http://www.fish.state.pa.us/

Rhode Island

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All those born on or after January 1, 1986, are legally required to pass an approved boater education course before they may legally operate any vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower. Anyone operating a personal watercraft, regardless of age, must have passed an approved boater education course.

The boater education course must be approved by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
Operators who are required to have passed a course, must carry onboard their certificate of completion. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will issue certificates of completion to boaters passing approved courses.
Operators are exempted from the above if they: 
Are supervised onboard by a person 18 years of age or older who has passed an approved boater education course
Hold a valid commercial vessel operator’s license
Are not a resident of Rhode Island and meet the requirements of their state of residence
Have been a resident of Rhode Island for 60 days or less
Are operating a rented vessel and have successfully completed the requirements for renters (renters of vessels powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower must watch an instructional video and pass a written examination prior to operation).
The DEM requires that tests be proctored--therefore the BoatU.S. Online Course is suitable for practice only.  No state boating card will be issued for completion of an on-line course.


. State homepage address: http://www.state.ri.us/dem/programs/bnatres/enforce/index.htm

 

South Carolina



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Education is mandatory - Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. Not all non-proctored courses (including the BOAT/US Foundation for Boating Safety Course) are accepted, for certification. For further information, contact the state boating education office at (803)734-3999. Homepage address: http://www.dnr.state.sc.us/etc/boating.html

South Dakota

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No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007.  State homepage address: http://www.state.sd.us/gfp/boating/

Tennessee

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Persons under 12 years of age may not operate a powered boat unless they are accompanied by an adult who can take immediate control of the vessel. An exception is made if the boat is powered by an outboard motor of 8.5 horsepower or less. A further exception is made for unaccompanied operators between the ages of 10 and 12 if the boat is over 14 feet long, powered by an outboard motor of less than 15 horsepower, and the person has successfully completed a boating education course approved bt the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

State homepage address:
http://www.state.tn.us/twra/boatmain.html

Education is mandatory - Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. Not all non-proctored courses (including the BOAT/US Foundation for Boating Safety Course) are accepted, for certification. For further information, contact the state boating education office at (803)734-3999.

Homepage address:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boat/

Education is mandatory for Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators, who are between the ages of 12 and 17. PWC operators must complete the state's home/classroom study course for certification. Once the operator has been certified:

  • The operator must carry a copy of the course certification card at all times, while operating the PWC.
  • Children ages 12-15 may operate the PWC if an individual 18 years of age or older accompanies the individual aboard the PWC OR the individual age 12-15 may operate the PWC alone if and only if the individual operates the PWC within visual supervision of another individual, age 18 or older.
  • Children ages 16-17 may operate the PWC alone.

Contact the state boating education office at (801)538-7464 for more detailed information. State homepage address: http://www.stateparks.utah.gov/division/boatmenu.htm

Education is mandatory. Boaters may complete any NASBLA approved boating course, including Internet courses.

State homepage address:
http://www.dps.state.vt.us/vtsp/boat_safe.html

Education is mandatory for Personal Watercraft (PWC) users under the age of 16. Children age 14 and 15 may operate a PWC upon successful completion of a boating safety course. Additionally, upon completion, the 14 or 15 year old operator must carry proof of successful completion of the course at all times while operating the PWC. Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. Homepage address: http://www.dgif.state.va.us/boating/index.cfm

Washington

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No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007

State homepage address:
http://www.parks.wa.gov/moorage/guide/

West Virginia


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Beginning on January 1, 2001, no person born on or after December 31, 1986, may operate a motorboat or personal watercraft on any waters of this state without first having obtained a certificate of boating safety education from this or any other state. The certificate must have been obtained by satisfactorily completing a course of instruction in boating safety education administered by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary; the United States Power Squadron; the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources; any person certified to teach the course administered by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources boating safety education section personnel; or any person authorized to teach the course prescribed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in this or any other state.

This certificate must be in the possession of the person operating a motorboat or personal watercraft on the waters of this state. The operator shall show the certificate on demand of any West Virginia Conservation Officer or other law-enforcement officer authorized to enforce the provision of the West Virginia Code.

Boaters may complete either non-proctored or proctored boating safety courses for certification. Homepage address: http://www.dnr.state.wv.us/law/boating.htm

Wisconsin

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Education is mandatory. The minimum age for certification is 12. Boaters must complete a proctored, boating safety course. State homepage address: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/es/enforcement/safety/boatsaf.htm

No mandatory educational requirements as of October, 2007.. State homepage address: http://gf.state.wy.us/HTML/fish/boatltr.htm

Note:   Links can change frequently - please report any invalid or inoperative links to the Foundation  Thank You.

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