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The BoatUS Foundation's Online Course is the only FREE Online Boating Safety Course approved by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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approved boating safety course

Recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard, approved by NASBLA and your state boating license agency.

Here's how to get started or return to your course:

We launched a completely new platform for our free online course on 11/18/2020!

Our old course system is officially retired but if you need to access your certificate of completion, you can request a copy through this form

For a brief tutorial on getting started in the new system or to contact us, click here.


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Complete the Course in Three Easy Steps:

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Enroll yourself in a Boating Safety Course from the Course Catalog

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Study and pass the FREE Boating Safety Course.

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Print out your certificate of completion yourself for free

Get Started Today! Start Now →

Education Requirements:

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Age Requirements:

All Iowa boaters 12 - 17 years of age must complete a boating safety course approved by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in order to operate a boat or PWC.

Iowa requires supervision and education certification for the following boat operators: Boaters under the age of 12 may operate a vessel with a motor greater than 10 hp (including PWCs) provided they are accompanied by a responsible person at least 18 years of age and experienced with operating the vessel.

Boaters 12 years of age and older, but younger than 18, may operate a vessel with a motor greater than 10 hp (including PWCs) provided:

  • They have successfully completed a boating safety education course approved by the IA DNR, or
  • They are accompanied on board by a person at least 18 years old and experienced with operating the vessel

Boat operators required to have completed a boating safety course must carry their National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating safety certificate with them at all times while operating a vessel propelled by a motor of more than ten horsepower.

Iowa also recognizes any NASBLA approved certificate of completion from any other states. This is based on the core standards that are agreed upon for reciprocity.

How Do I Get My Iowa Certificate?

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After you complete the course you will be issued a paper copy of your Certificate of Completion. This certificate can be used immediatly after you complete the course.

Course Information:

4 - 8 Hours

Estimated Course Time

6 Lessons

Each Contains a 10 Question Quiz

Final Exam

60 Questions Pulled Randomly

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Complete the Course at Your Own Pace

Choose when and where to take your course.
In our new online learning system, take it on any device with an internet connection and automatically have your progress saved when the window is closed.*

*You must be registed in our new system at and not have previously registered or started at

Get Started Now →

Online Course Video:


  • Great course, and so much more convenient than going at night for several nights... Keep up the great work, and see you on the water.

  • Thank you so much! This was a great course and I learned so much. Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Thank you. The information that you gave me allowed me to complete the course. Your assistance was very much appreciated.

    D. White
  • Thank you so much! You folks are so kind. Good luck with the updates and have safe boating fun this summer!