Do you need a driver’s license to operate your boat? The simple answer is no, but every state has different rules and regulations for operating a water vessel – personal watercraft or sailboat. Some states require a boating license, while other states require a boating safety and education certificate. Fall is a great time of year to understand and learn your state's guidelines and requirements... and complete any boat courses needed.
Most frequently, boat license courses and boat license tests can be completed online. The boating state board education courses can be completed online as well. An interesting side note – you don’t need a state driver’s license in order to obtain a Boater Education Card.
Consider the following steps when looking to get your boating license or boater education card:
- Explore the rules, requirements, and restrictions when operating a water vessel in your state – State Boating Laws, Rules & Regulations. Once you have determined your state requirements, then use the following two links to receive either your boating license or boater education card.
- Review and study for the required course and then successfully pass the test.
Submit payment after course completion.
Just like your auto driver's license, it is mandatory that you carry your boat license or completion certificate with you whenever you are on the water.
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(Remember to inspect your boat lines and dock ties and replace as needed. Boat lines and dock ties weather and weaken over time.)